This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Occupy Wall Street Actually in the 1%

NEW YORK( TheStreet)-- Occupy Wall Street protesters may not like the so-called 1%. But they will be surprised to learn that they rank pretty close to the top when looking at data on world income distribution.

There have been plenty of figures in recent weeks on the widening income inequality between the haves and the have-nots in the U.S. over the last few decades. The numbers are indeed staggering.

According to the Congressional Budget Office's latest report, income grew by 60% between 1979 and 2007 but it did not grow evenly. Incomes at the poorest fifth grew 18%, while the richest fifth saw incomes surge 65%. The top percentile saw incomes jump 275%.

While on the subject of income inequality, why not look at global income distribution as well? According to an article that appeared in The New York Times earlier this year, America is still a very wealthy country.

The article points to some interesting data in a book called the Haves and the Have-Nots by World Bank Economist Branko Milanovic. Apparently, a typical person in the bottom 5% of America's income distribution, those who probably make $6,700 a year, is richer than 68% of the world's population.

Even more stunning is a chart that shows that America's poorest 5% are richer than India's richest 5%.

The data adjusts for the cost of living differences in different countries.

The book makes the point that your lifetime income is, in the final analysis, dependent upon where you are born.

This isn't to suggest that protesters have no reason to complain. What also matters is "relative poverty" -- the way individuals perceive their position in a society. On that score, measured by the Gini coefficient, the U.S. ranks pretty poorly compared with developed peers and even developing nations such as India and Pakistan.

That kind of inequality is bound to breed discontent.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj from New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $126.44 0.00%
FB $87.28 0.00%
GOOG $523.40 0.00%
TSLA $280.02 0.00%
YHOO $39.38 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs