5th January 2013
Lurking not far beneath the surface in the uproar over the 1% versus the 99% is the notion that once an American makes it to the top he or she is very likely to stay there.
But is that so?
Of those who were in the top 1% in 1987 (and could be found in 2007 and had some income in 2007), 24% were in the top 1% in 2007 and another 37% were on slightly lower rungs but still in the top 5%.
So 75% had dropped out of the top 1%.
Among people ages 15 years and 18 years in 1987 who showed up as dependents of taxpayers in the top 1%, about 14% were in the top 1% as adults in 2007 and another 20% didn’t make it to the tip top but were still in the top 5%.
So two-thirds of people whose parents were in the top 1% didn’t make it as adults.