## Thursday, August 25, 2011

### How much is a billion

SOYMB never gets weary of exposing the inequlities of the capitalist system

Some capitalists make over a billion dollars a year – each year.

How much is a billion dollars? How can you visualize an amount of money so high? Here is one way to think about it: The median income in the US is around \$29,000, meaning half of us make less and half make more. If you make \$29,000 a year, and don’t spend a single penny of it, it will take you 34,482 years to save a billion dollars. Some people make more than \$1 billion in a year But that is in a single year. If you make vast sums every year, after a while it starts to add up. (And then there is the story of inherited wealth, passed down and growing for generation after generation...)

The top 1% took in 23.5% of all of the country’s income in 2007. Between 1979 and 2008, the top 5% of American families saw their real incomes increase 73%, according to Census data. Over the same period, the lowest-income fifth (20% of us) saw a decrease in real income of 4.1%. There are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That's an increase of 74 percent since 2007

Top 1% owns more than 90% of us combined. In 2007, the latest year for which figures are available from the Federal Reserve Board, the richest 1% of U.S. households owned 33.8% of the nation’s private wealth. That’s more than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent.

400 people have as much wealth as half of our population. The combined net worth of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans in 2007: \$1.5 trillion. The combined net worth of the poorest 50% of American households: \$1.6 trillion.

The top 1% also own 50.9% of all stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets. The top 10% own 90.3%.

#### 2 comments:

Anonymous said...

In America it's a thousand million. In Britain it is (or used to be) a million million (what the Americans call a trillion).

ajohnstone said...

I remember that , yet another successful Americanisation of British English