Comments about ‘Super ZIPs: New map reveals who is part of the rich 'isolated elite'’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 18 2013 9:25 a.m. MST

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Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

aw shucks, Utah county is not super...at least I'm college educated?

South Jordan, UT

Even in D.C. there are jokes about the 'Beltway culture', but now we can all understand why.

Orem, UT

What a surprise. Doctors and lawyers don't want to live in trailer parks.

"These elites live in isolation — and so know little about how the other half (or maybe even the other 99 percent) live."

That is certainly a talking point of the "Wealth Redistribution" crowd. They want to show how different those greedy rich folks are from average Americans. It makes it so much easier to convince average voters to jack up taxes when it is targeted at those "other guys" and they are certainly not "one of us".

The truth is, most of those in the top income groups know exactly what it is like to live as the other 99% because they have lived it. Most rich people are self-made. Quite a few of them crawled all the way up from the bottom 10%. They went to college (often the first in their family to do so); started a business; and worked their way to the top. More often than not, they also helped a lot of other people along the way rather than stepping on others to get there (the other liberal talking point).

Blitz Chomney
Holladay, UT

Joe Capitalist's claims about most rich people being self-made are inaccurate.. A study by Acs and Zimmerman in 2008, which looked at income quintiles found that only 3.5% of people in the bottom quintile were able to work there way up to the upper quintile over a 10-year period (1994-2004). This 3.5% was worse than the previous 10-year period (4.6%), suggesting intragenerational mobility is decreasing. Joe seems to be taking his or someone else's anecdotal experience and suggesting they make the pattern, which is not statistically supported by actual data on Americans.

Orem, UT

Blitz: Way to debunk my claim using irrefutable facts!

sarcasm off.

One study in 2008 showing that only 3.5% moved from the bottom to the top within a limited 10 year period does not prove that the vast majority of rich people inherited their wealth.

Care to cite a study that shows how many people currently in the top 10% started out in the bottom 60% or 70% vs those who inherited a huge amount from their parents?

Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry JoeCapitalist2 but you are living in a dream world. We like to believe that the United States is the most economically mobile country in the world but the reality is very different. The Gini coefficient is the touchstone for measuring wealth and income inequality in a given society. According to the CIA, the Gini coefficient for the USA is worse than the great majority of other first world countries in the world. Google it if don't believe it. It's become significantly harder in the last 30 years for the bottom 20% or 40% to move out of their quintiles into higher income brackets.

Why is that? There are many reasons but a big part of it is the redistributive tax policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Yes, those Presidents redistributed income: from laborers to people living off of investments.

Growing income and wealth inequality is the biggest threat to the social and economic stability of our country. Get the facts. Get educated. Then support policy makers who are committed to returning economic and social opportunity to regular working people.

Everett, 00

Did any zip code in Utah ever meet the Super-ZIP criteria?
[$120,000 and 68% college education]

The Highest I found was:

1. Park City, Utah 84098
$111,000 and 67% college

2. Alpine, Utah 84004
$102,000 and 50% college


Blitz Chomney
Holladay, UT
Joe Capitalist's claims about most rich people being self-made are inaccurate..
Joe seems to be taking his or someone else's anecdotal experience and suggesting they make the pattern, which is not statistically supported by actual data on Americans.

1:32 p.m. Nov. 18, 2013

[Joe must be looking at Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as his only examples -- so it must be true!].

Orem, UT


Since you are into googling try this one "What percentage of millionaires are self-made". Nearly every study shows a vast majority of them.

You also said: "It's become significantly harder in the last 30 years for the bottom 20% or 40% to move out of their quintiles into higher income brackets."

Is it really harder? or do just less of them do it these days for other reasons? Maybe our great big social safety net and the current war on the wealthy have significantly reduced the incentive for people to make a better life for themselves and their children.

How many poor people these days show their kids a successful person and tell them "that can be you one day"? Instead the message seems to be more of "that person doesn't deserve what they have, we have to find a way to take it away from them". Which message are you telling your kids?

Blitz Chomney
Holladay, UT

Joe Capitalist,
The bottom 60-70%? That's much too big a group to bunch together. A person who starts in the low-end of that range has completely different circumstances (and therefore odds) of breaking into the top quintile than someone who starts in the 60-70th percentile. Also, it's not just "one study". There is an entire body of literature documenting decreased intragenerational mobility and the creation of a permanent underclass. If you want more stats closer to the home, there is a 'Moving Up the Economic Ladder' report by the Utah Foundation based on tax return data. After 14 years, 2% of the bottom quintile manage to break into the top 5%. And this is income, let alone wealth. Also, there are a lot of problems with your "culture of poverty" explanation. Just look up the critiques online if you are truly interested.

Everett, 00

The only ways to become a self made millionare in America today --

1. Become a Professional Sports player
2. Be elected into Office,
3. Drug Smuggling.

The American Dream has been stolen by the greedy 1% who now own 80% of all the wealth.
BTW -- Most did not "work hard" or "earned" it.

Look up and see what the Son of God did to the Money Changers in his time --

MemoFromA Demo

Honestly! Do we really care? Why are we so obsessed with the super rich? More and more we seem to slice and dice and dissect who is this and who isn't that. Is it really that important? And the sad thing is, we seem to talk down anybody that is different than us.

I say, "Hurray for the super rich!" I hope they spend a lot of their super earned money so they can help stimulate our super slow economy and employ a lot of our super great Americans. Thats what I'd get super excited about!

SomewhereIn, UT

awwww...the class envy

and even more disconcerting...the defense of wealth redistribution (together with all of its unintended consequences)

Wally West

re: Z

"Even in D.C. there are jokes about the 'Beltway culture', but now we can all understand why."

What about the line that claims DC is "Disneyland along the Potomac"???

Wally West

re: airnaut

"The only ways to become a self made millionare in America today -"

You forgot being a venture capitalist & working on Wall St.

Speaking of, I wonder how many of Mitty's palatial estates are in the Super Zips???


I can't believe, that in this day and age, there are still people so ill-informed as JoeCapitalist2, and yet they seem to increase the volume vocally proportionally to how misguided they are. This is the reason we can do nothing to fix the unprecedented wealth gap in this nation, that so many on the bottom (who should be figuring it out) still seem to go along with redistribution policies that only accumulate more wealth to the 1%. The ultra wealthy have taken 95% of the wealth since they nearly collapsed the economy in 2007. The 1% possess more wealth than the bottom 80%, and it goes on (D&C 49:20).

As already pointed out, plenty of studies have been done showing just how destructive to society this concentration of wealth really is, and yet you have a significant number of dolts on the bottom who seem to go along with it anyway. The scriptures describe them as the "poor whose eyes are full of greediness," because otherwise there would be no rationale for their very vocal defense of the super wealthy.

American Fork, UT

Me, I'm just hoping to have the powerball kick in.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Wealth distribution has been going on since the Reagan era, and the middle class has been the loser.

Provo, ut

So the solution is for the government to steal the wealth of the wealthy and then what? We've been redistributing to the poor since Johnson's administration and as Jesus said "The poor we will always have with us." The poverty rate is still about the same 60 years later, so that didn't work? The Marxists are all about class envy and taking from the rich, it really worked in the Soviet Union where everyone was equally poor (except the party leadership who were doing the stealing) and eventually the whole fake economy collapsed because it couldn't compete in a real world. What great scheme do you re-distributors propose to save our fragile society?

Forest Grove, OR


The Savior said that the poor where always there as an indictment on their society -- a righteous society would have "no poor among thme." A simple solution would be to go back to tax rates during Eisenhower's administration, when the top tax bracket was taxed at 90% rate and the economy flourished, infrastructure proliferated (Highway system was built then), and wealth inequality was the lowest it has been from then to now. The opposite conditions exist now, and we can all see how well that is going for the vast majority of us!

Danbury, CT

My political alignment in some issues is farther left than the Democratic Party and I've lived in several socialist countries. I admire some of their practices, but have to take issue with some of the ideas here. First of all, there are FAR bigger threats to the US than wealth inequality. Wealth inequality is a SYMPTOM, not a ROOT CAUSE of what is wrong with this country. The decline of stable 2 parent families, a drop in the education levels of our kids, a rise in teen pregnancies, rise in drug use, a rise in violence as entertainment and other factors CAUSE and COMPOUND wealth inequality. Yes, there are people who don't have an opportunity who need help, but with the poorest of the poor, the lack of good parenting and quality education keeps these people at the bottom. With Clinton, Carter and Obama in charge 18 of the past 34 years, it seems a bit silly to pin the problem on Reagan (30 years ago!!). It's time to stop blaming the problem on others and do more to help those who need a break to find one. Throwing money at it is a poor solution.

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