At NPR’s Planet Money, Quoctrung Bui has put together an attractive and interesting data visualization on real income growth in the United States. As he describes it, there are two distinct eras for income growth since...
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- "South Park" and Millionaires: The Top 0.17%
"South Park" and Millionaires: The Top 0.17%
Comedy Central's controversial series "South Park" aired an episode last night appropriately titled "1%." As one expected from the press release, it was about class warfare and the various 99%/Occupy [insert place name here] movements around the world.
Via a circuitous (yet not unrealistic) route, the episode illustrates how the 99% movement could theoretically fail and embeds-knowingly or unknowingly-an absolute gem of a tax statistic on the way.
All of South Park Elementary (less Eric Cartman, who is the 1%) forms a 99% movement to change policy. But eventually the fifth graders decide to break from the 99% and form their own 83% movement. This leaves the fourth graders (the main class of "South Park") as the 17%. But one character points out that since this 17% must still be mad at its top 1%, it now must focus its outrage on the top 0.17%.
According to the IRS, this is the exact percentage of 2009 taxpayers who made over $1 million.
Only the writers know whether mentioning the percentage of millionaires was pure coincidence, but it's worth noting that the father of Matt Stone-one of the show's creators-is an economist.
WARNING: The episode described above contains adult language and extremely politically incorrect content. It is intended for mature audiences only.
Follow David S. Logan on Twitter @Loganomix
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