The question "Is it fair that the top 1% own so much?" is a question that needs more development.
Is it fair to whom? What is the overall framework of the fairness? Who determines the fairness? What is it that they own?
Who are the top 1%? "Based on 2009 tax year filing data, the Internal Revenue Service says an adjusted gross income, of $343,927 or more will put you in the top 1 percent of taxpayers." Another source indicates "They work harder, stay longer, do more, learn more, grow more, have goals, make more sacrifices and have more self discipline. MOST did not come from money. They don't sit around surfing Facebook. They most likely don't watch TV. They don't sit around complaining, gossiping, playing FB games or waiting for handouts. "
Is the person who posted this question stating in a hidden manner that he does not own enough, and wants to be given something that is already owned by another.
So my answer, due to the question being deficient, is YES.
The top 1% owns 15%, BUT PAYS OVER 50% OF ALL TAXES. They pay fairly for their money. No one should be hated for being successful... Unless they stole their money, it's rightly and fairly theirs. Note, if you buy a TV for $500, they didn't steal your money, you made a fair trade, learn the difference.
They earned it, they should keep it. By the way, did you know that Obama, with his six figure salary, is in the 1% ? The people that make that much earn it in their own way. Whether they were lucky and worked some, or lucky and worked a lot. They worked. As for the rest of the those out there like me who make less than $10,000 a year, get off you butt and work.
It is fair for the 1% to have worked hard and achieved what they have. They pursued the American Dream and achieved that, and as citizens who buy into the same logic, they should be rewarded. What is not fair is for the 1% to keep others from achieving as much as they have. Everyone deserves the fruits of their labors.
America has been on a downward spiral since FDR – Franklin D. Roosevelt died in his fourth term - 1945. A dominant leader of the Democratic Party and the only American president elected to more than two terms, he built a New Deal Coalition that realigned American politics after 1932, as his domestic policies defined American liberalism for the middle third of the 20th century.
FDR understood that the wealthy and large corporations were destroying the workers and created a two class society – those that have the money – The Plutocracy, and those that don’t – the workers.
“Today the Walton family of Walmart own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America."
Bernie Sanders says Walmart heirs own more wealth than bottom 40 percent of Americans
Where the Waltons fit in
Six members of the Walton family appear on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans. Christy Walton, widow of the late John Walton, leads the clan at No. 6 with a net worth of $25.3 billion as of March 2012. She is also the richest woman in the world for the seventh year in a row, according to Forbes. Here are the other five:
No. 9: Jim Walton, $23.7 billion
No. 10: Alice Walton, $23.3 billion
No. 11: S. Robson Walton, oldest son of Sam Walton, $23.1 billion
No. 103: Ann Walton Kroenke, $3.9 billion
No. 139: Nancy Walton Laurie, $3.4 billion
That’s a grand total of $102.7 billion for the whole family.
Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California-Berkeley, compared the Waltons’ cumulative net worth with that of the overall population, as cited in the Survey of Consumer Finances. (She used the Waltons’ wealth from 2010, which was valued at $89.5 billion.)
Allegretto found that in 2007, the wealth held by the six Waltons was equal to that of the bottom 30.5 percent of families in the U.S. In 2010, the Waltons’ share equaled the entire bottom 41.5 percent of families.
FDR understood what President Abraham Lincoln stated in 1861
President Abraham Lincoln, the Illinois Rail-Splitter, told his audiences that:
=====================================================================================“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much higher consideration.”
In 1864 Lincoln cautioned a workingmen’s association against the “effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above labor, in the structure of the government” and he warned working people “to beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered, will surely close the door of advancement against such as they…”