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U.S. Wealth Distribution: I Get $38, You Get 23 Cents -- That's Fair, Right? 

Distribution of Our Wealth Is Terribly Askew

September 4, 2001

Most people have no idea that the vast bulk of the wealth of the United States is in the hands of a relative handful of people.

The wealth distribution chart below shows that the top 1% own 38.1% of the wealth in the country, the next 4% own 21.3%, and the next 5% own 11.5%.  That is to say, the top 10% of the country owns 70.9% of the wealth of this nation!

Ninety percent of the country owns a mere 29.1%.

[chart from United for a Fair Economy]



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Another way to put it: Assume there are 100 people who have $100 to split up.  No one expects it to be divided perfectly evenly at $1 apiece, but everyone involved expects that some basic fairness will be used in the process that will split up the money.

Now let's say the $100 winds up being divided as follows:

1  person gets


4  people get

$5.32 each

5  people get

$2.30 each

10  people get

$1.25 each

20  people get

.60 each

20  people get

.23 each

40  people get

1/2 cent each

The 40 people getting 1/2 cent each might be a bit annoyed at the person getting $38.10.  The 20 people getting 23 cents each would probably not be happy with the 4 people receiving $5.32 each.  And so on...

This is how our economic system has distributed the wealth of our country.  It's so far from any type of fairness as to be laughable, were it not a direct cause of certain segments of our society lacking adequate resources for food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other necessities, let alone any amenities of a beyond-subsistence life.

[see Bogus "Class Warfare" Charge]

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

More on Wealth Distribution

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