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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Los Alamos has highest fraction of millionaires in US

Los Alamos has highest fraction of millionaires in US

Once again, this explains much about why deaf ears are turned to the requests for more money for LANL. When the average person in the country is barely able to make ends meet in today's economy, the trend in Congress is to spend more federal funds to help out lower income people. It is a guarantee that funding for the nuclear weapons complex will continue to decrease, unless some powerful politician comes up with a scheme to build a new facility in their backyard. Since NM does not have any politicians in DC with any clout, LANL buildings will continue to decay. On the bright side, some disproportionately rich folks can watch the decay in their own backyard.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/01/21/where-are-americas-millionaires/

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that LANL employees complain about McMillan $1.6M salary (plus bonuses) and yet one in ten are millionaires themselves. Why? Greed.

Anonymous said...

Poster....how the hell does envy drive US Nuclear weapons policy?

Anonymous said...

The proposed increase in the capital gains tax rate from 20 to 28% (the same as it was under Reagan, incidentally) will likely not much affect the tax rate of a doctoral degree holder from Princeton who lives in a 1700 sqft ranch in LA county and drives an [expletive deleted] 1992 Toyota Corolla. Why are the well-off so unwilling to give back to a society from which they have benefited so greatly?

Anonymous said...

6:39 AM - can you really not see the difference between someone who works for 30 years, saves, and invests wisely to amass $1M and McMillan who makes over $1M every single year no matter how badly he screws up?

Anonymous said...

Why are the well-off so unwilling to give back to a society from which they have benefited so greatly?

January 23, 2015 at 8:04 AM

If anyone "gave" me anything I'd happily give it back, with interest. It's called repaying a loan. Since no one ever "gave" me anything, but my wealth is hard-earned, I'll keep it, thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

Read "The Millionaire Next Door." Most millionaires are millionaires because they live below their means (LBYM). They are frugal. They save and invest their money in boring investments such as 401k plans. They get rich slowly. They have average jobs no different than typical Laboratory employees. Millionaires do not try to keep up with the Jones. Most people can be millionaires with modest displays of self sacrifice and delayed gratification.

Surprisingly, the people driving fancy cars and living in big houses tend not to be millionaires. They often live paycheck to paycheck because they are too busy buying new toys and are self-occupied with outward status.

When I came to the Laboratory approaching 30 years ago my net worth was essentially zero. It is now between 3 and 5 million, depending on how net worth is defined. No lottery winnings. No inheritance. This is all due to a Laboratory salary, frugal lifestyle, lots of savings, and run-of-the-mill investments. No one would think of me as a (multi) millionaire based on the way I live. I am the millionaire next door.

Anonymous said...

Rich? Baloney. They have to live in New Mexico. Not on anyone's bucket list.

Big sacrifice, bigger compensation.

No place to spend, so people save...smart people invest successfully and get old. Compounding accumulates wealth.

Still live in exile. Worth it?
You decide. I did. Stayed in Berzerkly.

Anonymous said...

I give back to society all the time. On my private terms. None of anyone's business but mine, my
Creator's, and to a limited extent my family's.

In my world where 43% of my last dollar earned goes to the state, they are generously provided for. And have sufficient to carry out public works. Waste exists unchecked, to wit, BART employees holding commuters hostage, and Gov. Moonbeam's chochoo from Merced to Visalia.

So I reject anyone elses judgement on my compassion. See a problem, fix it. Dont whine to others thsr they should fix it. That is simply weak character.

Anonymous said...

Why are the well-off so unwilling to give back to a society from which they have benefited so greatly?

January 23, 2015 at 8:04 AM

My current marginal tax rate is 48% (32.5% Federal/AMT, 9.3% State with no marginal deduction due to AMT, 1.45% Medicare, 0.9% Medicare surtax, 3.8% ACA surtax). This doesn't include the 6.2% Social Security and 0.9% State SDI taxes that are capped at a little over $100K income, nor does it include other government revenue streams such as property taxes.

In other words, about half of every extra dollar I earn from my own labor goes to taxes. Don't you think that is enough?

I pay over twice in total taxes each year than what I spend on myself (about $65K vs $30K). But I'm told that I don't pay my fair share and need to give more back to society.

Granted, much of my current income is tax-payer funded. But my labor isn't free and ostensibly I'm providing a needed service to the government.

There is little financial incentive to work. The solution is simple. I'll soon take early retirement and live off savings. My reduced income will mean that my total taxes will drop from $65K/yr to less than $10K/yr. I'll be paying an order of magnitude less in taxes but people such as you will now say that I'm paying my fair share. That's how the president does math.

Anonymous said...

We elect divided government for a reason. We don't want the path either would lead us on. Don't trust either. All liars. All self-serving.

Better that they are deadlocked, in an impotent violent embrace.

While we, privately, advance.

Can't stand Boenher or Pelosi. But love the fact that each renders the other impotent.

Anonymous said...

Who is John Galt?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, 8:04 AM thinks this story is a justification to boost taxes so there are fewer millionaires in Los Alamos, and if they don't agree they are greedy. Go back to your Berkeley cave.

Anonymous said...

6:24 is absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

@ January 23, 2015 at 6:39 AM

No its not greed. It is a one industry town with a large number of LANL scientists, engineers and LANL retirees. With a house costing $300-500K and a normal retirement savings many normal people in this group will have assets exceeding $1M. What is unusual is that there is not the economic diversity typical of other cities and towns. Los Alamos is a recent creation, born from the Manhattan project and only "opened" in the 1960s. As the town ages, economic diversification will increasing change the somewhat misleading "millionaire" status of otherwise typical professionals.

Anonymous said...

"As the town ages, economic diversification will increasing change the somewhat misleading "millionaire" status of otherwise typical professionals."

If you think that LANL scientists are "otherwise typical professionals," then you must not go out in the real world often. In most ways, LANL scientists make the characters on "The Big Bang Theory" look normal. The town may not be fully homogeneous, but it it densely populated by folks well-removed from "typical professionals."

Anonymous said...

There is one issue that gets Los Alamos folks "going" and that's telling them their rich.

Anonymous said...

There, their, they're.

Anonymous said...

Pedant, bore, boring

Anonymous said...

Educated, literate, precise.

Anonymous said...

accurate, = precise, incorrect,(D+)

Anonymous said...

D+ = January 27, 2015 at 4:28 AM poster. US education levels as determined by comparison with many other countries, including many "third world" countries, are at an all time low. Refute that, "pedant" boy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant January 28, 2015 at 4:01 PM poster. Bad paste.

Anonymous said...

"Highest faction of millionaires in US" ...

... but not for much longer.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, they will still be here, living in lower cost of living environment, with plenty of county services to support them in their old age. Unless UC cancels its pension program, nothing will change in Los Alamos County. The loss of lots of lower wage younger workers will just mean opening up real estate as the 50+ year old housing close to the center of town, no longer needed as rentals, is leveled, freeing up lots of prime building lots for older people who can afford to build on them. It will be a paradise environment for retirees from the Lab, who can afford to pay taxes for the services and will love the loss of crime as households with criminal adolescents move away.

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