Thursday, January 13, 2011
Krugman posted this at his site. It's an interesting comparison between the top 1%, 5%, and 10% economically over approx the last 100 years. Notice the similarity between the 1930's and the last ten years. It leaves off at 2008. I'd imagine that the last three years have seen an even great jump in the 1% and corresponding drop in 5% and 10%.
It's interesting that the time period from 1953 to 1973 is when the top 1% was at its lowest and overall prosperity in the U.S. Was at its highest.
Krugman's point was that as the top 1% get wealthier they don't feel like they are and keep wanting more because they compare themselves to those richer than them instead of those poorer. It's an ego thing.
I couldn't help be think of what happens in sports salaries. Take pro football as an example, but it would apply to baseball, basketball, hockey, etc.
There are 22 positions regular positions 11 offense and 11 defense, add specialty positions like kicker and punter, special teams in all 30 positions. The top contracts go to maybe 5 players on a 53 man roster.
Then the ego kicks in. Every quarterback wants to be not just the top paid player on the team, but the top paid QB in the whole league and if another team offers more money to their guy all of a sudden he's not happy, and so on and so forth. Each team has a salary cap and if three or five guys get 70% of it, do they feel like their rich? No they don't make as much as the guy on the other team. What happens to the other 45 players who get shafted because the hot dogs want it all? Do the rich players compare themselves to the poor players or only to the other rich players?
I wonder if anyone's done a study on the distribution of salaries in the NFL on the playoff teams compared to non-playoff teams. Using my dismal Cowboys as an example of how the experts were predicting them to win the Superbowl this year and they were absolutely dreadful. Could it be because they had too many high paid players counting their money instead of thinking about playing ball?