确实，研究人员表示，富人更富的原因非常复杂微妙。1%俱乐部是一个庞大多样的群体，包括138万个家庭，其中最低家庭收入为34.4万美元（2009年）（几乎所有的学者都依据收入数据，因为难以获得可信的净资产数据）。不错，在最富有的1%群体中，金融业人士不少，但自由职业者和其他各类专业人士的比例也很高。而且，芝加哥大学（University of Chicago）的斯蒂文•卡普兰称，虽然CEO收入在上世纪90年代涨势惊人，过去10年实际上呈现下降。
高收入职业中的女性是另外一个因素。印第安纳大学（Indiana University）和美国财政部的研究者对收入排在前 1%的家庭研究后发现，2005年纳税人（大部分为男性）配偶也工作的比例增至近40%，大大高于1979年的25%。而且，这样的配偶往往也是富有的专业人士。
What if I told you that there was a group of hard-driving workaholics who tend to have advanced degrees and bring a level of talent and skill to their jobs that attracts premium pay in the global economy? Scholars have found that this group is more likely than much of the population to raise their children in two-parent homes.
You might think this was a group people would admire, even emulate, right? Not so. For this is the much-maligned 1%, whose media infamy via the Occupy Wall Street protests, followed by President Obama's populist reelection message, is now firmly embedded in the American psyche.
The 1% club stands accused, accurately, of more than doubling its share of the nation's income since 1980. By 2007 it controlled nearly 24% of total income, the second highest in history, after 1929. (In 2009 its share dropped to 17%, suggesting that recessions aren't necessarily kind to the rich.)
Railing about the 1% club has become shorthand for expressing outrage not only over growing income disparity but also about the state of the nation's working class. Wages of men without college diplomas, for example, have dropped by a whopping third over the past three decades.
That's deeply troubling. Socially and politically, there are plenty of reasons to worry about the growing income gap. But rage against the 1% is misplaced. Income is not a zero-sum game: The rich aren't getting wealthier at the expense of the poor. Harvard's Lawrence Katz has calculated that even if all the gains of the top 1% were redistributed to the 99%, household incomes would go up by less than half of what they would if everyone had a college degree. In other words, the financial rewards of higher education are a big contributor to the income gap.
Indeed, researchers say the reasons for the rich getter richer are complex and nuanced. One-percenters are a large and varied lot, consisting of 1.38 million households, with total household incomes starting at $344,000 in 2009. (Nearly all scholars rely on income figures because of the difficulty in obtaining reliable net-worth data.) Yes, finance is well-represented in the 1% club, but there is also an especially high portion of the self-employed, along with a variety of other professions. And while CEO incomes rose astronomically through the 1990s, their incomes have actually declined over the past decade, according to University of Chicago's Steven N. Kaplan.
So what is behind the income gains of the 1%? Let's start with the global and technological changes that pump up the salaries of superstars in a range of professions: Call it the Yo-Yo Ma effect. In 1600 a famous cellist would have reached his career peak by playing for the king. Now Ma can stage concerts all over the world, with commensurate earnings. Apply that same concept to the in-demand skills of star lawyers or bankers or doctors in the 1% club, or of hungry entrepreneurs plying new markets.
Women in high-paying professions are another factor. Researchers from Indiana University and the Treasury Department studied the top 1% of households and found that by 2005 the number of taxpayers (largely men) with working spouses rose to almost 40%, up from 25% in 1979. That spouse tends to be a wealthy professional as well.