The chart graphically shows how the tax code has
resulted in a redistribution of wealth. Few people realize
the extent to which poverty has grown in the U.S. and the
extent to which prosperity has been concentrated in the nonprofit sector and
the wealthiest 10%. Government survey data is updated every
three years and data through 2013 is expected to reflect
the astounding gains in the stock market and increases
in other high end asset values. The 10% gain at the top
may expand to 30% or more when the new wealth numbers
are released. The wealth gap in the U.S. may already be
the highest in recorded civilization.
“The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical
household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was
only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a
study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation.” See NY
Times, "The Typical
Household, Now Worth a Third Less", "Wealth
Levels, Wealth Inequality and the Great Recession",
June 2014. Note that the "median" in the chart above
would be at the exact point where the lower half (lower
50%) meets the middle class group (next 40%).
increasing differences between those few who grow ever richer and
the many who grow hopelessly poorer, should be a cause for dismay,"
according to Pope Benedict XVI in his address to the Diplomatic
Corps on January 7, 2013.
"Ultimately, we are interested in the question of relative
standards of living and economic well-being. We need to
examine trends in the distribution of wealth, which, more
fundamentally than earnings or income, represents a measure
of the ability of households to consume." Alan Greenspan,
former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank
Wealth Distribution Video based upon a survey of what
people thought was the wealth distribution was and what they
think it should be and chart comparing wealth distribution
map of USA.