A few important points:
- This is wealth, not income; income is a little more evenly distributed although is still interesting to look at.
- We mentioned in class the idea that people with significant wealth don’t even have to work anymore, they can simply rent their wealth to others at interest. They don’t need to actually produce anything. It’s aristocracy to an extent.
- Remember also that the most wealthy are also the ones who enjoy the vast majority of tax breaks. Your Warren Buffets who pay 15-17% in taxes, while people making $100k get taxed well over 30%.
- UPDATE: Stiglitz wrote an op-ed for the NYT on how our tax structure is at fault for wealth inequality. It’s excellent, read it.
Notice the large losses of wealth and net worth suffered by the bottom 80% between 2007 and 2010.