The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.
What might be interesting to know is what folks did or did not do in their lives to prevent them from being in the 1%. What constitutes the 1% are "returns" filed with the IRS where the income is greater the $250K. Some of those are individuals, some of those are couples (joint returns), and of those individuals and couples are business owners and professionals. I am guessing you are not one of them. Why is that? You don't need to answer. Nobody's business but your own. The question is rhetorical: did you do everything in your life, as well as do all of your homework in school and go to college, in order to be a part of this 1%? My wife and I were in this so-called 1%, for a short while, until I needed to retire. So, now we are not in the 1%. Our house is nice, but smaller than many across the nation. Some very large homes are owned by others that are actually non-1%-ers. Our 401K's and pensions are built up from 35+ years of working and saving. It is not billions.
So, this so-called 99% - are they where they are because of "fate"? During their life’s preparatory stage (youth) were they chained to mediocrity? Or was that their choice? Every choice that we made in life integrates into our success, or lack thereof. It isn't fate so much as it is election. If a person is born into a "dead town", get out. The cost is only bus fare. Or join the military - it also provides immediate transplantation from that "dead town" as well as structure and opportunities, but with some risk. Choose a job that has a future. And it is not impossible to transform "flipping burgers" into owning a franchise and, guess what, joining the 1%. If we believe that we are "victims", then we are indeed victims, but not at the hands of others. At least that is still true in the United States - for now. If I had to offer advice, it would be: work hard, go to college, have a good attitude at work, save money/don't blow it all. Maybe you will achieve being the 1% - if that is important. But that person will have succeeded in being successful and not envious, even if that person does not “escape” being a 99%-er.
Years ago, my union member, Democrat voting grandfather said, and this was about 1970, that “give all the poor $10,000 (about $60K today) each, and in six months, they will have spent all the money and returned to being poor.” Given this liberal man’s perspective, I suspect that he might be a conservative today, but he understood the value of work, and he left his wife (grandma) with a house that was paid for and she died at the age of 97, painlessly slumping over at the table, while enjoying a breakfast with her daughter (my aunt). Neither my grandmother, nor grandfather were complainers but doers. In fact, they were “Oakies” that got in their cars in the 1930’s, left their “dead town”, and made a success out of their lives – and they were the 99%.
From a faith point of view, it is important to not get trapped into "envy" (10th commandment). If there is something fundamentally wrong with our tax structure, then fix that. The motive should be for greater success of both the 99% as well as the 1%. Encourage investment. But stop being covetous of your neighbor's wealth.