Who Are The Richest People In America?

    February 8, 2012
    Shawn Hess
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A joint survey conducted by 463 Communications and JZ Analytic has revealed some very interesting facts about Americas perceptions of who the top 1% of income earners are and what kinds of lives they lead. The survey results come from one thousand participants and was given in early 2012.

The figures from the survey report one serious misconception about who the top 1% really are. Over 50% of the people surveyed believed that an individual had to make at least one million dollars to be in the top 1%. According to the IRS, the number is actually quite lower. To be in the top 1% of American wage earners you only need to make about $350,000 a year.

Of course most of us believe the 1% is living the high-life. 73% believe the 1% all have more than one home. 60% are under the impression that these folks are flying around in private jets or at the very least, always traveling first class (63%). 63% also believe that the top 1% take overseas vacations once a year or more. Almost 80% of people thought that the upper 1% employed in-house gardeners and cooks.

Almost everyone from the survey agreed that the 1% is mostly composed of financial executives, entrepreneurs, politicians, lobbyists or people that have inherited a business. Almost no one thought that education, real estate, law, or medical professions were a path to the 1%. Less than 2% thought that the richest Americans worked harder than anyone else.

While only 60% of the people reported feeling that the rich don’t pay enough in tax, 3% reported that they were in-fact, part of the top 1%. I think that’s really interesting; they believe you need to make at least a million to be in the club, but 30 people from the survey report they are the top 1%. So we can safely guess that their were a fair amount of millionaires participating in the survey. I wonder how that skews the results?

Regardless of what they said about the richest 1%, almost 65% agreed that they would like to be part of the group. I think that’s a no-brainer. Would you like more money?

  • Heather

    I believe that the top 1 percent are living in yuppie areas like Boulder and living off of old family money. Considering that there was never any need for the majority of the top 1% to learn a valuable trade or contribute to society in any way their typical day is as follows:

    9am-10am- struggle to wake up to the sounds of Enigma and Moby

    10am- Shower with a $50 loofah and $ 43 body wash made with the tears of buddhist monks and Tanas root.

    11am- Call accountant/personal banker and see how the Uncle Scrooge sized stock pile of golden coins are piling up

    11:30am- Drive Prius with adopted Asian baby to Whole Foods and buy some gluten-free rice chips and flax seeds.

    1:30pm- Get a massage in your living room by some holistic specialist that lived in Tibet for 3 years and discuss the power of positive thinking.

    2:00pm- Disregard a homeless veteran seeking spare change while cursing Barbara Ehrenreich on NPR.

    2:30pm- Donate money to some random Sarah McLachlan charity.

    3:30pm- Pay illegal immigrant from Mexico to watch Asian baby in order to attend pilates and cycling classes.

    5pm- IM spouse who is in another time zone.

    5:05pm- Read Joel Osteen rubbish

    6:15pm- Shop for a crocodile skin Coach bag on Amazon

    9:30pm- Disingenuously say adoo to illegal immigrant nanny and put Asian baby to bed.

    9:32 pm- Watch Fox news while drinking some bubble tea until the Darvocet kicks in.