¡¡¡¡LyrArc Article Gist
¡¡¡¡Politico magazine says wealth inequality is a worse situation than a country's income inequality. By this measure the situation has deteriorated badly in the U.S. It cites a study by Thomas Piketty of France with Saez and Zucman, showing that a shocking 75% of household wealth, and 97% of capital income-income generated from dividends, interest and capital gains- is concentrated in the top 10% of households in America. More shocking it says is another study showing that nearly 50% of American households could not come up with 0 in an emergency to meet and unexpected expense, while a tiny fraction controls trillions of dollars in assets.
¡¡¡¡Why is this important? Beyond the obvious short term immediate needs there is the need to build a plan for the future, to be resilient in the face of a job loss or major illness, to seek higher education for job retraining, to save for a home to retire.
¡¡¡¡In America the history shows that for most of its history since the founding fathers, in the 1750's the situation was that of a rising tide for all sections of society interrupted by the breakdown during post tech boom failures in the 1890's and 1930's. This is embodied in the Declaration of Independence itself the perception of this as something to be taken for granted- "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights ..."
¡¡¡¡One proposal is for a universal income. Others are for employees to have ownership in the business that they work for and contribute their skills. Setting up Permanent Funds that pay dividends to all citizens of a state. Some of these proposals are being considered in Britain by the Labour Party, and Democrats in the U.S. as they forge ways to tackle the rising inequality in Britain after a decade of austerity cuts, and in the U.S. after the tech boom and regional inequality.)