Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why John Edwards Two Americas is Dumb

I do agree that inequality is a problem. But the facts have to be kept straight. A quote I just saw in Time magazine from John Edwards Two Americas speech highlights why he's dumb. Edwards: "One America does the work while another Ameirca reaps the reward... One America pays the taxes while another America gets the tax breaks."

Both of these are just diametrically wrong. The bottom quintile pays only 5% of their income in taxes (or 1.1% of total tax receipts), while the top quintile pays 27% of their income (2/3 of total tax receipts).

Those in the bottom quintile account for only 4% of total hours worked (say maybe 10 hours a week). Those in the top quintile account for 1/3 of total hours worked (at say 60 hours per week).

Inequality does suck, but it is the top quintile paying the taxes, and it is the top quintile doing all the work.
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