.01 percent of Americans making a lot of money

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    March 8, 2014 11:37 p.m.

    I'm glad that some are doing well. I am hoping that most of us can do better. I know this, that the harder we work, the more lucky we will be. Government remains our biggest problem.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    "From each according to his ability,
    to each according to his need."


    We should all have, sufficent for our needs.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    March 3, 2014 10:03 p.m.

    This coveting accusations is ridiculous.

    If I'm out of town and I order my kids a pizza does the one that answers the door own the pizza? They're fighting and taped off the house into sections and the strongest most forceful one claims to own the door. Are the hungry other children coveting when they expect some of the pizza?

    Read the Bible, the .01% or the 1% don't own nor deserve 50% of God's Earthly creation. The only valid Biblical or doctrinal reason to gather more wealth than you need, is so you can give it away to others that can't gather for themselves. That is why it's hard for a rich man to get into heaven.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    As noted by Winston Churchill, capitalism is the worst possible economic system, except for all others. Marx predicted the collapse of capitalism which is unlikely unless people are beaten into submission and give up their ambition which has happened to many in Russia. However, Marx was not smart enough to predict the collapse of Marxism, which has happened many times, i.e. USSR, China, Venezuela, Eastern Europe. Marxism only survives in North Korea and Cuba, which is not a great endorsement.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    March 2, 2014 6:38 p.m.

    Some of the commentators here, in their attempt to justify the obscene and immoral distribution of nearly all wealth to the top 0.01%, illustrate well the following quote:

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    Look, if you all don't care about social justice, whatever. But at least look at the economic harm of increasing income inequality. The worst years for income inequality in this nation the past century the past century were 1928 and 2007. What happened immediately after those years? Great Depression. Great Recession. Coincidence? Consider that when wealth is increasingly concentrated at the top that means there's less for the poor and middle class to spend and well... businesses thrive much better when they have customers able to buy their goods and services and that the poor and middle class turn their money around to put back into the economy much faster than the wealthy do.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    This illustrates what I try to tell people about the FANTASTICALLY top heavy distribution of wealth in the United States, which defies all common understanding. Marx predicted this and it heralds the end of capitalism. Bet on it!

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:01 a.m.


    Truth be told,
    God HAS blessed America with "enough and to spare",

    The sinister evil problem is the wealth is NOT being reditributed by some of his children.
    The opposite of redistribution is -- GREED.

    BTW --
    We've been warned about this happening in America --
    this is the 0.01%, and they are the Gadianton Robbers,
    this is Master Mahon economics 101.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:46 p.m.


    But I am talking about constant dollars and in comparison to the average person. So the passage of time alone does not explain the difference. CEOs in the 60s and 70s earned multiples of their average worker pay similar to what Japanese and European companies do today. US companies are far ahead in the multiple (last time I checked) and are way ahead of their international counterparts.

    Corporate performance is not the issue (or Toyota and Volkswagen would not be doing so well vs. their American peers). And studies of CEO pay vs. corporate performance do not show a high correlation. If there was a high correlation, then there would be few dissenting voices on the issue of CEO pay. The lack thereof is one of the reasons there is so much dissent here.

    As to athletes - the athletes of yesteryear will always be a step or two behind those of the present. And whenever we make that remark it will be true. But the professionals of several decades ago did not make a little less than today - they made a LOT less (in constant dollars). Why if their talents were (in relative terms) still so high?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    Twin Lights

    Why so much more today? I think simply because they can get it. It is easy to see why an athlete can command a lot. His performance is easily determined watching them. The better performance the better the pay. However, I suspect that a CEO, who might be the Lebron James or Michael Jordan of his profession is not so easily recognized by the public. Just like an athlete who helps make millions/billions for the professional team, a CEO who does the same for a company or corporation is just as valuable to the company, as well as to the many people employed by said company. The pay numbers have skyrocketed yes, but remember, our country now talks of trillions of dollars when discussing budgets, GDP, debt, ect. There is not a person in America, or the world for that matter that comes anywhere close to being a "trillionaire". About the closest we have is Bill Gates at something like 50 billion. He'll need another 950 Billion to become a trillionaire. And I remember when our national debt was less than 1 trillion. Just my thoughts.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 17, 2014 3:22 p.m.


    Few companies making a million bucks pay a third to Uncle Sam. I have worked for corporations that make billions and pay less than 5%. Great attorneys and use of the tax laws.

    And many are outraged by what athletes make. But they have the same argument as the CEOs - we generate profit (though I think the athletes have a more direct argument there).

    Your example of a small business person mortgaging their house to start a business is fine - but they are not the CEOs folks are talking about. The CEOs are simply high rent employees.

    Note that back in the 60s and 70s we paid both CEOs and athletes comparatively less than we do today. We had fine CEOs and athletes and American companies were doing well. Why so much more today?

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Saying that you are only paying 15% on capital gains is a little misleading. If I own a company and it has $1 million in profit, the company pays a corporate tax of $350, 000. I then get $650, 000 and get to pay tax at 15% on that - $97, 500. So out of a
    $1 million profit, uncle same gets $447, 000. That does not count what the state takes. (It also dors not help me if I lose money the fillowing year.)

    What is interesting is that everyone criticizes CEO pay, but noone is outraged by a guy gets twice as much for dribbling a ball. If you are unhappy with what you make, mortgage your house, sign a promissory noye for $250, 000 and work 60 plus per week to build your own company while your employees want a share of the profits but not the loses. Otherwise, stop complaining about what other people make.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    So, ever wonder why the stock market seems to be doing rather well, all the while the basic American economy is still weak? If the article is true, it explains a lot. The rich are not sticking their money in a mattress and holding onto it. They INVEST it. With some degree of risk I might add. That invested money is put back into the economy thru business that benefit from the stocks. So the question might be, why are the businesses holding onto money and not investing in new workers and capital? Well, that brings me to how much they don't trust the current DC leadership and the uncertainty of big government on their business. Obamacare for instance. And to conclude, that is why I think the American economy will continue to grow at a snails pace until a Congress and President are in DC that American business sees as business friendly, rather than an opponent of big business, which is what many perceive about Democrats in general and Obama in particular.

  • 14Aggie North Logan, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    @vern001, there's a reason that gains on investment are taxed at a rate that is so much lower, the economy NEEDS people who have the capability to invest. Our employers need it to keep us in jobs, to create new jobs, to innovate new products and remain competitive, and to grow. Without the lower tax rate on investment gains, your 401k accounts and portfolios don't grow at the same rate and by comparison, YOU lose money for YOUR retirement. Just make sure you know what you're really saying when you oppose lower taxes on investment earnings!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:38 p.m.

    maverick - If someone is worth more than they are being paid, another company(with a greedy CEO) will be willing to hire them and pay them more. Want to know why?

    Because that greedy CEO wants to make more money.

    If no greedy CEO wants to pay someone more than they are making - know why?

    They aren't worth any more.

    Deal with it.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:29 p.m.


    "vern001 - Do you understand that the corporation has already paid taxes on the same money? That without incentive to invest in companies, the money would flow elsewhere?"

    Don't try using logic and reason to argue anything. Liberals want to cry when the average taxpayer is paying a few thousand in federal income taxes and the .1% are paying tens of millions.

    Only a lazy person would expect the rich to do ever more, when they're not using more govt resources than you and I yet are paying millions upon millions compared to our thousands.

    The govt does NOT become more expensive just because the rich are rich. Barack would not spend less money if the rich were less rich.

    So to try and suggest because someone is rich they should foot the bill for barack's spending is nonsense.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:27 p.m.


    Rich people pay millions in taxes. You and I do not. That means the rich are paying for the govt resources they use AND the govt resources you and I use.

    Lets not be lazy and suggest the rich pay even more.

    You're free to invest in stocks, just like they do. That's such a non-issue its not even funny.

    If you aren't investing in stocks, you really should. And if you're not, that's no one's problem but yours. Its certainly not a rich person's responsibility.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 6:01 p.m.


    Exactly how are you not coveting what another has?

    It seems criticism of the rich is all comparing and coveting not about what one actually has and actually earned.

    The criticism all about claiming they are entitled to some degree or another or by some measurement.

    Prove you are worth more than you are paid not that you are entitled to more (which you are not).

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    vern001 - Do you understand that the corporation has already paid taxes on the same money? That without incentive to invest in companies, the money would flow elsewhere?

  • Richard Larson Galt, CA
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    Then there are those of us
    that earned the old fashioned way....

    !!! INHERITANCE !!!

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    vern and DVD don't you know you can't point this things out, if you do you are envious and picking on the poor rich people? Shame on you, we should be grateful for all that they do for us.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Exactly why we need to raise taxes, put caps on how much CEOs can make, and tie the workers' compensation with profits. If the CEO has enough money to triple his pay then he darn well has enough money to give his workers a raise.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Learning how to become super-rich isn't a problem with me. It's the use of financial and political power to prevent people from getting out of poverty that is a problem with me, even if that result is an accident of other policies.

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    I highly recommend reading the original article at The Atlantic. Yes, the very rich earned their money. But, because most of their money comes from stocks, not income, it is taxed at a much lower rate than what the average person makes. THAT is why they are so much richer than the rest of us! When you make $20 million a year and you only pay 15% in capital gains, yeah, you're going to get much richer than someone who makes $100,000 and pays 28%.

    Wealth allows the Top 0.01% to manipulate the tax system in their favor. That's not "working hard and earning money." That's corruption.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:43 a.m.


    Keep score.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    You could do the same statistical trick with any group of anything and show that the extreme end is different from the rest. You didn't expect a different result, did you?

    So what if someone is very rich? They don't take anything away from me. They earned it, and I wish I were like them.

    It's none of your business what they do with their money, either. But in reality, look how many billions of dollars the super-rich donate every year, and try to complain about that.

  • Northwest Reader Vancouver, WA
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:40 a.m.


    What does it matter what they do with it? Should they give the wealth to you? Are you better than they are?

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    At that level of wealth, what's the point? What are they going to do with it?