mybudget360.com / December 3, 2013
We currently exist in a land of financial contradictions. US household incomes adjusting for inflation are back to levels last seen in the late 1980s. However, holiday spending is going strongly largely by people going into big debt. Many are going to be paying for the holiday season of 2013 deep into years to come. More troubling than spending via debt is the record level of wealth inequality in the United States. We would need to go back to the Gilded Age to find similar levels of wealth inequality. The latest data shows that roughly 75 percent of the financial wealth in America is held in the hands of the top 10 percent of households. Or to invert this, 25 percent of all US wealth is divided up amongst the bottom 90 percent of the population. Wealth is the true measure of financial stability. It used to be the case that housing was the one safe store of wealth for Americans but Wall Street has hijacked this asset class and has converted it to another commodity to speculate on. Yet by looking at spending habits and financial behavior many Americans think they are simply temporarily embarrassed millionaires. They act against their own interests while wealth inequality rages on.
The most unequal of them all
Wealth inequality is at levels not seen in nearly a century: