Disparity in Wealth - Are Christians|
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 121701)
... of a fairer and
more equitable world?
Distribution of Wealth,
by Ralph Nader
June 12, 2000
(link no longer available)
Excerpt: "Tax policy has shifted the tax burden off the shoulders
of the wealthy and on to the middle class.
'No sensible democracy
would opt for an economic system in
which the financial wealth of the top 1 percent of households
exceeds the combined wealth of the bottom 95 percent.' That
is the common sense observation with which Jeff Gates begins
his provocative new book, Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main
Street from Wall Street. (Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, Mass.)
Noting that the nation's
400 richest families increased their wealth
on average by $940 million each from 1997 to 1999 – an increase
of $1.28 million every day – Gates then asks the provocative
question: 'Who voted for that?'
He asks, 'How many
wage earners in a true democracy would
endorse a system in which 1998 wages are 7 percent lower than
in 1973 – when Richard Nixon was in the White House.' ..."
- - -
Here's a statistical
analysis used by some to claim that wealth
*is* fairly distributed in the U.S. ...
This data clearly shows the quintile distribution.
However, of note,
much of the wealth of the super-rich
(the top 1%) and the near-rich (the next 9%) is obfuscated
by the relative lack of riches of the next 10%. Net worth
drops precipitously as you get past the super-rich and
near super-rich domains.
A median, as used
in the report, of 118,000 dollars (half
of the top quintile above/half below) is totally lacking
in reflecting the enormous concentration of wealth (and
relative lack of debt) at the upper end of the scale.
Assessing the richest
19,251,000 households in the
country yields quite different medians than does
assessing the richest 962,550 households (the super-rich;
the top 1% who, along with the near super-rich, the next
9%, hold an overwhelming amount of the net worth of
the top quintile).
on quintiles brings into question
whether they're trying to reveal information or obscure
information (I suspect the latter - a whitewash of the
depth of the problem, if you will).
In the following
detailed analyses (the best I've run
across on the web, thus far) some cogent comparisons
are made and it will take quite awhile for you to analyze
and consider the information, but one of the reports
details the top 1% compared to the next 9% compared
to the bottom 90% and that yield a better feel for the
true net worth distribution challenges in the country ...
Facts and Figures
- Wealth/Income/Health Patterns
Time for a Wealth
Edward N. Wolff
I'm not saying we
should have a wealth tax like the one
which Wolff mentions, although this does have some of
the same themes (regarding equity and fairness) as my
presidential platform ideas on taxation changes.