We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Making It to the 1% and Staying There

5th January 2013

Read it.

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?

Hint: No.

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.

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