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Median Family Wealth Is at a 43-Year Low

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posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 02:59 PM
The idea that poor and middle-class Americans are suffering is nothing new: Anyone with access to the news (or, for that matter, to an ordinary suburban neighborhood) is likely to notice that it has gotten harder for average families to make ends meet. Beyond that, a veritable army of economists, politicians and pundits has spent the past few years pointing out the growing gap between the rich and everyone else.

Now, a recent study by New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff has put the decline of the American middle class in a whole new perspective: According to Wolff's calculations, the median net worth of American households has now reached a 43-year low of $57,000 (in 2010 dollars).

Where did all the money go? Over the same period, the richest 1 percent of households increased their average wealth by 71 percent.

Here's another way to gauge the shift in wealth: From 1983 to 2010 the share of total wealth held by the richest 10% of American households increased from 68.2 percent to 76.7 percent. All the rest of Americans lost ground.

Why did this happen? Ask those in congress who were funded by the one percent.

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