A quantitative analysis.

Well then, who exactly comprises the "one percent" so publicly vilified?

Since we're talking numbers, they deserve a hard look. Dave Gilson, senior staff at the non-profit social justice publication Mother Jones, has pulled data to make some interesting charts.
Who the 1% actually are: executives, managers, financiers, medical staff, lawyers, and more.

Any surprise? Less than one of every seven members of the uppermost crust work in finance. Medicine has twice the number law does. Perhaps the protests should be "Occupy Boardrooms," to protest the fat-cattery rampant in multinational corporations. Better yet, "Occupy New Brunswick/Whitehouse Station/Indianapolis," the homes of 3 of the largest pharmaceutical companies. And where is the "Occupy Big Law" movement?

"Ah," but the keen-eyed cynic shouts, "that data is from the pre-crisis, pre-bailout era, drafted from a
research paper in 2005!" Fair enough. Let's examine more recent data, culled originally in 2004 but updated in 2007.
Percentages of taxpayers in each industry since 1979.

We can do better yet. Let's delve further into the fractals of inequality:
Non-finance managers are 41% of the 0.1%!?

Perusing the top tenth of the top percentile, it clearly boils down to executive and leadership roles, comprising nearly half. Professionals in the financial services only represent one fifth of that body; together, the two barely tip the scale past 50%. From the Kaplan and Rauh paper, the "findings suggest that the incomes of executives, managers, supervisors, and financial professionals can account for 60 percent of the increase in the share of national income going to the top percentile of the income distribution between 1979 and 2005."

A caveat: the data demonstrates the figure listed as “Not working or deceased” is
more than double that of “arts, media, sports.” In short, for every elite athlete sweating to carve a niche for themselves at the pinnacle of the income pyramid, two trust fund babies jet their way around the globe.

Gilson's charts also show who owns what:

What the 1% owns.
Though this is exclusively U.S. data, the massive wealth disparity it depicts is far from an American problem alone. The Wall Street Journal noted the most recent Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse, writing, "The world’s millionaires and billionaires now control 38.5% of the world’s wealth ... the 29.7 million people in the world with household net worths of $1 million (representing less than 1% of the world’s population) control about $89 trillion of the world’s wealth.  That’s up from a share of 35.6% in 2010, and their wealth increased by about $20 trillion, according [to] Credit Suisse. The wealth of the millionaires grew 29% — about twice as fast as the wealth in the world as a whole." It's good to be king.


Some facts to consider:

Food for thought. Knowledge is power.

Created: October 23, 2011  |  Index  |  Updated: November 27, 2011