Viral Video Shows the U.S. Wealth Distribution
I came across a video that is currently making its way around YouTube and is going viral regarding the distribution of wealth in America. It offered a comparison of what Americans think the wealth distribution is vs. what they think it should be vs. what it actually is. The results are very surprising. Most surprising is the fact that the top 1% hold more wealth than 90% of those surveyed believe the top 20% SHOULD hold.
Here are some key bullets:
- In 2009 the total wealth held in the United States was roughly $54 Trillion.
- The top 1% of roughly 300 million Americans hold 40% of the $54 Trillion. That’s $21.6 Trillion or $7.2 million per person on average for the top 1% (about 3 million people).
- The bottom 80% of roughly 300 million Americans hold 7% of the $54 Trillion. That’s $3.7 Trillion or $15,416 per person on average for the bottom 80% (about 240 million people).
- The top 1% take home about 25% of the nation’s income today compared with 9% of the nation’s income in 1976.
- The top 1% own 50% of the country’s stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The bottom 50% of Americans own 0.5%
- The average employee in a company would need to work over a month to earn what their CEO makes in one hour.
There are two ways to look at these facts. You can complain that the rich make too much money and demand the government take more from them to give to more people, or you can choose to improve your own situation by participating in a smarter system than a job that gives you an opportunity to improve your financial situation and move towards that top 1%. Which do you choose?
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