then, who exactly comprises the "one percent" so publicly
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.
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
Station/Indianapolis," the homes of 3 of the largest
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
in 2005!" Fair enough. Let's examine more recent data, culled
originally in 2004 but updated in 2007.
We can do better yet. Let's delve
further into the fractals of inequality:
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
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:
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
Some facts to consider:
- Wall Street comprises one-seventh of
- The 1% controls 39% of wealth globally
- Occupy Wall Street demonizes one
industry alone for the entire "greed and corruption of the 1%"
Food for thought. Knowledge is power.
Created: October 23, 2011 |
| Updated: November 27, 2011