Differences between Income Groups Clarified

7 Jan

From PA Pundits – International

“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Columnist John C. Goodman noted recently:

“In a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis, David Henderson found that there is a big difference between families in the top 20 percent and bottom 20 percent of the income distribution:

Families at the top tend to be married and both partners work. Families at the bottom often have only one adult in the household and that person either works part-time or not at all:

In 2006, a whopping 81.4 percent of families in the top income quintile had two or more people working, and only 2.2 percent had no one working. By contrast, only 12.6 percent of families in the bottom quintile had two or more people working; 39.2 percent had no one working. …

Having children without a husband tends to make you poor. Not working makes you even poorer. And there is nothing new about that. These are age old truths. They were true 50 years ago, a hundred years ago and even 1,000 year ago. Lifestyle choices have always mattered.”


I daresay, also, that people in the top 20% of the economic distribution also paid more attention to getting a solid education than those in the bottom 20%, and probably grew up in a two-parent family.  One could argue that they started with an advantage, but at some point we have to bury that excuse and start strongly emphasizing and focusing on family values and the importance of education among the bottom 20%.  I think this is the only way to improve the upward mobility of this group.


2 Responses to “Differences between Income Groups Clarified”

  1. justturnright January 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Good post.

    Just like coaching up a team or managing a sales force: you can’t expect too much more of your top performers. Where any good coach (or manager) makes his/her mark is getting the middle performers to jump up a level and the bottom performers to at least become adequate.

    Of course, this all depends upon folks realizing that they have to WORK to make this happen, and that’s an entirely different conversation.

    • illero January 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Well said. Thanks for the response. I like the “team” analogy.

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