The shocking rise of wealth inequality: Is it worse than we thought?

Jordan Weissmann writes: America’s gap between the rich and the rest might be worse than we ever knew.

Economists Emmanuel Saez, of the University of California–Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman, of the London School of Economics, are out with a new set of findings on American wealth inequality, and their numbers are startling. Wealth, for reference, is the value of what you own—assets like housing, stocks, and bonds, minus your debts. And while it certainly comes up from time to time, it has tended to play second fiddle to income in conversations about America’s widening class divide. In part, that’s because it’s a trickier conversation subject. Wealth has always been far more concentrated than income in the United States. Plus, research suggested that the top 1 percent of households had actually lost some of its share since the 1980s.

That might not really have been the case.

Forget the 1 percent. The winners of this race, according to Zucman and Saez, have been the 0.1 percent. [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “The shocking rise of wealth inequality: Is it worse than we thought?

  1. Steve Zerger

    Shocking, but what does it really mean? Virtual claims upon resources which don’t exist for practical purposes are of dubious value. Growth is over, and most of what is counted as wealth in this hyper-monetized economy is an illusion.

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