Forbes 400 Issue Released to Middle Class Chagrin
The nation’s wealthiest are worth $1.5 trillion combined, a 12% increase from 2010. If you would just wait a goddamn minute, the nation’s disappearing middle class will scrounge up the internet bill money to read this article.
Surprising new data from Forbes shows that the rich are getting richer, a phenomenon that has a once stagnant American middle class rooting, “Hooray for capitalism!”
While what name ranks where is rather uninteresting, the facts behind how the list has changed speak to the evolution of our economy and politics. One quick note about rankings first: Tea Party financiers Charles and David Koch tied for fourth place, while the monster-under-Glenn-Beck’s-bed, George Soros made it to seventh.
A fact for consideration: 70% of the people on the list are self-made, which is an all-time high, up from 55% in 1998. This means individualism is on the rise.
Individualism, in this case, being analogous to compiling as much money as possible through any means necessary. Opportunities may not appear plentiful, but those who succeed are more likely than ever to be opportunists.
Whether or not you are standing below the gutter to catch what’s trickling down, taxing the super-wealthy might not be as effective as we would like to think. This year all of Forbes’ list (and everyone else making over $1 million) will pay, on average, 29.1 percent on federal taxes. They can definitely afford to pay more, but they only represent .00028% of tax filers.
Income earned/taxable income are definitely correlated, which means Warren Buffet’s whole anecdote about his secretary seems to have no weight. ABC News even called it flat out wrong.
However, taxable income does not necessarily translate to taxed income. These billionaire financiers get huge write-offs for donating money to non-governmental-organizations, non-profits and the like.
That the rich are getting richer is unsurprising. If this is the GOP’s goal, then so be it, they’re succeeding. It cannot be the average voter’s game-plan.
When I accessed the Forbes 400 list online, the wait page gave me this little gem:
“ The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next. ”
— William Faulkner
If that’s true, the Forbes 400 will already be on Mars continuing to make poor miners lives shitty.