October 1, 2009
According to Forbes:
America’s super rich are getting poorer. For only the fifth time since 1982, the collective net worth of The Forbes 400, our annual tally of the nation’s richest people, has declined, falling $300 billion in the past 12 months from $1.57 trillion to $1.27 trillion.
Faltering capital markets and real estate prices, along with divorce and fraud, pushed the fortunes of 314 members down and drove 32 plutocrats off the rankings.
Click here to view the complete list.
September 12, 2009
From the Wall Street Journal:
The deepest downturn in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression may finally shrink the gap between the very best-off Americans and everyone else.
If so, it won’t be by lifting up the bottom. It will be by pulling down the top.
Over the past 30 years, chief executives, Wall Street bankers and traders, law-firm partners and such amassed ever-greater incomes, while the incomes of factory workers, teachers, office managers and others in the middle grew much more slowly. In 2007, the top 1% of U.S. families accounted for 23.5% of all personal income in the U.S., according to economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics. That was a level not seen since the Roaring Twenties.
The top 1%’s share appears to be falling fast. Mr. Saez and other economists expect income going to the top 1% of taxpayers — currently, those with about $400,000 a year — will drop to somewhere between 15% and 19% of all income by 2010. That still would leave income distribution more top-heavy in the U.S. than in many other countries.
September 6, 2009
Earlier this week, The Economist released a report card on “child welfare in rich countries.” The report points out that governments often believe that the path to societal happiness lies with increased spending on the welfare of children. But according to an OECD report, this has not been the case. OECD researchers ranked countries based on six categories: material well-being, housing and environment, educational well-being, health and safety, risky behavior and quality of school life. According to the report, “Government spending per child varies a lot, as do outcomes; but the correlation is not strong.”
According to The Economist,
No country gets it all right, though some, like the Nordic ones, do better in general than others, notably America. America spends more than the average of $126,000 per child (excluding health) but its children fare worse than their European peers in areas like health, education and living standard, in part because the poorest American children are considerably more likely than are their European counterparts to stay poor.
July 15, 2009
From the Club for Growth Blog:
Don Luskin caught this lead paragraph in the New York Times [emphasis mine]:
House Democrats will ask the wealthiest Americans to help pay for overhauling the health care system with a $550 billion income tax increase, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee said Friday.
Stop the sugar coating. The Democrats will not “ask” anybody. They will demand. Force. Require. Subject to punishment.