In the United States today, we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income since the 1920s. Today, the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America -- 150 million people. Today, the top one percent own forty percent of all wealth, while the bottom sixty percent owns less than two percent. Incredibly, the bottom forty percent of all Americans own just 3/10 of one percent of the wealth of the country.
The distribution of income is even worse. If you can believe it, the last study on this subject showed that in 2010, 93 percent of all new income created in the previous year went to the top one percent, while the bottom 99 percent of people had the privilege of enjoying the remaining seven percent. In other words, the rich are getting much richer while almost everyone else is falling behind.
Not only is this inequality of wealth and income morally grotesque, it is bad economic policy. If working families are deeply in debt, and have little or no income to spend on goods and services, how can we expand the economy and create the millions of jobs we desperately need? There is a limit as to how many yachts, mansions, limos and fancy jewels the super-rich can buy. We need to put income into the hands of working families.