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Why Do Americans Tolerate Extreme Wealth Inequality?
by STEVEN MAZIE MARCH 5, 2013, 1:35 PM
New data shows Americans haven’t a clue how stunningly massive the wealth gap in their country really is. An excellent video that depicts this disparity and explains how badly Americans tend to underestimate it is below.
No matter how many statistics you’ve read on the subject, this video deserves six minutes of your time:
To summarize the video’s data:
• The richest 20 percent of Americans hold 84 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 40 percent have less than 1 percent.
• Americans believe their country is much less inegalitarian than it really is.
• The top 1 percent have a bigger slice of the pie (40 percent) than nine of out 10 Americans believe the top 20 percent should have.
• While the top 1 percent command 40 percent of the wealth, the bottom 80 percent have a measly 7 percent.
• The top 1 percent “own half of the country’s stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The bottom 50 percent of Americans own only half a percent of these investments.”
• “The average worker needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO makes in one hour.”
Putting it all together, the wealth distribution in the U.S. looks like this (note that the top 1 percent is, literally, off the chart):
And now – let’s take a look at Global Inequality