July 2, 2010

More Re- the Decline of the Middle Class

Great article at rationalrevolution.

And if you haven't already seen it, don't miss Elizabeth Warren's presentation, here.

UPDATE: Just came across this at Who Rules America (apparently based on a recent paper {here} by Edward N. Wolff at Bard's Levy Economics Institute):

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%.
So far there are only tentative projections -- based on the price of housing and stock in July 2009 -- on the effects of the Great Recession on the wealth distribution. They suggest that average Americans have been hit much harder than wealthy Americans. Edward Wolff, the economist we draw upon the most in this document, concludes that there has been an "astounding" 36.1% drop in the wealth (marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the housing bubble in 2007. By contrast, the wealth of the top 1% of households dropped by far less: just 11.1%. So as of April 2010, it looks like the wealth distribution is even more unequal than it was in 2007.

B.t.w., happy 4th.

FURTHER UPDATE: Here are 22 statistics from FinanceMyMoney.com that "Prove the Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out of Existence in America" (via Business Insider).

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