The One Percent: Who Are They? What Do They Do? How Much Do They Have? The One Percenters are not a monolithic entity, but rather a diverse crowd demographically, geographically and occupatonally.
But what they have in common is the extraordinary amount of the nation’s wealth under their control. Statistician Willford King in 1911 noted the richest 1% of Americans took home 15% of the nation’s income. In the midst of the Progressive Movement, this raised alarms. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system to deal with this growing disparity. In the early 1930′s the nation was compelled to deal with an out of control investment culture that was one of the root causes of the Great Depression.
Following, World War II income distribution became profoundly more equal during what has been referred to as the “Great Compression” where wealth looked as if it was gathering in the middle of the distribution curve. The One Percent Is 288 Times Wealthier Than The Median U.S. Household. The rich are getting even richer as most other Americans fall behind.
Households in the wealthiest one percent were 288 times richer than the median American household in 2010, possessing an average net worth of $16.4 million. In contrast, the median American household had a net worth of $57,000 in 2010. That's according to "The State of Working America," a report released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute. The wealthiest one percent now own 35 percent of all wealth in the U.S, and income inequality is growing as wages have not kept up with workers' increased output. EPI, a left-leaning think tank, blames economic policies such as the deregulation of the financial industry, lower tax rates and weakened protections for collective bargaining.
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