We’re All Above Average

We’re All Above Average


The most telling polling result from the 2000 election was from a Time magazine survey that asked people if they are in the top 1 percent of earners. Nineteen percent of Americans say they are in the richest 1 percent and a further 20 percent expect to be someday. So right away you have 39 percent of Americans who thought that when Mr. Gore savaged a plan that favored the top 1 percent, he was taking a direct shot at them.

Why do so many people believe this, when it’s simply not true? The top 1% of Americans make more than $300,000 (or $400,000 depending on who you ask) per year. The top 5%: $128,336. Top 10%: $92,114.

If you look at wealth it’s even more skewed; the top 1% of Americans own 40% – 50% of the total, and more than the bottom 95% combined.

Let’s look at these figures the other way around, though. This means that one out of every hundred Americans earns more than $300,000 per year. That’s pretty impressive; I’d have expected more like one in five hundred or one in a thousand…

It would be interesting to find Canadian versions of these statistics.

posted at 2:16 pm on Friday, January 24, 2003 in Politics | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Reid says:

    Oh, thats easy. Just divide by ten!
    The top 1% of Canadians prolly make more than $30,000 (US), the top 5% $12,834 and the top 10% make $9,211.

    Geez, I hope I am wayyyy off.

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