Tuesday, July 24, 2012

America’s rich get richer.

Between 1980 and 2010, notes an analysis of IRS tax data this past spring by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, incomes for America’s top 1 percent more than doubled, after inflation, to an average $1.02 million.

Average incomes for the nation’s top 0.1 percent, over that same span, more than tripled, and the top 0.01 percent - average incomes more than quadrupled, to $23.8 million in 2010. In 2010, Forbes reports, America’s 400 richest collectively held a rather awesome $1.37 trillion in wealth.

But much of the wealth of the super rich is actually hidden.

Tax-havens host over 3.5 million paper companies, thousands of shell banks and insurance companies, and tens of thousands of shell subsidiaries for the world’s multi-nationals, trans-national companies.

Fewer than 100,000 people - just .001 percent of the world’s population control over 30 percent of the world’s financial wealth. Americans make up, according to various previous surveys of the world’s ultra rich, almost a third of the world’s super wealthy. That would put the American share of unrecorded offshore private assets as high as $10 trillion.

What about the rest of us?

After inflation, average incomes for America’s bottom 90 percent  fell - by 4.8 percent - between 1980 and 2010. Americans in this 90 percent averaged $31,337 in 1980, only $29,840 in 2010.

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