15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Cliché, sure, but it's also more true than at any time since the Gilded Age.
While politicians gloat about our "recovery," our poor are getting poorer, our average wages are still falling behind inflation, and social mobility is at an all-time low.
But, yes, if you're in that top 1%, life in America is grand.
1. The gap between the top 0.01% and everyone else hasn't been this bad since the Roaring Twenties
2. Half of America owns only 2.5% of country's wealth. The top 1% owns a third of it.
3. Half of America has only 0.5% of America's stocks and bonds. The top 1% owns more than 50%!
And so on..
[via pbo @chucks_angels]
(see also the rich get richer)
Though the correlation isn't perfect, it's clear that -- by these
measures -- as disparity between people grows, social health
To prove his point, Wilkinson also introduced a graphic that American
residents could better relate to. Using the same measure of income
disparity, he plotted how trust deteriorates in individual states when
income disparity is high.
[if you think about, it makes sense]
The wealth gap between the richest Americans and the typical family more than doubled over the past 50 years.
In 1962, the top 1% had 125 times the net worth of the median
household. That shot up to 288 times by 2010, according to a new report
by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
That trend is happening for two reasons: Not only are the rich
getting richer, but the middle class is also getting poorer.
Most Americans below the upper echelon have suffered a decline in wealth
in recent decades. The median household saw its net worth drop to
$57,000 in 2010, down from $73,000 in 1983. It would have been $119,000
had wealth grown equally across households.
The top 1%, on the other hand, saw their average wealth grow to
$16.4 million, up from $9.6 million in 1983. This is due in large part
to the growing income inequality divide, as well as the sharp rise in value of stocks over the period.
[so much for trickle down]