A fascinating piece buried in the Washington Post (but at least published, in contrast to the rest of the mainstream media) lays out the facts of America’s obscene wealth concentration (emphasis mine):
The 400 richest Americans — the top 0.00025 percent of the population — have tripled their share of the nation’s wealth since the early 1980s, according to a new working paper on wealth inequality by University of California at Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman.
Those 400 Americans own more of the country’s riches than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent of the wealth distribution, who saw their share of the nation’s wealth fall from 5.7 percent in 1987 to 2.1 percent in 2014, according to the World Inequality Database maintained by Zucman and others.
Reread that astonishing fact, just to be sure it doesn’t go by too fast:
The 400 richest Americans own more of [America’s] riches than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent of the wealth distribution
THAT is the core driver for the economic suffering that surrounds us. THAT is the motivation for Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. That wealth tax is also the motivation for the continuing and utterly vapid attacks on her from allegedly “liberal” media as well as the usual suspects.
Here’s a similarly disturbing quote from the same piece (emphasis mine):
American wealth is highly unevenly distributed, much more so than income. According to Zucman’s latest calculations, today the top 0.1 percent of the population has captured nearly 20 percent of the nation’s wealth, giving them a greater slice of the American pie than the bottom 80 percent of the population combined. That bottom 80 percent figure includes the 1 in 5 American households that has either zero or negative wealth, meaning that its debts are greater than or equal to its assets. According to NYU’s Wolff, the share of U.S. households with zero or negative wealth has risen by roughly one-third since 1983, when it was 15.5 percent.
There’s been a lot of talk about “the top 1%”. This is TEN TIMES more rarified than that.
The top ZERO POINT ONE percent — one in one THOUSAND — have captured TWENTY PERCENT of the nations wealth. more than the bottom EIGHTY PERCENT of the population COMBINED.
Far from being the “land of opportunity”, the wealth distribution of America today more closely resembles that of China and Russia:
Finally, the key political takeaway is the concluding paragraph (emphasis mine):
“Wealth concentration may help explain the lack of redistributive responses to the rise of inequality observed since the 1980s,” Zucman writes. The interplay between money and power, in other words, may be self-reinforcing: The wealthy use their money to buy political power, and they use some of that power to protect their money.
It is no accident that the ENTIRE mainstream media — owned by the very wealthy — has replaced virtually all discussion of Ms. Warren’s popular wealth tax proposal with rubbish about meaningless paperwork filed decades ago.
THIS IS THE BATTLE WE SHOULD FIGHT FOR 2020, STARTING NOW.