[Marxism] Millionaire mullahs

Michael Perelman michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Mon Aug 14 09:50:45 MDT 2006

There is a problem with this statistical analysis.  Imagine that a rich 
kid gets a part-time job.  He falls in the bottom of the distribution of 
income.  Later after he graduates college, he becomes a vice president 
in his dad's business.

Normally, many people tend to move up in income as they gain 
experience.  As they do so within a static system, other younger people 
soon replace them at the bottom.

Looking at the probability of a person moving up is beyond the level of 
his or her parents gives a less optimistic picture.

Sayan Bhattacharyya wrote:
> "A 1992 study done by the U.S. Treasury confirmed [..] [that] [a]fter
> tracking before-tax income for 14,351 taxpayers between 1979 and 1988,
> the Treasury economists found that of the taxpayers in the bottom
> quintile in 1979, only 14.2 percent (or one in seven) were still there
> in 1988. Meanwhile, 20.7 percent had moved to the next higher fifth,
> 25 percent to the middle fifth, 25.3 percent to the second-highest
> fifth, and 14.7 percent to the highest fifth.
> "Thus, a taxpayer in the lowest bracket in 1979 was about as likely to
> be in the highest fifth nine years later as to have stayed in the
> lowest fifth."
>  -- <http://www.hooverdigest.org/981/henderson1.html>
> If this is true, it might explain why voters in the USA don't vote for
> socialist candidates. Given these circumstances, what argument should
> be advanced to US workers to win them to socialism? (Of course, this
> is 2006, not 1992, and things have probably gotten a lot worse now.)


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Chico, CA 95929
fax 530-898-5901

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