Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Billions going to Billionaires

America has always been great for the richest 1%.

These multi-millionaires effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves in 2016. While there's no need to offer condolences to the rest of the top 10%, who still have an average net worth of $1.3 million, nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) came from the nation's poorest 90%.

That's over $17,000 in housing and savings per lower-to-middle-class household lost to the super-rich.  Put another way, the average 1% household took an additional $3 million of the national wealth in one year while education and infrastructure went largely unfunded. 

According to Piketty and Saez and Zucman, the true 'middle class' is "the group of adults with income between the median and the 90th percentile." This group of 50 million households lost $1.76 trillion of their wealth in 2016, or over $35,000 each. That's a $35,000 decline in housing and financial assets, with possibly increased debt, for every middle-class household. 

In the 1980s, the housing wealth of the bottom 90% made up about 15 percent of total household wealth.

In the 1980s, the corporate equities owned by the richest .01% made up about 1.2 percent of total household wealth). 

Housing was 12 times greater than super-rich stock holdings back then. Now they're nearly equal. The home values of 112,000,000 households have been reduced to just over 5 percent of total wealth, while the stocks and securities of the richest 12,000 households are approaching 5 percent of total wealth. Our homes have turned to dust, and the plutocrats have turned the dust into gold. 

It's bad enough that the poorest 50% of America have no appreciable wealth, but their income has not increased in 40 years.

The obscene transfer of wealth and income to the plutocrats won't end until we demand world socialism, where we work as a society rather than allow predatory plutocratic individuals to control us. You won't get rid of billionaires until you get rid of capitalism.

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