Inequality Like Climate Change; It’s Worse Each Time You Look

Three More Reasons for Wealth-Deprived Americans to Take to the Streets

By Yves Smith  April 10, 2018

Yves here. Although the general argument of this post on widening wealth disparity will be old hat for established readers, the data on income under-reporting was new to me.

By Paul Buchheit, the author of Disposable Americans: Extreme Capitalism and the Case for a Guaranteed Income (Routledge, 2017). His essays, videos and poems can be found at Originally published at Alternet

The rest of America has been left behind, but their voices are getting louder.

It’s starting to happen, as teachers around the country are fighting back against income and wealth inequality. At least 3 of every 4 Americans have been cheated out of a share of U.S. productivity since the 1980s. The approximately one of four Americans who have prospered, especially those in the top 5%, generally don’t seem to care much about inequality, and instead hang onto delusions about their own self-worth and the struggles of people who “don’t work hard enough.”

From various trusted sources come maddening facts about the relentlessly expanding wealth divide. Inequality is a perversion of human conduct, as most of society’s new benefits have derived from automation, and thus from decades of public input, taxpayer funding, and government research. But the beneficiaries are those who are well-connected to the corporate and financial processes exploiting that growth, mainly through stock ownership.

The rest of America has been left behind, but their voices are getting louder.

(1) In Just the Last 3 Years, the Richest 5% Gained an Average of $800,000 While the Poorest 50% LOST Wealth

This information comes from the 2017 Global Wealth Databook, and is summarized here. Incredibly, the richest 5% of Americans increased their average wealth from about $4 million to nearly $5 million since the end of 2014.

Meanwhile, the average household wealth of the poorest 50% actually

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