Wealth inequality refers to the unequal distribution of assets within a certain population. So it could be within a certain city, state, or country. Focusing on the U.S., we have one of the highest income inequality in the world. As a developed nation, this may say something about our nation and what needs to be fixed.
America’s top 1 percent have most of their assets in the stock markets, which causes problems. They don’t spend the money like the middle class does; instead they keep re-investing to make more money. The money is never seen by the rest of the culture and it does not circulate in the economy.
In 2015, in order to enter Forbes’ richest 400 list, a person needed a net worth of at least $1.7 billion. The 2016 list shows that the net worth of these 400 people is $2.4 trillion with an average of $6 billion per person.
The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 76 percent of all the wealth in America. However, the middle class does the majority of the buying and selling to circulate money in our economy.
In the documentary, Inequality for All, statistics show you that while in the early 1900s there was a relatively slight gap between middle class and upper class. As the years went on we saw inequality completely skew from the wealthy making over $1 million a year to the middle class dropping to roughly $40,000 a year.
That $40,000 does not take into account gender, race, or ethnicity, which are all factors that impact a person’s income and wealth. If the gap keeps growing, can our economy handle it?
By Nikki Iannace