Watch this video describing how we think about wealth inequality, compared to the harsh realities of wealth redistribution in America.
23 Charts Of Rising Inequality That Will Make You Worried About The Future
Unprecedented interest in income inequality has sent a complex book by economist Thomas Piketty to the top of the charts on Amazon.com.
“Capital in the Twenty-First Century” presents centuries of data on the accumulation and distribution of capital and chilling insights about the present and the future. Income inequality has been getting much worse for decades, and this could just be the start.
If Piketty is right, then global politics could get antagonistic, unstable, and potentially dangerous.
Rising inequality could also hurt the economy, as Wall Street is starting to notice. As noted by Société Générale strategist Albert Edwards, “you don’t have to be a communist to conclude that high levels of inequality not only adversely affects long-term growth, but also increases the economy’s vulnerability to recession.”
We’ve gathered charts from Piketty and others that show the scale of the problem.
Actual wealth distribution in America is much more unbalanced than people realize—and much worse still than they would like.
The top 0.1% of Americans claim a near-record 9% of income, up from 2% at midcentury.
The top 0.1% holds a near-record 22% of the wealth.
The top 0.1% are leaving behind the rest of the 1% — and the top 0.01% are even more out of control.
The top 0.01% claim a bigger income share than any time in history.
At this rate, the ratio of national wealth to national income will rise far beyond anything in history — extreme capitalism.
Meanwhile, America’s bottom 90% is falling deeper and deeper into debt.