Median wealth in the U.S. is $44,911, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Databook. The average wealth of the top 10 wealthiest, according to Forbes, is $41.05 billion, almost a million dollars for every dollar held by people in the middle. Why does it matter? Fairness aside, it takes money out of local economies around the country. People in the bottom 80 percent in terms of wealth spend most of their incomes on goods and services that support local businesses.
The wealthiest cannot spend all their money and may keep it in foreign banks. Politically, elected representatives are forced to pay disproportionate attention to the demands of the ultra-wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Socially, behaviors degenerate borne of desperation, cynicism, despair, and depression. The good news is that it does not have to be this way; there was a time when it was much less so.
Legislation and tax policy since the late 1970s are what have set the economy’s course to where we are today and it can be reversed if we as voters will educate ourselves and demand of our representatives the necessary changes. To begin, I recommend Thom Hartmann’s free book “Rebooting the American Dream” at: http://bit.ly/IOsx6U.
Rodger L. Stevens