The Wealthiest 1% Inherited An Average Of $4.8 Million

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By Nathaniel Lewis and Matt Bruenig for Peoples Policy Report – Using the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, we broke down mean inheritance levels by wealth decile. It is important to emphasize here that these are self-reported inheritances. Survey participants are asked to think back throughout their life and identify all the wealth transfers they have received and when they received them. Naturally this is prone to misreporting and, one would think, especially prone to underreporting as people tend to forget what gifts they have received over the years. Nonetheless, as you would expect, wealthier families are much more likely to have inherited wealth. Additionally, the wealthier a family is, the more they have generally inherited. For starters, here is the percent of families in each wealth decile who have received any inheritance.

The Trump-Goldman Sachs Tax Cut For The Rich

Molly Adams/ Flickr

By Jack Rasmus for Jack Rasmus – “This past week Trump introduced his long awaited Tax Cut, estimated between $2.0 to $2.4 trillion. Like so many other distortions of the truth, Trump claimed his plan would benefit the middle class, not the rich—the latest in a long litany of lies by this president. Contradicting Trump, the independent Tax Policy Center has estimated in just the first year half of the $2 trillion plus Trump cuts will go to the wealthiest 1% households that annually earn more than $730,000. That’s an immediate income windfall to the wealthiest 1% households of 8.5%, according to the Tax Policy Center. But that’s only in the first of ten years the cuts will be in effect. It gets worse over time. According to the Tax Policy Center, “Taxpayers in the top one percent (incomes above $730,000), would receive about 50 percent of the total tax benefit [in 2018]”. However, “By 2027, the top one percent would get 80 percent of the plan’s tax cuts while the share for middle-income households would drop to about five percent.” By the last year of the cuts, 2027, on average the wealthiest 1% household would realize $207,000, and the even wealthier 0.1% would realize an income gain of $1,022,000.

Top 10% Now Own 77% Of The Wealth

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By Matt Bruenig for People’s Policy Project. The Federal Reserve released the 2016 version of the Survey of Consumer Finances today. I will be doing a lot of work with this data in the coming months. But for starters, here is a short post about overall wealth inequality. The below graph shows the wealth level at each percentile of the wealth distribution. Since wealth is so overwhelmingly concentrated at the top of society, you cannot see much from the chart itself, but you can hover over the line on the graph with your cursor to see the dollar figure at every percentile.

Perverse Mobility: From BaltimoreGhetto To HabanaStation

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By Cliff DuRand for The Center for Global Justice. Last year’s film hit in Cuba was “HabanaStation”, directed by Ian Padron. It is the touching story of a developing friendship between two boys from very different social backgrounds: one from a materially comfortable family living in Miramar, the other living in a “poor” barrio of Havana. For many foreign views of the film it is a shocking window into economic inequality in Cuba. For Cubans, it is a welcome public acknowledgement of a well-known reality. But the comments I’ve seen on “HabanaStation” overlook what makes it a powerful revolutionary film.

Trump Tax Plan Is For The Superrich – Like Trump

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By Staff of Public Citizen – Donald Trump is going from a failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, in which every proposal considered by the House and Senate Republicans made health insurance more unfair and covered less, to a tax proposal designed primarily to benefit the wealthy. An analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness of the tax framework, released today by the President and Republican leaders in Congress, “shows that Trump’s tax cuts could total a massive $6.7 to $8.3 trillion, $3 to $5 trillion of which may not be paid for by closing other tax loopholes and/or by limiting tax deductions. The resulting jump in the deficit threatens funding of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education and other vital services. The framework is very similar to key features of the tax plans previously released by President Trump and House Speaker Ryan, which is the basis for ATF’s analysis.”

Report: The Road To Zero Wealth

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By Staff of Institute for Policy Studies and Prosperity Now – While households of color are projected to reach majority status by 2043, if the racial wealth divide is left unaddressed, median Black household wealth is on a path to hit zero by 2053 and median Latino household wealth is projected to hit zero twenty years later. In sharp contrast, median White household wealth would climb to $137,000 by 2053. If current trends continue, by 2020 median Black and Latino households stand to lose nearly 18% and 12% of the wealth they held in 2013, respectively, while median White household wealth increases 3%. At that point–just three years from now–White households are projected to own 85 times more wealth than Black households and 68 times more wealth than Latino households. The declining wealth of households of color is already taking a significant toll on the broader economy. The nation’s overall median wealth decreased nearly 20% from 1983 to 2013 ($78,000 to $64,000—a period when Black and Latino median wealth went down and White wealth slowly went up. Even earning a middle-class income does not guarantee a family middle-class economic security, according to the report.

Tax Cuts For The Rich Help The Rich, Not You

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By Josh Hoxie for Other Word – You’ll see images of families flashing across your TV screen while a soothing narrator assures you that the tax plan being debated in Washington really is good for you. The newspapers you read, the social media apps you scroll through, the websites you frequent, and the snippets of radio you catch will all feature ads talking about it. That’s what a marketing blitz looks like, and there’s one coming for the Trump tax plan. It will be well-produced, well-orchestrated, and completely devoid of facts. President Trump started his sales pitch for his tax cutting agenda in Missouri in August, where the assembled audience was treated to a fact-free sermon on the virtues of his plan. Gone were any specifics of what’s in it, or who gets what. Looking at Trump’s tax plan from the campaign, as well as what the Republican majority in the House of Representatives have proposed, we can see the basic outlines of what’s coming. Corporations will see their nominal tax rates drop from 35 percent to 20 or even 15 percent. Individual rates will go down — possibly for everyone, but definitely and most strikingly for the very wealthy. Overall tax revenue will tank, potentially by as much as $10 trillion over ten years. What does all this look like in the real world? On the corporate side, we know for sure that lower corporate taxes do not create jobs.

After The Financial Crisis: How The Ultra-Wealthy Have Prospered

(Photo: Funny Solution Studio / Shutterstock)

By Nick Beams for WSWS – It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The same might apply to a graph. One such case is a striking graphic, published in the Financial Times this week, showing a downturn in the wealth of the world’s top-ten billionaires in the financial crisis of 2008, and then roaring back, at an even greater rate than in the past, to reach new heights. As the brief article noted, the net worth of the world’s “very wealthiest people took a hit during the financial crisis as the stock market tumbled—but that pause would be short lived.” The crisis proved to be but a “temporary setback.” The graphic serves to underscore the real meaning of the word “recovery,” which is so frequently bandied about by the heads of the world’s major economic institutions to describe the state of the world economy. In fact, it has nothing to do with economic reality. On the contrary, it reveals the state of the world’s ultra-wealthy, in contrast to the situation confronting hundreds of millions of working people in the major economies, where real incomes remain below their level before the 2008 crisis, and wealth has contracted.

The Coming Tax Fight — And Why We Need You!

Trump flanked by the Blackstone CEO, Stephen Schwarzman, a Momentive investor and Trump’s ‘jobs czar’, and the General Motors CEO, Mary Barra. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

By Chuck Collins for Inequality – Are you ready to resist? With Donald Trump’s August 30 tax cut speech in Springfield, Missouri, the great tax fight of 2017 has now begun. The Trump tax cut plan, the President blustered in Missouri, will raise wages and benefit America’s working people. “This speech was an extraordinary effort to obfuscate, fabricate, and create an alternative reality,” says Frank Clemente, co-founder and director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Trump has a big sales job: to make a tax cut that will mostly benefit Trump and his fellow billionaires appealing to his regular base.” The Americans for Tax Fairness coalition, founded in 2012, now represents over 425 national and state organizations and serves as the key advocacy umbrella organization on progressive tax reform. The coalition has been preparing for this moment all year. Clemente has essentially been preparing his whole life. From campaigns to expand health care and reform the campaign finance system to serving as issues director for the 1988 Presidential campaign of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Clemente has put in decades working for economic justice. “I’ve been fighting corporate power in different ways all my life,” he notes. “But I don’t think we’ve gone up against a lobbying operation this size before.”

What Happened To America’s Wealth? The Rich Hid It

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By Chuck Collins for Other WOrds – There’s actually trillions that could be used to fix our roads and schools. The wealthy just don’t want you to know where it is. If you find yourself traveling this summer, take a closer look at America’s deteriorating infrastructure — our crumbling roads, sidewalks, public parks, and train and bus stations. Government officials will tell us “there’s no money” to repair or properly maintain our tired infrastructure. Nor do we want to raise taxes, they say. But what if billions of dollars in tax revenue have gone missing? New research suggests that the super-rich are hiding their money at alarming rates. A study by economists Annette Alstadsaeter, Niels Johannesen, and Gabriel Zucman reports that households with wealth over $40 million evade 25 to 30 percent of personal income and wealth taxes. These stunning numbers have two troubling implications. First, we’re missing billions in taxes each year. That’s partly why our roads and transit systems are falling apart. Second, wealth inequality may be even worse than we thought. Economic surveys estimate that roughly 85 percent of income and wealth gains in the last decade have gone to the wealthiest one-tenth of the top 1 percent.

US 1% Will Control 70% Of Wealth By 2021

America’s oligarchs are set to maintain their grip on the majority of the country’s wealth, with a new study claiming that they will control 70 percent of national wealth by 2021. (AP/Vadim Ghirda)

By Whitney Webb for Mint Press News – America’s rich just won’t quit getting richer, according to a new study released in mid-June by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm. The study, which seeks to analyze the global wealth management industry, as well as the evolution of private wealth, uncovered some startling statistics that suggest that global financial inequality will grow significantly by the year 2021. The firm found that the already massive gap between the world’s wealthy elite – the approximately 18 million households that hold at least than $1 million in assets – and everyone else is continuing to widen at a remarkable rate. The estimated 70 million people who make up these households were found to control 45 percent of the world’s $166.5 trillion in wealth. And in just four more years, it is estimated that they will control more than half of the world’s wealth, despite representing less than 1 percent of the world’s current population. However, while rising inequality is a global phenomenon, it is especially pronounced in the United States. While wealth inequality in the U.S. is by no means an unknown phenomenon, the U.S. is significantly more unequal than most other countries, with the nation’s elite currently holding 63 percent of the private wealth.

Massachusetts To Vote On Taxing The Wealthy

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By Staff of MTA – The Massachusetts Legislature, meeting in a Constitutional Convention, has approved sending the proposed Fair Share Amendment to the November 2018 state ballot. The legislators’ vote of 134-55 on Wednesday, June 14, was the second by a Constitutional Convention on the measure, as is required for amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution. The citizens’ initiative would create an additional 4 percent tax on annual income over $1 million. The tax would raise almost $2 billion a year for public education and transportation. To ensure that the tax would be applied only to the highest-income residents, the $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases. MTA President Barbara Madeloni said that the amendment is needed because “our public schools and colleges are drastically underfunded.” “We have many communities in need of free high-quality prekindergarten,” she continued. “We need to make sure that arts, athletics and cultural activities are available to students no matter where they live — and we cannot let cost be a hurdle to students looking to pursue higher education in our public colleges and universities. It’s time to give the voters public education funding that is sufficient to meet the needs of all of our students.”

Honor Juneteenth By Closing The Racial Wealth Divide

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By Jessicah Pierre for Other Words – On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas. They carried some historic news: Slavery had finally and completely ended, they declared. All of America’s enslaved people were now free, some two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. That day in June would soon become “Juneteenth,” a holiday still celebrated in communities across the United States. African Americans have now been free from slavery for over 150 years. Over the course of those years, the United States has made some appreciable and even impressive progress. In 1964, passage of the Civil Rights Act toppled Jim Crow. A year later, the Voting Rights Act challenged discriminatory voting laws. We’ve even seen the election — and re-election — of the nation’s first black president. So why, amid all this progress, does the Juneteenth holiday still resonate so powerfully for so many Americans Because Juneteenth reminds us how far we have yet to go. Racial inequality remains one of the top issues of our time. Black households, research shows, continue to lag economically behind their white counterparts, in both income and wealth.

Now Just Five Men Own Almost As Much Wealth As Half Of World's Population

It's not a meritocracy. It's an oligarchy. (Photo: Pixabay/CC0)

By Paul Buchheit for Common Dreams – Most of the super-super-rich are Americans. We the American people created the Internet, developed and funded Artificial Intelligence, and built a massive transportation infrastructure, yet we let just a few individuals take almost all the credit, along with hundreds of billions of dollars. Defenders of the out-of-control wealth gap insist that all is OK, because, after all, America is a ‘meritocracy’ in which the super-wealthy have ‘earned’ all they have. They heed the words of Warren Buffett: “The genius of the American economy, our emphasis on a meritocracy and a market system and a rule of law has enabled generation after generation to live better than their parents did.” But it’s not a meritocracy. Children are no longer living better than their parents did. In the eight years since the recession the Wilshire Total Market valuation has more than TRIPLED, rising from a little over $8 trillion to nearly $25 trillion. The great majority of it has gone to the very richest Americans. In 2016 alone, the richest 1% effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves…

Who Rules America? A Breakdown Of Wealth In The U.S. House And Senate

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By Jerry Robinson for Follow The Money – And while many politicians enter public office with large bank accounts, few realize how many of our nation’s leaders leverage their political positions to dramatically increase their wealth. Now, as a student of Austrian economics and as a firm believer in the free markets, I am not opposed at all to leveraging one’s talents and abilities to increase wealth. However, when public office is specifically used for private gain, we have a problem. After all, politicians are sent to Washington with a mandate to promote the will of the people. However, America’s politicians often end up serving the wishes of their corporate masters, as well as other special interest groups. Here’s a few hard facts on the matter…