Theyíre not the same people!
That's one point Russell Roberts makes in his dissection of a Krugman piece that argues that fat cats are just getting fatter, sucking up most of the economic gains and leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs. Roberts' point is that it's very misleading to talk about the top 1% gaining so much year-to-year. After all, there isn't some "1% Club" where the membership never changes and the same people just get richer and richer. While there always will be a top 1%, the faces in that group are constantly changing. You can cut the inequality issue many ways, but the question that is perhaps most important is: "If they do the right things (stay in school, out of jail, work hard, etc.) do those starting out near the bottom have a reasonably good shot of moving up the economic ladder?