Thomas Sowell discusses baseball statistics and the recent animosity toward America’s “wealthiest 1%”, relating those stats to economic mobility.
“Compared to the people in politics, the baseball fans are geniuses. When you look at income data and compare it with baseball data, baseball data follows a specific person throughout a career. Income data followed lots of people and they are not the same people in these income brackets.”
The problem with the whole “the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer” thing is that in America, both those sets of people are in constant flux, and all who are rich, do not necessarily all remain rich, while all who are poor do not always remain poor.
In fact, “income mobility has been large and upward in the past ten years for those starting with below-average incomes; 80 percent of taxpayers had incomes in quintiles (statistical value representing 20% of a given population, in this case, taxpayers) as high or higher in 2005 than they did in 1996, and 45 percent of taxpayers not in the highest income quintile moved up at least one quintile.”
The “few at the top” thing doesn’t represent unfairness, or inequality in any kind of a system. That “few” remains constant whether you discuss millionaires or Hall of Fame quarterbacks, as a percentage of their respective populations.