You May Be In the Top 1 Percent of the World

I have a confession to make.

If you’re a fan of Occupy Wall Street, I hope you’ll cut me some slack, once you learn of my status.

Here goes (takes a deep breath):

I’m in the top 1 percent of income earners – of the world.

Yes, we’re talking about the big leagues, here. When I set my sights on something, I aim for the world. None of this USA-only stuff.

I bet you’re thinking, “Tax the heck out of him.”

But actually, you may be a 1 percenter, too.

You definitely are, if you take into account all the people who’ve ever lived.

For the scoop, click here.


LiveScience Should Examine the Science of Envy, Using Itself as a Research Subject

Here’s a comment I wrote in response to a LiveScience article titled “5 Facts about the Wealthiest 1 Percent”:

“Hey LiveScience, have you ever thought about writing an article about the science of envy?

For manifestations of envy, you could point to this very article. It plays on people’s envy. It clearly implies and assumes that rich people getting richer is an inherently bad thing. But what if the rich get richer while the lower-income groups get richer as well (which by and large was happening until the Obama years)? That’s a good thing. Only the envious would think it’s a bad thing. And envy is an immature and destructive emotion; one should not base public policy on it.

And by the way, it is probably true that wealth inequality is rising. But wealth inequality is mainly a function of inequality of education. Our educational system is breaking down and our dropout rate is high, resulting in millions of uneducated, unemployable, and low-income people. And our lax immigration policies are resulting in millions upon millions of uneducated people arriving here from the third world who can’t even speak English. Do you expect them to be instantly rich or middle-class as soon as they cross the border? Of course not.

So you should have discussed the main factor that is causing rising income inequality, namely inequality of skill levels.

The ironic thing is that people on the left wail the loudest about inequality, yet it is they, through their support of near-open borders, of education-stifling teachers’ unions, and of job-destroying anti-business policies that give rise to worsening inequality in the first place.

Meantime, hey Natalie Wolchover (author of the article). I’m curious. Are you an envier? From the tone of this article, it appears so.”

And here’s a comment I posted in response to another LiveScience article titled, “Who Has the Money and Power?”

“Hey LiveScience, you should run an article on the science of envy. For manifestations thereof, you could point to your own articles such as this one, which really play on people’s sense of envy. The material here conveys the false impression that the rich are sinister and conspiring to hold the rest of us down. The graphs are really biased, too. Did you know that the top 1 percent’s income has actually substantially declined during the last few years, during the anemic economy? Nah – that wouldn’t jibe with the agenda you want to promote.

It’s also telling that in your race chart, you left out Asians, who have the highest income and net worth. I guess that would have been politically incorrect, eh? After all, you want to make it look like the evil white folks have all the money and power. Not that there’s anything wrong with Asians being the wealthiest race — they should be admired for that.”

Top 1 Percent Demonization, and Nobel Prize Devaluation

For an account of one of the most clear-cut cases of demagoguery in recent times, click here.  The demagogue scapegoats and demonizes a group of people without providing any evidence whatsoever. He doesn’t just say that what they’re doing is resulting in bad things (which isn’t happening). He indicates that they fully intend to do the bad things. Tragically, the demagogue is a Nobel Prize recipient – named Joseph Stiglitz.

That tells you something about the caliber of certain Nobel Prize recipients these days. In other words, when you hear that someone is a Nobel Prize recipient, don’t ooh and ahh. Instead, say, “yea, so?”