"It's this belief that the economy is some fixed pie," said Ryan. "That there's only so much money in America, it's fixed and that the job of the government is to redistribute the slices of the pie. That's not true. The job of government is to set the conditions for economic growth so we can grow the pie and everybody can get a bigger slice of the American pie." Paul Ryan resurrects Obama¿s greatest hits (the Republican version) - Los Angeles Times But is that TRUE? Let's look at the history of the USA and the gross domestic product. GDP as just ONE illustration of the "FIXED PIE FALLACY". First the source of these FACTS.. Measuring Worth - Measures of worth, inflation rates, saving calculator, relative value, worth of a dollar, worth of a pound, purchasing power, gold prices, GDP, history of wages, average wage Consider what the gross domestic product for this illustration the "PIE" of the USA was in 1790 $187 million. The GDP (or PIE) in 2011 $15.94 TRILLION. The PIE grew over 221 years by $15.093 TRILLION - an increase of 80,715% over 221 years! So the next point of comparison is what does this relate to per person/ (capita)? In 1790 there were 3.929 million people. The GDP per person was $1,024 (in 2005 dollars - inflation) In 2011 there were 312.041 million people. The GDP per person was $42,671 (adjusted for inflation 2005 dollars) This increase from 1790 to 2011 in per person GDP was over 221 years of 87,473% (adjusted for inflation). So IF the PIE is FIXED and ONLY the government can re-distribute... HOW do we explain the growth of the PIE??? OK so you anti-growth, anti-capitalists say "YEA but all that is owned by as our current Prez says.."millionaires and billionaires"!!! How many millionaires in 1790 in the USA? Don't know but in 1892 there were 4,047 Millionaires. GDP in 1892 was $16.352 billion and per person adjusted for inflation was $5,147. Again 2011 GDP $15,940 billion and per person $42,671. Most people who become millionaires have confidence in their own abilities. They do not spend time worrying about whether or not their parents were wealthy. They do not believe that one must be born wealthy. Conversely, people of modest backgrounds who believe that only the wealthy produce millionaires are predetermined to remain non-affluent. Have you always thought that most millionaires are born with silver spoons in their mouths? If so, consider the following facts that our research uncovered about American millionaires: * Only 19 percent receive any income or wealth of any kind from a trust fund or an estate. * Fewer than 20 percent inherited 10 percent or more of their wealth. * More than half never received as much as $1 in inheritance. * Fewer than 25 percent ever received "an act of kindness" of $10,000 or more from their parents, grandparents, or other relatives. * Ninety-one percent never received, as a gift, as much as $1 of the ownership of a family business. * Nearly half never received any college tuition from their parents or other relatives. * Fewer than 10 percent believe they will ever receive an inheritance in the future. America continues to hold great prospects for those who wish to accumulate wealth in one generation. In fact, America has always been a land of opportunity for those who believe in the fluid nature of our nation's social system and economy. More than one hundred years ago the same was true. In The American Economy, Stanley Lebergott reviews a study conducted in 1892 of the 4,047 American millionaires. He reports that 84 percent "were nouveau riche, having reached the top without the benefit of inherited wealth." http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/stanley-millionaire.html In 2010 the U.S. had 3,100,000 millionaires in 2010 In 1892 total millionaires - 4,047 Growth of 3,098,108 millionaires or an increase over the 118 years from 1892 of 648%. So regardless.. the GDP as a "PIE" doesn't look fixed from the perspective of the individual person. Granted there are fewer agrarians (farmers- today ) then in 1790 so self sufficiency is not the case. But when liberals/progressives/anti-capitalists talked about the "FIXED PIE".... there is NOT one at least compared to the GDP!