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Mapping The Divergence Of America's Wealth: Median Income In Newport Beach, CA Is $123,958; In Reading, PA: $28,098

Tyler Durden's picture


Portfolio has prepared a useful interactive map highlighting America's increasing split between the haves and the have nots based on city of residence. Case in point: the wealthiest city in the US according to Portfolio, Newport Beach, has more than a quarter of its residentshouseholds making over $200,000. On the other end of the spectrum is Reading, PA, whose 80,000 households  have an average per capita income of $14,120 (of half the national
average), and none makes over $200,000. And a stab at New Yorkers - with a median household income of just $31,245, and "just" 6.9% of households making $200,000, Mike Bloomberg's city ranks a distant 60th in the list of wealthiest cities.

Some other characteristics of uberwealthy Newport Beach, which is home to $1+ trillion bond manager PIMCO, situated conveniently about 13.5 seconds away from the Newport Beach Country Club: 

  • Newport Beach’s per capita income (PCI) of $86,586 easily leads
    the 420 U.S. communities with populations above 75,000, and it triples
    the national PCI of $27,589. (Per capita income is the average amount
    of money earned by each resident of a community in a given year.)
  • More
    than a quarter of Newport Beach’s households (28.6 percent, to be
    exact) have annual incomes of more than $200,000. Just two other cities
    in the study group are above 17 percent—Newton, Massachusetts, and
    Pleasanton, California—though neither does any better than 24 percent.
  • The
    median value for homes in Newport Beach exceeds $1 million. Another
    California city, Santa Barbara, is the only other place analyzed by that can make that claim. (A median is a
    midpoint, with half of all homes being worth more and half worth less.)

One thing is certain: if you live in any of the 5 poorest cities, which in addition to Reading include Camden, New Jersey; Flint,
Michigan; Brownsville, Texas; and Gary, Indiana (and Detroit, which is sixth from the bottom), the last thing you care about it the prevailing home price around Fashion Island, or level of the S&P -  you are likely much more concerned about the amount of ammunition in your garage. 

Full interactive presentation at and for those who just want the pdf listing, see attached.






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Sat, 02/27/2010 - 22:29 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:27 | Link to Comment junkyard dog
junkyard dog's picture

Anon, your taking this post a little too personal.

We are talking about median income. Basically, 1/2 the residents make more than $ 123,000, 1/2 make less. It does not say how much more or how much less. So, if there are 10,000 residents in your town, 5000 make more than 123K and 5000 make less.

I bet less than 200 make more than 150K, and, less than 300 make under 27K.

You cannot compare median incomes of a city to another city without stratifying the population of the listed cities into a minimum of a 20 stratification. Then you must stratify the populations in the stratification.

For example, I live in Gainesville, Florida. The list shows a population of 120,849. It does not tell you that 49,000 of the people living there are students of the U of F,  spouses and kids. Every 39 months this portion of the population turns over. They have very little income if any at all during that period, but they are in the numbers for this post.

You can only compare your city to similar cities.

The post is nonsense. Your comment makes it even more nonsensical.

 It is called chartporn for a reason.


Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:53 | Link to Comment Spiro
Spiro's picture

That hook is set deep.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:25 | Link to Comment Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

In case you're curious, it's a line from The Big Lebowski.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 09:32 | Link to Comment wackyquacker
wackyquacker's picture

there's lies, damned lies, and then there's the junkyard dawg

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 10:13 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 18:20 | Link to Comment Yardfarmer
Yardfarmer's picture

Economic inequality and the myth of Reagan trickle down logic are shown by new data from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston . The report noted: "What has been missing from the public debate over the labor market crisis is an honest and detailed analysis of which American workers have been most adversely affected by the deep deterioration in labor markets." The researchers found a correlation between household income and unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2009: Look carefully at these numbers and see how unemployment rises as income drops:
$150,000 or more, 3.2 percent

$100,000 to 149,999, 8 percent
$75,000 to $99,999, 5 percent
$60,000 to $75,000, 6.4 percent
$50,000 to $59,000, 7.8 percent
$40,000 to $49,000, 9 percent
$30,000 to $39,999, 12.2 percent
$20,000 to $29,999, 19.7 percent
$12,500 to $20,000, 19.1 percent
$12,499 or less, 30.8 percent
Ten times worse unemployment in the lowest class than in the highest class! Truly amazing and disheartening, don't you think? And you can also infer that in some hard hit geographical areas the poorest people and people of color are being even more adversely impacted. And don't think for a minute that things have really improved in 2010.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 21:56 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:30 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

The Dude abides.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:24 | Link to Comment Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

I'm sorry, I wasn't listening.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:38 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:33 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 15:16 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 08:02 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 09:14 | Link to Comment blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

I'll second the motion. Please explain how members of the Ocean Reef Club( a housing community on Key Largo Florida where you have to have a net wealth of 60 million to even apply) have the despicable nerve to take the "green car for clunkers promotion" and buy $8,365.00 golf carts with the credit!!! ONE HUNDRED of them to boot, and don't you know those folks in Reading PA will be getting a ride but one a hard pole not a golf cart. How can they do this? well, it a matter of power isn't it... who will stop such behavior, the people in Reading, Obama, Jonh Bonner, John McCain, or how about Sara? Or, how about all these CEO and executives who take a part of their "PAY" as stock or delayed payments so they can avoid Social Security and Mecdicare taxes not to mention the 30% vs 15% ordinary income tax. Level playing field, not a chance and never will be. The world observed and moved on....

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 08:44 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 02/27/2010 - 22:55 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

this touches on one of the structural problems with capitalism/free markets (dating from the mid seventeenth century and the agricultural revolution):  it makes the rich richer/the poor poorer and since only the poor can buy the products made by the rich in sufficient quantity to support the producers, the system has a bias to cyclical deflationary depressions.

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 23:05 | Link to Comment zerofaith
zerofaith's picture

free markets? haha at best the US economy is mixed.

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 23:09 | Link to Comment Judge
Judge's picture

Actually, it doesn't.  It points out how increasing gov't size and interference in the market can stifle progess and upward mobility.

Prior to the 60's, we had a very upwardly mobile society for the previous 150 years...  the fastest rising middle class were blacks for example.  Since the 60's the upward progression slowed and has almost come to a halt.  We now have 5th and 6th generations on welfare, with no hope or ambition of leaving the system.

It's not capitalism that is the problem, it's the creeping socialism - which has failed everywhere it's been tried.  We've seen the labs - perfect labs - set up after WWII.  China/Tawain, E/W Germany, N/S Korea.  Each lab had the same manufacturing capability, equally educated population and natural resources.  The only difference in each lab was one chose a centrally controlled economy and one chose a free market/capitalist economy.

In each lab, there is no argument - one system delivered better prosperity for the average citizen, better healthcare and more freedom.  It is no contest.

But libs are determined to repeat the same problems over and over.





Sat, 02/27/2010 - 23:35 | Link to Comment Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

Facts are stubborn things. If you think that "prior to 1960s" were the heydays of government NON-interference in the economy, you might want to take a look at the marginal income tax rates on top incomes in the 1950s, 1940s and the 1930s. The data is conveniently compiled here 90%+ tax on top income - now THAT was a big equalizer. Not capitalism. On the other hand, before 1930s (i.e., before the Great Depression demonstrated what a pile of shit laizzes faire capitalism was), income disparity was something like what we have today if not worse.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:10 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:58 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 02:15 | Link to Comment Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

I neither endorsed nor denounced the high tax levels of yore in my post. I merely pointed out that beliefs that (i) government's excessive meddling in the economy led to the income disparity that we see today and (ii) the alleged upward mobility of the pre 1960s occurred in the absence of such meddling are both completely and utterly divorced from reality.

As for what awaits us in the future - I agree that higher taxes are inevitable, with the only question being when. I disagree that it will necessarily mean a lack of prosperous future or economic growth. U.S. did not do so badly before 1980s in terms of either overall growth or growth of real wages and real prosperity, all in a regime of basically confiscatory top income tax rates. 

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 07:29 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:57 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 19:44 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 02:53 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:38 | Link to Comment Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

That's a Glen Beck talking point, almost verbatim. I don't take heed economic advice from an anti-government crusader who's sole education consists of books proudly borrowed from a PUBLIC library. 

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 03:40 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 08:39 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:58 | Link to Comment Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

That last statement of yours - that income tax rates have no redistributive effect - makes your entire post a bit vacuous. If your point is about a collections and enforcement regime, that's a practical point and one that can obviously be addressed with varying degrees of success by changing the enforcement regime. 

If your point is more a general principle, then take that argument a bit futher and you'll end up at a point where government activity of any kind has no effect.

Also, I the link I posted has not just the top marginal rates, but all income tax brackets. They were higher almost accross the board, and it's not just people who make $77m in today's money who were affected. In 1940, those making over $250,000 ($3.85m in today's money by your calculation) paid 66% marginal rate - which would be quite a hit on today's bankers salaries. And in 1942 the top marginal rate of 81% affected incomes over a mere $200,000.  If that doesn't have an effect on wealth distribution, I don't know what will!

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:34 | Link to Comment Judge
Judge's picture

Facts aren't stubborn, people are, especially those who won't read or who can't comprehend.  No where do I describe that as the first time there was gov't interference.  I simply addressed it as the start of the "Great State" welfare mentality.  It's when Medicare/Medicaid and most social welfare programs got started.

I also never stated there wasn't disparity - but if you look at the facts, the 'disparity' was due to new immigrants.  By the second or third generation most immigrants/poor had moved up a social class or two.  Again, before the 60's there was great upward mobility - and it came to a grinding halt. I was simply pointing out why - now, for the first time in our nations history - we have 4th and 5th generations being raised on welfare.

The facts don't lie.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:06 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 16:23 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Free markets do NOT EXIST, so long as there are money printing monopoly central banks. Like it or not, they control 1/2 of the component of ever transaction that takes place. This is significant. Free markets are not perfect, but are more egalitarian than the command economy, where it's welfare for the oligarchs.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:47 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:32 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 22:51 | Link to Comment Lou629
Lou629's picture

"I have rarely seen a place within the continental U.S. that was as dysfunctional as Reading."

+1, but based on my own personal experience with the place, i'd express it a little differently:

I have never seen a place within the continental U.S. that is as dysfunctional as Reading. 

There simply isn't anywhere else within the US that is as dysfunctional as berks county Pa. in general, and Reading in particular.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 11:08 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:55 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 16:31 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

As long as the Fed wields the power that it does....EVERYTHING is trickle down.

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 22:56 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 02/27/2010 - 22:56 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 02/27/2010 - 23:00 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

DOONESBURY  by Garry Trudeau | February 27-28 funnies







Commencement speaker at alma mater: ALWAYS HOLD ON TO YOUR VALUES!

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 23:06 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

I'm surprised given the state of economy in California how many CA cities they have in top 100, top 50. Besides a few outliers like Helmet and Merced, even some Cali cities I think of armpits are still ranked as high if not higher than my local Mpls, St. Paul, MN cities, which seem reasonably solid, if not great right now. I guess Cali real estate, while even now after crash being certainly far from reasonably affordable, does reflect Cali incomes more than I realized. Among all the doom a gloom of Cali talk, towns like SF, Mountain View, LA are still doing pretty well in the national and international scheme of things. 

But man, the rust belt is rusty.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:05 | Link to Comment velobabe
velobabe's picture

nice to see you again, you little muttface

local st. paul, got your time zone now, central.

all this is just bs WMD weapons of mass distraction.

phuck these rich communities i come from the richest and it isn't even listed.

aspen colorado, capital of the white collar crime mafia elite.

ZH i think you are throwing red meat to the lions

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:00 | Link to Comment 35Pete
35Pete's picture

Palm Beach FL is 30 miles north. It's not on the list. 

In Palm Beach, they call banking VP's "the help". 

This study doesn't add up. 

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 05:10 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 15:03 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

velobabe...think I've mentioned my no-coast locale a number of times, but flattered you care about the origins of a midwest mutt like me...

being from aspen would piss me off too....seems like a very fake suburb of LA. I know someone that lives around there and she told me all the rich/celeb guys have a second trophy wife, and even tho said trophy wife is chosen for being a young beauty/model type, the guys have their woman cherried out like custom additions to a new luxury car model, send her in for all kinds of cosmetic surgery... 

agree about the limitations of this articles data, as many other comments detail also, however, it  does show some interesting general trends, some of which are counter intuitive.

and yes, as other commentators note, MSP is middle of road, but a few years ago I heard 25 percent of our mortgages were interest only...not a good sign when a "non-bubble" state had that much non-sense going on...we're all in trouble...were all in a boat together, if leaks are small, only lower decks are bothered, but if leak is big enough to sink boat, everyone will suffer, if the lower decks get it first and longest...not sure there is much of the way of life boats


Sun, 02/28/2010 - 09:44 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 02/27/2010 - 23:43 | Link to Comment SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

What about Beverly Hills?  Scarsdale?  Greenwich?  I want a recount!

Seriously, people make different amounts of money.  Big deal.  The market will determine relative values for various professions and those that work hard and make the most of their circumstances will have the best chances for success.  Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

Also, what about cost of living?

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 07:38 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 04:42 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:03 | Link to Comment Comrade de Chaos
Comrade de Chaos's picture

Newport B does feel like a different UNIVERSE. It's x 10 cleaner than Beverly Hills and has much better roads. 

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:04 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 15:29 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:07 | Link to Comment dondonsurvelo
dondonsurvelo's picture

Newport at any time over the past 40 years would top incomes across the nation.  The wealthy have always lived there.  John Wayne moved there in during his career along with many others with plenty of dough.  Using Newport Beach is unfair in this comparison.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:35 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 17:44 | Link to Comment baserunr
baserunr's picture

Workers in and around Newport Beach don't wake up in the morning and shovel snow so they can drive to work.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 10:04 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:55 | Link to Comment Going Down
Going Down's picture


Portfolio has it wrong, at least in terms of California. The wealthiest city is actually...Fresno.



Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:45 | Link to Comment sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

Naturally, they take another pot-shot at Ohio.

The only concern isn't just ammunition, it's whether the politicians will have enough influence to keep businesses in the state.


Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:54 | Link to Comment Gromit
Gromit's picture

Rancho Santa Fe is not a city. It is administratively part of San Diego, just like La Jolla. And Beverly Hills is part of LA, so it's easy to get confusing information from surveys like these.

And yes, the Ranch is very nice!,_California

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 00:56 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:12 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:15 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:20 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:47 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 01:36 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 19:48 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

good point, its strange how regions have such huge differentials in affordability...sure, a suddenly growing  or shrinking area mught distort housing affordability for a time, but you would think over several years, incomes and house prices would start to line up more across regions at similar ratios, we have same interest rates, same national banks/resid mortgage options, why do some place get so unaffordable?

And I wonder about median incomes in places with lots of illegal immigrants, how are they counted...they may be working under several SecSoc numbers or workign for cash a lot...

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 03:07 | Link to Comment QuantumCat
QuantumCat's picture

So what happens when $60k Texans are asked to bailout $123k Californians?  Not good...  a rigged system is not sustainable.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 05:22 | Link to Comment Glen
Glen's picture

I'd like to know how the Chinese who earn a third of ave Reading wage is suppose to bail out the global economy.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 07:48 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:33 | Link to Comment Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Additionally, as the real estate bubble has burst, property owners like Larry Ellison of Oracle, have jumped right on their right to revise their proprerty taxes lower. I think Ellison reduced his bill by over $1 million last year. You sure don't see that happening in other states by those amounts.

On Newport Beach, one word: PIMCO.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 18:06 | Link to Comment baserunr
baserunr's picture


I am so tired of hearing this crap about Prop. 13.  That was 32 years ago!  The problem with the state of CA is it's spending and State employee unions, not revenue.  Does the State really need a Department of Veterans Affairs?  How about The Department of Aging? The Rural Health Policy Council? The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology?  There are dozens and dozens of these fiefdoms, all with staffs and related expenses.  Are they all vital?  And do we need to pay the employees at levels that exceed similar compensation in the private sector?  With lifetime retirement and  health benefits that the private sector does not get?  The problem is spending.  Since 1950, only 3 times has the state collected less revenue than the year before, most recently in 2008. The problem is not, and never has been, the revenue side.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:07 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

depends when you bought..if you bought in 2005, paying alot, but if you've had house along time paying way less than other in other states...

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 04:10 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 04:46 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 07:13 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 08:44 | Link to Comment chindit13
chindit13's picture

99.9% of all Chinese earn less than half of the median wage of the good folks of Reading, PA.  In renminbi the figure is 99.9%<40K RMB.

On the other hand, the Chinese money goes a long way.  For example, I can buy Photoshop for 40 cents.  Avatar on DVD is also 40 cents, down from the 80 cents it cost a week before it hit the big screens in the USA.  I can get every Bruce Willis or Leo DiCaprio or AH-NOLD movie ever made, all on one DVD, for the astonishing price of 80 cents.  A season's worth of Shark or Bones (TV) for the ubiquitous 80 cents.  I saw a copy of a professional architectural design program for 40 cents that looked really outstanding, and out of curiosity I checked its non-Pacific Century Family Values Price:  $3600.

So I guess on a PPP basis (Purloining Power Parity), the folks of the Middle Kingdom are living higher off the hog than the Quaker Staters.

Sure glad to have those good folks in the WTO.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 09:20 | Link to Comment Thoreau
Thoreau's picture

Awesome; thank you. You validated just how rich & poor I really am. A $100-millionaire!

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 09:25 | Link to Comment Thoreau
Thoreau's picture

Looks like a new gold rush coming to CA via hungry, vengeful survivalists! Thanks for the treasure map!

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:13 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

<golf clap>

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 09:26 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:15 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

I too was curious about the timing of the above analysis. There's been a sea change in valuations and median incomes in Newport Beach over the past 2 years.....specifically because so many incomes were associated with development, crooked mortgage brokers and their mega-commissions and various other white collar real estate jobs. Many of them were feeding off the development frenzy in the Inland areas.


Orange and LA County residential real estate hotspots are just now turning downward in fair market value. Banks have stuffed a lot of their delinquent jumbos into the shadow inventory stats. The belief in a pricing resurgence is fading. The release in shadow inventory will kick many asses.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 19:53 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture many like that...I heard there were 25 yr old realtors and mortgage brokers making bi six figures in 05ish....seems like a lot of way educated folks that might have been in aerospace manufacturing jobs 20 years ago were surviving off their wits in white collar jobs like real estate, mortgages, or blue collar construction all the middle to upper middle class stuff gone, gone,

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 09:39 | Link to Comment john_connor
john_connor's picture

This data is puzzling to me.  Being from the Chicago area originally, I know there are areas more wealthy than Naperville, in terms of Net Worth or median income.  Places like Winnetka, Highland Park, Barrington, Burr Ridge, and Hinsdale come to mind.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:22 | Link to Comment VampireSquirrel
VampireSquirrel's picture

They don't have the population (over 80,000) to be included. Hinsdale & Lake Forest, for example, have populations around 20,000.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:39 | Link to Comment john_connor
john_connor's picture

Nice catch; it makes sense then.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 10:53 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:09 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

I say it will just look like a poor third world country with lots of poor and a few rich elites....kinda like what you describe...

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 10:58 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 10:59 | Link to Comment chuckscharf
chuckscharf's picture

Interesting data, but the study goes along with the incessant populist/liberal/statist/"tax the rich" intentional misrepresentation of income as wealth.  Income is not wealth; NET WORTH is wealth.  A heavily progressive tax system, as advocated by the most outspoken of the truly affluent, serves as a very effective barrier to unwanted competition from the upper middle classes.  Most of those who break through the barrier, at least temporarily, tend to be entertainers or sports figures, people far too stupid to pose any threat to the real elite.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:02 | Link to Comment Neophiliac
Neophiliac's picture

Well, France has an answer for that too - a wealth tax. Apples: how do you like 'em?

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:12 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:41 | Link to Comment john_connor
john_connor's picture

So true.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 11:19 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:01 | Link to Comment Rick64
Rick64's picture

Data, polls, and statistics we can make them say whatever you want.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:35 | Link to Comment foxmuldar
foxmuldar's picture

I can vouch for the article, I live 8 miles outside of Reading Pa. Reading used to be a nice American city, where you could walk the streets of downtown at 10:00 PM in the evening, stop in at a coffeeshop for some entertainment, and chat with your friends.

That was many years ago. Since then the city has become a beacon for Illegal aliens, Hispanics from Pueto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Many of Readings citizens migrated from NY. Reading was know as a city where it was easy to get on the public dole.

The City public school, Reading High has a large population of Dominicans. Not long ago the students were rioting in the streets celebrating their dominican independance. Of course there were cars being trashed, and when the police were called to calm the crowd, the students accused the police of brutality.

Reading is now being run by the hispanics and liberals. Unemployment continues to rise. Voters continues to vote heavily for Democrats at each election.

Crime is rampant in Reading, like those other cities mentioned above. Drug dealing, shooting taking place in the middle of the day. Try walking downtown Reading at 10:00 pm these days and your asking to be mugged.

Its a sad situation. And like so many other cities, Readings broke. The city is taking some hard steps that had to be taken. Cutting the citys work force. But the teachers still got their big pay raises recently. Seems that no matter how bad things get, some sectors such as teachers are immune from taking a hit in pay and benefits. Till that changes, the whole country is fucked.


Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:34 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:22 | Link to Comment CEOoftheSOFA
CEOoftheSOFA's picture

I guess this explains it.  I would have thought Reading would have had higher income since a Harley Davidson plant is located there.  Maybe all the Harley workers commute from Blue Ball. 

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 12:44 | Link to Comment lawton
lawton's picture

You have to look at cost of living in an area also. I remember a friend making 50k in a relatively inexpensive part of Florida going to a new job in DC where he was living in Maryland and he couldnt believe how his new 75k salary was not getting him as much as the 50k in Florida.

Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:09 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:09 | Link to Comment foxmuldar
foxmuldar's picture

A quick example of why Pennsylvania is in deep shit and why many other states are in just as bad or worse condition.

Pennsylvania faces a projected General Fund tax revenue shortfall of at least $500 million.  Governor Rendell proposed a $29 billion General Fund budget for 2010-11, that increases businesses taxes.

 A great way to save jobs is to raise business taxes. Well isn't it?

  • Pennsylvania is on the edge of a fiscal cliff.
    • Gov. Rendell's FY 2010-11 budget relies on $2.8 billion in one-time federal stimulus funding, which includes about $850 million that has not yet been approved by Congress.  Even if approved, this funding vanishes in FY 2011-12.
    • In FY 2012-13, state pension contributions are projected to skyrocket seven-fold, a $3.5 billion increase, from $551 million in FY 2009-10 to $4.1 billion in FY 2012-13 (increasing in future years).
    • Last year's budget deal exhausted the state's Rainy Day Fund and other one-time sources of revenue.
  • Despite declining revenues, Gov. Rendell's FY 2010-11 budget increases spending by $1.1 billion, or 4.1%.
  • During Gov. Ed Rendell's tenure (2003-2009), General Fund spending has increased by 42%, more than double the rate of inflation (19.5%).  Total state spending has grown by an even higher rate, over 47%.

    As you can see, Rendell is a big tax and spender. And that pension funding is going to be the death of Pa, and other states.

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:26 | Link to Comment Rainman
    Rainman's picture

    PA looks like an East Coast version of the People's Republik of Kalifornia. There is certainly one thing in common that is stunning : the horrifying surge in public sector pension costs.

    One area not in common with CA is that PA actually had a " Rainy Day Fund " at one time. Unheard of in CA.

    Personally, I found the PA State Liquor Control system outrageous......selling hard booze and wine from State-run stores. The prices were insanely high compared to CA, where you can buy any manner of alcohol in a grocery or drug store at a competitive price.

    So in PA, you can't even buy yourself a cheap bender to forget the pain of all those taxes.  

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:05 | Link to Comment moneymutt
    moneymutt's picture

    if this craptastic economy keeps up, and I think it will, somebody needs to have a come to Jesus with govt employees about denfined pensions regardless of how state economy and citizens are doing....

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 13:36 | Link to Comment Anonymous
    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 14:02 | Link to Comment Gimp
    Gimp's picture

    This data does not compute. Been to Newport Beach many times and I would say as a casual observer for every one person driving around in a new Benz S500 - 600 there are at least twenty driving old model Toyota's and Fords. If you did a quick statistical analysis that is a 1:20 ratio of high income earners to the worker bees, which makes sense top 5% = high income earners.

    Where is Palm Beach, FL? Not even mentioned which makes no sense as it has long been in the top 5 wealthiest cities in the nation for almost 100 years??

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 15:27 | Link to Comment Anonymous
    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 17:06 | Link to Comment ozziindaus
    ozziindaus's picture

    Have you ever noticed? no matter how extravagant and prestigious the suburb, there's always a shit heap parked in every driveway. 

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:11 | Link to Comment moneymutt
    moneymutt's picture

    trash is trash

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 15:27 | Link to Comment Anonymous
    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 17:02 | Link to Comment ozziindaus
    ozziindaus's picture

    The problem is not free trade but rather the governments hand in making domestic manufacturing less competitive. For instance. Manufacturing in the US is subject to income taxes, payroll taxes (2x in Michigan), property taxes (yes a tax on office furnishings and equipment) etc. This may add up to approximately 30-50% taxes on gross earnings. Imports are subject to 2-3% import taxes ONLY. 

    Government's job, through the FR, is to curb inflation and therefore reduce real wages. Corporate mandate is to raise profits and therefore reduce labour expenditure. Both point to outsourcing. 

    I say to the administration, reduce regulation (only helps large corps), reduce taxes and get the fuck out of our way. 

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 19:41 | Link to Comment Mr Lennon Hendrix
    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    Singing "Jumpdown, turn around, pick a bail of cotton!  Jump down, turn around, pick a bail of hay!"

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:15 | Link to Comment Anonymous
    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 20:17 | Link to Comment anarkst
    anarkst's picture

    I think it's quite nice that the wealthy herd themselves into particular towns.  That way they can rip each other off for all their "necessities."

    Sun, 02/28/2010 - 22:12 | Link to Comment Anonymous
    Mon, 03/01/2010 - 00:58 | Link to Comment Anonymous
    Mon, 03/01/2010 - 03:03 | Link to Comment Quantum Nucleonics
    Quantum Nucleonics's picture

    So what?  Of course people of like incomes will tend to cluster.  Of course the value of the best real estate would get bid up.  Duh.  How many people in Newport Beach spent six figures in grad school, how many are entrepreneurs that employ thousands?  A lot!  How many people in Redding dropped out of high school?  Yea, I'm sure their schools suck, but you can't blame the system for dropping out.  Stupid is as stupid does.

    Oh, and $1 million doesn't gets you much less than you might think in NB.  If you really want a nice crib, your budget better be at least $5 million.

    Fri, 04/16/2010 - 10:40 | Link to Comment Tom123456
    Tom123456's picture

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