4. Is budget neutral—funded largely by taxes on the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations: Wages for the top 1% have continued to skyrocket since 1979, while wages for those in the bottom 90% have continued to decrease, as the direct result of policies favoring the wealthy and corporations. It is far overdue to require the top 1% to pay their fair share and stop getting rich off the backs of U.S. workers.
From an email sent by the Economic Policy Institute on the five reasons to pass the Reconciliation Bill.
Budget neutral? Hardly, more like gimmicks and generous assumptions with little regard for the consequences of higher taxes on a few or the long term permanent obligations and liabilities being created.
I love the phrasing above though. Since when did the 1% earn wages or receive most of their compensation in cash for that matter? Getting rich off the backs of U.S. workers? And of course, “fair share.” All this phrasing is reminiscent of a 1950s Soviet politician.
What policies have decreased US workers wages? Since 1979? I wonder if they refer to advances in technology or perhaps the world global economy?
It’s all propaganda of course – even use of the word “wages” – designed to enlist support from those feeling aggrieved and envious and to further the agenda of dependency – and it works because free is good, right?
Let’s see. In 1973, I was 21 years old and working for the defense department, earning about $7,000 a year. In 1979, at age 27, after completing my BBA and MBA at night while working full time, I was now at the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland with an annual salary of $13,500 a year – which put me in the middle quintile of workers.
For a few years in the 00’s, I ended up in the top quintile. However, today, I am back in the middle fifth – but well below the median.
Note that, in 2021 in America, the vast majority of individuals in the top 1% are in their 50’s and 60’s.
My point is that my top earnings years were in my 50’s, once I completed 25 – 30 years of professional experience. That is, I think my earnings history/pattern is somewhat typical, it rose as I got older, completed education, and gained experience. Today, not so much. That pattern was likely consistent with folks who were 25 years older than me, including those who were top earners in 1979.
Bottom line, the top 1% of earners in 1979 are, for the most part, dead. It’s not the same people! They call that economic mobility.
This is all envy and class warfare.
I don’t think your earning pattern is typical at all. Most people will never make it to the middle quintile, let alone the top. Ever. Nor should they. There is no need for most people to get a college education, or even trade school.
We can’t stress this enough: “Anyone can grow up to be president, but everyone can’t.”
Same goes for BBAs and MBAs. There just isn’t enough demand. In my small home town, most people work in one of a dozen or so factories. Their income will not increase except with inflation, if that. They are more or less contented to do that, just like their parents did, or their brother, and/or their children.
These are not defective units. Not lazy. Not dumb. Honest, hard working, God fearing folk. Some may be more ambitious, or lucky, and rise to the middle or top quintile. Most won’t. And we need them, right where they are.
“Anyone can get to the middle or top quintile, but everyone can’t.”
Bernie and I just think these hard working folks should do better than barely hanging on by their fingernails, perpetually at risk of losing everything.
Its not class warfare, its self preservation for the lower income folk, and enlightened self interest for the top quintile.
“… Most people will never make it to the middle quintile, let alone the top. …” Certainly true for some. However, “most”? I disagree. The middle quintile includes 20% of the population, at all times. Sure, there are folks whose parents were in the lower quintiles who never emerge. However, that is not typical. Fact is, America is pretty much middle of the road when it comes to economic mobility. When compared to 24 middle-income and high- income countries, the U.S. ranks 16th in the amount of intergenerational earnings mobility.
Bernie is a big believer in European democratic-socialist concepts. However, economic mobility is not dramatically greater in those countries. For example, in the US, the probability you will end up along with your parents in the bottom quintile of earnings is about 32% – one of every three. In France, it is a range of 29% – 38%, in Italy, 27% – 34%, and in Sweden 27% – 32%. Comparably, the probability of moving from the bottom to the top quintile of earnings in the US ranges from 7.5% – 11.7%. For comparison, in France it is a range of 8.5% – 11%, Italy 10.5%, and Sweden 8.5% – 10.75%.
I can confirm that I count myself among the “hardworking” – as hardworking as anyone. My 50+ years of employment continues today, and many of those years were consistently 12+ hour days, 70+ hour weeks. Other times, I worked less, but went to college / graduate school at night (all of my degrees were not typical, during the day classes). Bernie has no right to claim money from my wallet, as I have paid the required income taxes each and every one of the past 50+ years. So, what I took home, and didn’t spend immediately, doesn’t belong to him.
Same for you. Bernie has no right to take your money or mine and decide who should receive it.
And, when folks like Bernie or President Obama say that I have a duty to society because “I didn’t build that” (meaning roads, bridges, infrastructure, schools, etc.), my response is that I served my time in the military during the Vietnam war, and, just as importantly, while I didn’t build bridges, roads and/or schools, the taxes I paid surely did.
That is, unlkie Bernie and President Obama, I am a net taxpayer, not a net recipient of taxpayer dollars. Perhaps that is one reason why Bernie and President Obama believe what they do … as they gave back only a portion of the taxpayer dollars they received, that is, they didn’t build that.
My bad. Observation bias. “Most” of my relatives and acquaintances. Of nine children, I am the only one with a college degree (not mathematics, obviously). Most of family and friends retire on SS only, and most have SS below the national average.*
But the menial jobs they perform are necessary to the society.
*I wish I could remember the name of the politician years ago who said “Half the hospitals in this country are below average. We habe to do something about that.”
Everyone is being affected by the backdoor tax of inflationary costs of goods and services for everyday living. Inflation is the cruelest tax of all taxes…but at least it’s being “fairly” distributed.