In a recent posting on capitalaspower.com, Fix shows that, in the case of the U.S., the Top 1% income share correlates not with the share of capitalists in national income (profit and interest), but with the share of corporate dividends in national income. This difference means that income-inequality data of the sort reported by Thomas Piketty and others in the World Top Income Database give a very partial and potentially biased picture of ruling class power, power that is much better proxied by all income rather than dividends alone.
Capital gains and losses are not included in NIPA measures, because they result from the revaluation and sale of existing assets rather than from current production.
... we have to draw a distinction between factor income and transfer income. Factor incomes are earned incomes and transfer incomes are unearned incomes. Factor incomes are earned by supplying factor inputs (services) to the producing units at a cost. Transfer incomes are unilateral receipts. Those who receive such income do not provide anything in exchange.
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