[FoRK] 2009 Distribution of Wealth in the US

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Mon Nov 8 13:31:35 PST 2010


On Nov 8, 2010, at 8:57 PM, Aaron Burt wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 08, 2010 at 07:30:39PM +0000, James Tauber wrote:
> 
>> The redistributionalists can't have it both ways. Either the rich *do*
>> pay a lot of tax OR wealth and income aren't strongly correlated.
> 
> Income != taxable income.  Intentional obtuseness is *so* last decade.

I thought the issue was Lorin using W-2 income distribution as equivalent to wealth distribution (or, at the very least, a good indicator of it).

Either W-2 income distribution is not a good indicator of wealth distribution (in which case the subject of this thread is disingenuous) or it is. 

Back in July 2003 when I asked "where on earth does this idea that the rich don't pay taxes come from?", Russell Turpin's response was: "You're comparing taxes paid to income, and indeed, people who make more income pay more taxes. Almost by definition. But what about tax paid relative to wealth accumulation? People who get really wealthy rarely do so by saving their income"

This is a typical counter argument to the claim that the rich pay a lot tax: distinguish between income distribution and wealth distribution.

I'm simply suggesting you can't have it both ways. 

James








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