You are on page 1of 1


Nations economic elite

Staff Writer

Staff Artist

The Occupy Wall Street protests, which spread to Dallas and other U.S. cities earlier this month, have turned a spotlight on the nations economic elite. The top 1 percents share of national income has more than doubled in the last 30 years, and the top percentile captured about half of all income growth from 1993 through 2008, according to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. In Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to half of the states 10 largest fortunes.

The top 1 percent

In 2007, the share of pre-tax income that went to the top 1 percent in the nation reached 23.5 percent, the highest since 1928, although it fell in 2008. Those in the group had income of about $368,000 and up in 2008.
Income share of the top 1 percent 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 13 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 00 08

2008: 20.95%

1913: 17.96%

Note: Income data include capital gains. Excluding capital gains, the top 1 percents share was 17.7 percent in 2008.

Texas wealth
Five of the 10 richest people in Texas live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Name
Alice Walton Michael Dell Harold Simmons Andrew Beal Richard Kinder Charles Butt Jeffery Hildebrand Robert Rowling Ray Lee Hunt John Paul DeJoria $9.3 $7 $6.4 $5.7 $5.3 $4.7 $4.3 $4 $15

National wealth
Net worth (in billions)

Fort Worth Austin Dallas Dallas Houston San Antonio Houston Dallas Dallas Austin

Source of wealth
Wal-Mart Dell Investments Banking, real estate Pipelines Supermarkets Oil Investments Oil, real estate Hair products, tequila

The top 1 percent of the U.S. population, with net worth of about $9 million and up, held about 37 percent of the nation's wealth in 2009. The top 20 percent, with $500,000 and up, held nearly 88 percent. The bottom 40 percent had negative net worth.
Top 1 percent Next 2-5 percent

Next 41-100 percent

Next 6-20 percent Next 21-40 percent 10%



Millionaire capitals
Forbes magazine used IRS data to compile a list of millionaire capitals high-dollar communities in which the average income for those making $200,000 or more was $1 million. Your tax return is in this data set if you make at least $200,000 and you have a lot of millionaires as neighbors, wrote Forbes' William Baldwin. NET WORTH Average for tax filers with at least $200,000 in adjusted gross income:
5. Kings Point/ Great Neck, N.Y. $21.8 million 2. Alpine, N.J. $27.5 million 4. Palm Beach, Fla. $23.3 million 8. Preston Hollow $20.9 million 1. Fisher Island, Fla. $57.2 million 9. River Oaks $1.6 million

INCOME Average adjusted gross income for returns with at least $200,000:
2. Purchase, N.Y. $2.2 million 5. Atherton, Calif. $1.9 million 4. Alpine, N.J. $2.1 million 11. Preston Hollow $1.5 million 3. New Vernon, N.J. $2.1 million

3. Medina, Wash. $25.5 million

1. Fisher Island, Fla. $3.2 million

Note: Estimates do not include short-term bank deposits, home equity or retirement accounts SOURCES: The World Top Incomes Database; Edward Wolff, New York University, from the Federal Reserves 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances with projections to 2009 based on changes in housing and stock prices; Forbes

The bottom line

Over the past 30 years, the share of household income going to the well-to-do has risen dramatically. We need to make the workforce more competitive, so people have the skill sets to outcompete the rest of the world. Its not a matter of dragging down high earners. Its a matter of raising up everyone else. Terry Clower, economist, University of North Texas The Great Recession has exacerbated wealth divisions in this country, with the wealth share of the top 1 percent rising from an already huge 34.6 percent in 2007 to 37.1 percent in 2009. Median net worth plunged 36 percent to $65,400, while the bottom 40 percent had negative net worth. Its overly simplistic to say that the nation consists of 1 percent of haves and 99 percent of have-nots. But the Occupy Wall Street protesters bring up a point for consideration: Even before the recession, the economys bounty was increasingly going to those at the top. The current jobs crisis has ravaged the wealth of millions. Brendan Case, staff writer, The Dallas Morning News

Edward Wolff, economist, New York University