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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 5, 2007 / 25 Kislev 5768

Income mobility

By Walter Williams


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Listening to people like Lou Dobbs, John Edwards and Mike Huckabee lamenting the plight of America's middle class and poor, you'd have to conclude that things are going to hell in a handbasket. According to them, there's wage stagnation, while the rich are getting richer and the poor becoming poorer. There are a couple of updates that tell quite a different story.


The Nov. 13 Wall Street Journal editorial "Movin' On Up" reports on a recent U.S. Treasury study of income tax returns from 1996 and 2005. The study tracks what happened to tax filers 25 years of age and up during this 10-year period. Controlling for inflation, nearly 58 percent of the poorest income group in 1996 moved to a higher income group by 2005. Twenty-six percent of them achieved middle or upper-middle class income, and over 5 percent made it into the highest income group.


Over the decade, the inflation-adjusted median income of all tax filers rose by 24 percent. As such, it refutes Dobbs-Edwards-Huckabee claims about stagnant incomes. In fact, only one income group experienced a decline in real income. That was the richest one percent, who saw an income drop of nearly 26 percent over the 10-year period. The editors explain that these people might have been rich for a few years, had some capital gains, or could not stand up to the competition with new entrepreneurs and wealth creators.


The U.S. Treasury study confirms previous studies dating back to the 1960s, concluding, "The basic finding of this analysis is that relative income mobility is approximately the same in the last 10 years as it was in the previous decade." As such, it points to a uniquely American feature: Just because you know where a person ended up in life doesn't mean you can be sure about where he started. Most of today's higher income and wealthy did not start out that way.


What about claims of a disappearing middle class? Let's do some detective work. Controlling for inflation, in 1967, 8 percent of households had an annual income of $75,000 and up; in 2003, more than 26 percent did. In 1967, 17 percent of households had a $50,000 to $75,000 income; in 2003, it was 18 percent. In 1967, 22 percent of households were in the $35,000 to $50,000 income group; by 2003, it had fallen to 15 percent. During the same period, the $15,000 to $35,000 category fell from 31 percent to 25 percent, and the under $15,000 category fell from 21 percent to 16 percent. The only reasonable conclusion from this evidence is that if the middle class is disappearing, it's doing so by swelling the ranks of the upper classes.


What about the concentration of wealth? In 1918, John D. Rockefeller's fortune accounted for more than half of one percent of total private wealth. To compile the same half of one percent of the private wealth in the United States today, you'd have to combine the fortunes of Microsoft's Bill Gates ($53 billion) and Paul Allen ($16 billion), Oracle's Larry Ellison ($19 billion), and a third of Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett's $46 billion. In 1920, America's richest one percent held about 40 percent of private wealth; by 1980, the private wealth held by the richest one percent fell to about 20 percent and has remained stable at that level since.


Demagogues duping Americans about stagnant and declining income give politicians justification to raise taxes and place regulatory obstacles in the path of risk-taking, productivity and hard work that will impede the enviable income mobility that has become a part of American tradition. Raising taxes on capital formation reduces the rate of capital formation. Raising taxes on income reduces incentives to work. Unfortunately, because so many Americans buy into the politics of envy, politicians have a leg up in enacting measures that cripple economic growth.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate.

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