QuoteOriginally posted by: farmerQuoteOriginally posted by: CrashedMintSo what you're saying is that the figure of $50k average income is incorrect because young households make considerably less and older households make, on average, considerably more. Romney is referring to people at the height of the economic success and those, say 50-59 year old households tend to not make $50k but rather $200k. Am I reading that right?When you talk about the sheer numbers of people who are "middle income" relative to some exclusive group, the first group is huge. So even if some small percentage of "Middle income Americans" ever made $200,000 at age 60, it could still easily account for a larger total number of $200,000-income years, than all the $200,000 years experienced by the top 1% of lifetime earners.I don't have the data. But consider there are 99 times as many people not in the top 1% as in some top 1%. If only some tiny percentage - 1 out of the 99 - manages to make $200,000 for one year each year, then "Middle income Americans" will account for 50% of $200,000 income years!There are just so many poor people. The supply of poor people who can get lucky for one year at age 55 and be poor every other year is very big. It is much easier to make $200,000 years out of lucky poor people, and out of old poor people, than out of consistent rich people.Because it is easier to make $200,000 one year than to do it every year. So more people will achieve the first feat. The idea that it is so hard to get to $200,000, but the people who do it do it over and over rather than there being any turnover, is silly.It is easier to make $200,00 in one year of your life than to do it in two years of your life. It would make sense if you told me that 80% of $200,000 years came from people who only managed to do it once, 15% from people who managed to do it twice, and 5% from people who managed to do it three or more times.A few observations:1) I don't disagree that people who make $200k are more middle class than really rich, because $200k is really not that much. In fact I know several guy with just a few years of job experience who make, or almost make, that kind of money alone. After taxes and a nice place and London expenses they're living a good life, but they are far away from lighting cigars with $100 bills.2) I do disagree that it is likely that families just dip into that ">$200k pouch" once in their lives, simply because $200k is not crazy money, it's not something you make when you're insanely lucky, rather if you get a good degree and work at a respectable company you will probably earn it sooner or later. I don't see why people would suddenly, and in large numbers, fall out of this bracket.3) Your math is bogus: To first artificially define a middle class to set that up against an upper class, then to argue that this middle class is (by definition) larger than the upper class and everybody is equally likely to make it rich, and therefore middle class people are more often rich -- doesn't seem too convincing to me. 4) You are right that the average income does increase with age, but this increase is considerably less than you imagine. Luckily we have new census data on this page 6, table 1:2011 Household income by age of householder15-24 years: $30k25-34 years: $50k35-44 years: $62k45-54 years: $64k55-64 years: $55k65+ years: $33k5) So why would I attack Romney, if at the same time I'm agreeing that $200k is not super-rich: Because 1) probably almost everybody here on this board is a privileged asshole with advanced degrees a high-paying job or some government grant to carry a PhD well into his 30s. Sure, I might bitch that I'm only getting $100k entry level pay, but compared to almost every other person on this planet even half that amount would be completely unattainable. 2) It's stupid to express it the way he did. It gives his opponents ammunition and it either is or seems like a direct slap in the face of exactly the kind of people he needs to win against Obama: Average to low income white bible belt families who are hurt because of the economy.
Last edited by CrashedMint
on September 16th, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.