Monday, December 16, 2013

75.4% of All U.S. Wealth is Owned by by the Top 10%!

I've always believed that we, the American, live in the best of all possible worlds and much to my surprise, after all I've learned, and after all I've complained about,  I still do, although to a much lesser degree, of course.  I realized this when I came across the headline," America Is the Most Inhumane Developed Country on the Planet..."  My immediate reaction, at the gut level, was shock.. that is, until I had time to think about the extraordinary incarceration rate, the millions and millions of people without health insurance, the millions and millions of people without  enough food to eat, without safe shelter, without  the means to pay off exorbitant student loan debt, without full employment, or in an increasing number of cases, without employment at all....

However, if I didn't know just how inhumane our nation has become, the fourth edition of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook (2013) cinched it for me.  The report ranked the US as the most unequal of all advanced economies. The Gini coefficient-, the standard measure of a nation's wealth-inequality (a Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality) in the U.S. is 85.1.  That's right,  we're thee number one most unequal of the 20 developed nations in the world! 75.4% of all U.S. wealth is owned by by the top 10%!   Followed by:

Denmark, with 72.2% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Switzerland, with 71.5% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Sweden, with 71.1% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Israel, with 68.9% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
Norway, with 65.9% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Germany, with 61.7% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Singapore, with 61.1% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
Ireland, with 58.4% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
New Zealand, with 57.6% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
Canada, with 57.4% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Netherlands, with 54.6% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
Spain, with 54% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
U.K., with 53.3% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Italy, with 49.8% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
Japan, with 49.1% of its wealth owned by the top 10%,
Finland, with 44.9% of its wealth owned by the top 10%
Hell, we even beat Chile (72.5%), India (73.8%), Indonesia (75.0%), and South Africa (74.8%)!

At the other end of the wealth spectrum, the bottom 90% of the U.S. population own only 24.6% of all the privately held wealth in our nation, whereas in most of the other developed nations, the bottom 90% own, on average, approximately 40% of the wealth.

Moreover, not surprisingly, this so-called "economic recovery" has only benefited the richest Americans, as the richest 1% of Americans have received 95% of the income-gains since the 2008 financial crash, raising their incomes by 31.4%.

Once again, this should come as no surprise in a world where the richest 300 people on earth have more money than the poorest 3 billion.

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