Check this out:
We are on the 50 yard line of a football field, representing the median U.S. family income. The income of the "Median Family" is about $40,000. The frame is 1 meter square.(A meter is a little over a yard...a meter is about 40 inches whereas a yard is 36 inches.)
We have zoomed in by a factor of 10. Meet the "Median Family," the family at the 50th percentile, the 50-yard line on our football field.
The US population is represented along the length of the football field, arranged in order of income.Median US family income (the family at the 50 yard line) is ~$40,000 (a stack of $100 bills 1.6 inches high.)
--The family on the 95 yard line earns about $100,000 per year, a stack of $100 bills about 4 inches high.
--At the 99 yard line the income is about $300,000, a stack of $100 bills about a foot high.
--The curve reaches $1 million (a 40 inch high stack of $100 bills) one foot from the goal line.
--From there it keeps going up...it goes up 50 km (~30 miles) on this scale!
We have zoomed out by a factor of 10, so this frame is 1 kilometer square. A square representing the previous frame is visible. The tree is a Giant Sequoia. A stack of $100 bills 1 kilometer high would be a billion dollars. This country has about 400 billionaires.
We have zoomed out another factor of 10. Squares representing the previous two frames are visible. The mountain in the background is Mt. Everest. Our pile of $100 bills is approaching the $10 billion mark.
Our frame is now 100 kilometers square. The exact height of the top of the curve varies from year to year, but the total amount of money in the vertical spike continues to grow steadily. Bill Gates "wealth" was at one point estimated to be over $100 billion. The red line represents his greatest "increase" in net worth in a year. At 50 kilometers, the pile of $100 bills extends beyond the stratosphere, more than 5 times the height of Mt. Everest. $1 million is the same proportion of this income as $1 to a person earning $50,000 per year.
And these are the people who need more tax cuts...
Check out the L-Curve for yourself.