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Last week, my colleague Zaid Jilani pointed out that America’s income inequality is worse than that in places like Pakistan and Ethoipia and roughly equivalent to that in Uganda and the Ivory Coast. Before its revolution, Egypt’s income inequality — which played a role in sparking the uprising against former President Mubarak’s regime — was actually better than that in the U.S.
Income inequality in the U.S. is currently the worst its been since the 1920s. Just the richest 400 Americans hold more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Americans combined, and the richest 10 percent of Americans control two-thirds of the country’s net worth. Currently, the top one percent of households make nearly 25 percent of the total income in the country, after they made less than 10 percent in the 1970s. Between 1980 and 2005, “more than 80 percent of total increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1 percent.”
One of the manifestations of this inequality is hedge fund managers making as much in two minutes as Navy SEALs make in a year.
Just the richest 400 Americans hold more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Americans combined, and the richest 10 percent of Americans control two-thirds of the country’s net worth
How can we possibly live in a society where .0000000001 of the population owns more than 150,000,000 people combined?