Top Tier

Jeremy, whose sweet disposition conceals a highly subversive sense of humor, told me yesterday about a stunning statistic (cited here, but you'll need to scroll down to find it).

Nineteen percent of all Americans think that they are in the top one percent of income-earners. Another twenty percent think that they'll be there someday. That is to say, almost two-fifths of Americans are deeply over-optimistic about their place on the wealth ladder.

By way of reference, it takes about $400,000 in annual income to break the top one percent. This survey tells us, more or less, that people whose household take is over $80,000 think they're in the top one percent and that people whose households make at least $50,000 expect to make the top one percent eventually.

It's not at all clear to me what the political implications are; I know only that there ought to be some implications from statistics this stunning.