Among The Wealthiest 1 Percent

Sometimes I wonder how much the wealthy people make and where they live – I can tell by the area they live in the Valley – but not for the whole country.

Defining the Wealthy

Financial benchmarks in this area can differ radically from those in places where more people are struggling to put food on the table. Many of Nassau’s affluent families think of themselves as practically middle class, saying that property values and taxes are so high that $380,000 does not go very far.

“On Long Island, it’s barely a living,” said Steven R. Schlesinger, a lawyer and professional poker player. “In Plano, it’s a living.”

There is something to that. Aspen’s 1 percent is very different from Akron’s. In some areas there are so many 1 percenters that the whole income hierarchy can shift. It may take $380,000 to be in the national 1 percent, but it takes $900,000 to be among the top 1 percent of earners in Stamford, Conn. Compared with that, the price of admission to the 1 percent in Clarksville, Tenn., is a bargain at $200,000.

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