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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Poor Vision

Thomas Sowell provides valuable commentary on the false "vision" about the "poor" in America. The MSM and the self-congratulating do-gooders of the Left see both the rich and the poor as permanent fixtures. However, facts belie their assumptions (from Sowell):

1. Three-quarters of the people in the bottom 20 percent in 1975 were also in the top 40 percent at some point over the next two decades.

2. There are, in fact, more heads of household who are full-time, year-around workers in the top 5 percent than in the bottom 20 percent.

3. In reality, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that only about 2 percent of workers who are 25 years old or older have minimum wage jobs.

The idea of the "poor" or "rich" is silly when discussing tax rates on income. Peoples incomes may vary year to year while their lifestyles and balance sheet wealth markedly differ. The Kennedys since scion Joe have not been rich in comes. They have tended to hold low pay jobs while living lavishly on trust funds. Their yearly income would likely be very small compared to an entrepreneur who works 100 hours per week, takes no vacations, reinvests any profits back into the business and risks his assets in the survival of his business. The Kennedys are supported by their trusts, can "live large" yet rage that those with $200,000 incomes in any particular year do not pay enough taxes. Of course, the Kennedys have largely contributed to making such salaries less valuable in the high cost of living states in the Northeast through their regulations, massive government budgets and high taxes.

Sowell explains:

The very phrase "the poor" suggests that we are talking about some permanent group of people rather than transients in low income brackets who will be in higher income brackets in a few more years.

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