Income Distribution Fun Facts

Mark Kleiman says “If you had made last year as much money as John McCain spent on household help alone $273,000 — you’d be richer than 95% of American families.”

As I’ve said before, I’m not sure percentiles are the best way of expressing this kind of information. Rather, I think the main fact is that the median household income in the United States is $48,201 per year, meaning that McCain spent over five times as much on servants as the typical household earns in an entire year. On the other hand, McCain’s relatively lavish household staff expenditures probably explains why he sees tax cuts for high-income individuals as a sound job-creation strategy — perhaps he wouldn’t be able to afford nearly as many if he had to groan under the oppressive yoke of Clinton-era top income tax rates.