U.S. Monetary Inequity

We are a nation in which monetary inequality is rampant. Note the following statistics: between 1979 and 2019, the average income of the richest 0.01 percent of households, a group that today represents about 31,500 people, grew more than nine times faster than the income of the bottom 20 percent of earners. With average household income of $43 million, they bring in 1,807 times more income than the bottom 20 percent.

It gets worse. In the third quarter of 2022, 68 percent of the total wealth in the United States was owned by the top 10 percent of earners. In comparison, the lowest 50 percent of earners only owned 3.3 percent of the total wealth. That top 10 percent make more income than the next 90 percent combined and since the end of the recession, 95 percent of income gains have gone to the top 1 percent of earners. The average CEO pay is 271 times greater than the average annual salary of typical American workers.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Part of problem is that the wealthy don’t pay much federal tax. By 2018, the 400 richest Americans paid a lower overall tax rate than almost anyone else. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, paid no federal income taxes in 2007 or in 2011.

Inequality is higher in the U.S. than in other rich countries. In fact, the U.S. has the greatest income disparity among the developed nations of the world.

We must address our inequity.

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