Income Inequality

  • U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.
  • For CEOs and minimum-wage workers, the difference in salary is $5,000.00 per hour vs. $7.25 per hour.
  • “But they earned it!” Most of the Forbes 400 earnings came from minimally-taxed, non-job-creating capital gains.
  • In 1983 the poorest 47% of America had $15,000 per family, 2.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. In 2009 the poorest 47% of America owned ZERO PERCENT of the nation’s wealth (their debt exceeded their assets).
  • At the other extreme, the 400 wealthiest Americans own as much wealth as 80 million families — 62% of America. The reason, once again, is the stock market. Since 1980 the American GDP has approximately doubled. Inflation-adjusted wages have gone down. But the stock market has increased by over ten times, and the richest quintile of Americans owns 93% of it.
  • The top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
  • We have the highest childhood poverty rate of any developed country on earth.
  • The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 in net worth


Additional resources:

Annotated Graphic