You've heard it from your friends, your family, the mainstream media pundits, the administration, the left-wing politicians and the Occupy Wall Streeters. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And top it off that those nasty ol' rich folks aren't paying their fair share.
Simply put, class envy sells. It has sold well since Lenin wrote the book on Marx. It has fostered revolutions and led to governmental regime changes around the world. The Bamster is depending upon acceptance by that 51% of working age Americans who pay no federal income tax. If they believe it, and they surely will, then he already has a victory. All he needs to do is get them out of the welfare line and crack houses long enough to vote.
Turns out that the meme is pretty frail. Take a look:
Fortunate 400 Has Revolving Door
If a person was in that elite group last year it is very likely they won't be in it this year. The membership churns over and over. People come and go. The rich aren't getting richer in this bunch because they aren't the same rich for very long.
I would be the last to say they require any sympathy from me. I don't think they need my concern. But I do think it is an important reaffirmation of the US as a land of opportunity in which the door is open for people to move from class to class in a society without artificial restrictions.
Almost a 40% decline in the income level to get into the Fortunate 400 since 2007 tells us a lot about the economy beyond correction of the "rich getting richer" fallacy. It also is telling that the effective tax rate paid by that group is the highest it has been in a decade. That decade you may wish to recall started with the introduction of those nasty Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Numbers sure can be inconvenient. Now if we can get the Bamster and Paul Krugman to read them we might be able to make some progress toward that elusive "fairness" thing they want.