Visualizing Wealth Inequality in America

This video has been popping up all over the place in recent days and  it really does a good job of depicting how wealth is distributed in the U.S., much to the chagrin of everyone who isn’t in the top few percent.


Aside from nicely done graphics and the astonishing 92 percent consensus on what the ideal wealth distribution is, what I thought was most surprising about this presentation is that (at about the 4 minute mark) even the actual wealth of the top 10-20 percent comes in well below either the expected or ideal case for this group. Of course, visualizing the wealth of the top one percent after that is pretty stunning too.

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4 Responses to Visualizing Wealth Inequality in America

  1. fc March 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM #

    How is wealth being defined?
    Is it income or net worth?
    The line graphs deal with wealth which appear to depict net worth.
    Then it goes to CEO pay as a multiple of average worker’s income.

    No dispute on the disparities.
    It may be more effective to define net worth and use dollar amounts.

    More importantly though wealth isn’t a dollar amount.
    True wealth is the intangibles like family, health and peace.

    • Tim March 5, 2013 at 9:09 PM #

      As I recall, this was all about wealth, not income, and they only talked about income toward the end when they were comparing salaries of CEOs to others.

    • DCX2 March 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM #

      While “true” wealth could be defined by intangibles, those intangibles don’t pay bills and put food on the table.

      I am reminded of a saying I once heard when I was younger. “Money can’t buy you happiness, but poverty can’t buy you crap” (it was slightly more colorful than that, but you get the picture)

      I am torn between whether wealth or income is a better measure for defining monetary inequality. Not that it matters, income inequality is perhaps slightly less skewed than wealth inequality. The one thing I do know is that a smaller and weaker middle class provides for fewer economies of scale, which hurts all consumers whether they are poor or wealthy.

      • SC March 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM #

        There are no classes in our Republic despite the constant pounding of the Marxist drumbeat of our imperial president. In a socialist society, there are only rich and poor - the rich politicians (see Hugo Chavez net worth) and everyone else. When I see greater inequality in income and in wealth, it only confirms my suspicion that the most radical socialist president in our country’s short history is succeeding in advancing his radical ideology of wealth redistribution (see Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky).

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