While most of us struggle to work, pay for housing, health care and take care of our families, it’s easy to forget how much wealth there is in the world. And that’s just how the rich would prefer it. Because in fact the money that the wealthy elite make off the work done by all the rest of us has never been greater. Today the gap between the rich and poor is bigger than it’s ever been in the history of the world.
The Level of Inequality
- The top one percent of wealthiest Americans own 42 percent of the wealth in the U.S. These are people who own $8.4 million or more in financial assets.
- The top 20 percent of wealthiest Americans own 93 percent of the wealth of the U.S.
- The bottom 80 percent of Americans only own seven percent of the wealth of the U.S.
- The average consumer pays a 10 percent sales tax, while millionaire investors only pay a .00002 percent tax on buying and selling financial investments.
- The world’s billionaires have $21 trillion in untaxed offshore accounts – the equivalent of the U.S. and Japanese economies combined.
- Only 100,000 people worldwide own $9.8 trillion of that money, almost as much as the entire wealth of the United States.
Their Health vs Ours
- About 90 percent of the top one percent of wealthiest Americans surveyed said they were in excellent or good health. Only 75 percent of average Americans described themselves as in good health.
- About 85 percent of the top one percent of wealthiest Americans can expect to live into their 80s, compared with 68 percent of middle-income Americans.
Whose Wealth Is it?
The wealthy elite would like us to believe that they worked hard for all of their wealth. They would like us to believe they deserve to be rich. But who is really doing the necessary work of this society? Do they drive busses? Do they provide health care? Do they do anything useful? No they just manage their property and figure out how to own more. It is the rest of us who do the real work.
There is no reason the wealth of this society should be the property of a small handful of people who contribute nothing. It’s time we started to demand that the wealth of our society is used to benefit those of us who do the work in this society.