More Money for the Million-a-Day Excellencies
Hereâ€™s something I (and almost every other working journalist) missed (HT Ryan at CJRâ€™s The Audit).
According to government data released Oct. 15, last year the richest 74 Americans increased their wage income by a factor of five.
David Cay Johnston lays it all on in his long post at Tax Notes.
The top category of â€śearnersâ€ť tracked by the Social Security Administration is those making at least $50 million per year (discounting dividends, interest, and other unearned income). In 2008, the average wage for these highly productive people was $91.2 million. Thatâ€™s not even $2 million a week! Poor dears. But in 2009, even though the total number of people in this rarefied club decreased (lazy bitches!), the total take of those remaining shot upward. The average last year: $518.8 million.
Thatâ€™s more than 10 Limbaughs worth!
Itâ€™s also more than $1.4 million in income every day.
Hey, Invisible Overlords, hereâ€™s an interesting fact: If you took last yearâ€™s stated income out of the bank in $100 bills and had your legions of economists pile it up neatly, that stack would stand 1,729 feet high.
If you then jumped off it the world would be improved. (Ha! Just kidding! Please donâ€™t have me killed!)
All this earned income while unemployment skyrockets and median wages fall.
How do they do it?
Well, Johnston has some kind of fancy-pants theory about â€śrent seekingâ€ť and politics. Yawn. Loser.
The winners know better. As Austan Goolsby has observed (and a senior staffer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond confirmed for me personally last week): Itâ€™s skill.
Long hours too, no doubt.