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

Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org

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…

Trump Puts Forward Tax Plan For Ultra Rich & Big Business

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and National Economic Advisor Gary Cohn introduced the Trump administration's tax plan on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Decrying Trump’s proposal as “a very big step in precisely the wrong direction,” the Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens and Hunter Blair wrote of the pass-through tax cut that “it will help private equity managers and people like President Trump: wealthy people who will now be able to reconfigure their taxes by reclassifying themselves as independent contractors. This isn’t theory, this is exactly what happened in Kansas.” In that state, Blair elaborated in a separate post on Wednesday, establishing a pass-through loophole led to “even more lost tax revenue.” Another aspect of Trump’s plan would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, which was established to ensure that the super-rich are not able to use loopholes to escape their tax liability altogether. Trump’s 2005 tax return showed that for that year, “he paid 25 percent of $153 million in taxable income instead of the less than 4 percent that he would have paid without” the AMT, as the New York Times reported when the return was released last month. Cohn also announced that the administration’s proposal would repeal the so-called “estate tax” on holdings transferred from deceased people to their heirs.

Why Society’s Biggest Freeloaders Are At The Top

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By Rutger Bregman for Evonomics – This piece is about one of the biggest taboos of our times. About a truth that is seldom acknowledged, and yet – on reflection – cannot be denied. The truth that we are living in an inverse welfare state. These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurialism that are helping to advance the whole world. Now, we may disagree about the extent to which success deserves to be rewarded – the philosophy of the left is that the strongest shoulders should bear the heaviest burden, while the right fears high taxes will blunt enterprise – but across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top. So entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Rich Americans Live Up To 15 Years Longer Than Poor Peers, Studies Find

Wealthy Americans can expect to live 15 years longer than poor peers, studies in the Lancet find. Photograph: Ariel Skelley

By Jessica Glenza for The Guardian – Health insurance system – the most expensive in the world – is worsening situation, researchers find, arguing healthcare should be treated as human right. You can’t buy time – except, it seems, in America. Increasing inequality means wealthy Americans can now expect to live up to 15 years longer than their poor counterparts, reports in the British medical journal the Lancet have found. Researchers said these disparities appear to be worsened by the American health system itself, which relies on for-profit insurance companies, and is the most expensive in the world. Their conclusion? Treat healthcare as a human right.

Underwater Nation

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By Chuck Collins for Other Words – Are you or a loved one having trouble staying afloat? You’re truly not alone. While the media reports low unemployment and a rising stock market, the reality is that almost 20 percent of the country lives in “Underwater Nation,” with zero or even negative net worth. And more still have almost no cash reverses to get them through hard times. This is a source of enormous stress for many low and middle-income families. Savings and wealth are vital life preservers for people faced with job loss, illness, divorce, or even car trouble. Yet an estimated 15 to 20 percent of families have no savings at all, or owe more than they own.

We Need To Tax The Rich But Instead We’ll Do The Opposite

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By Hamilton Nolan for The Concourse – Economic inequality in America has been rising steadily since the Reagan era. Why? A new research paper identifies what it say is the main culprit: the fact that we’ve stopped taxing the rich. There are, of course, many contributing factors to the post-Reagan Age of Inequality that has finally grown so dire that it is warping our electoral politics past recognition: the decline in union bargaining power, the influence of money on politics, the deregulation of the financial industries, fortunes spawned by new technologies, and more. But a new National Bureau of Economic Research paper, by economists from Yale and from Stockholm University, says that the most important factor of all has been the decline of progressive income taxes.

Stark Inequality: Oxfam Says 8 Men As Rich As Half The World

AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo

By Pan Pylas for Associated Press – DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It’s urging leaders to do more than pay lip-service to the problem. If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year’s election of Donald Trump…

Newsletter: Trump Comes Into Focus; So Do Our Tasks

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The Trump presidency is coming into focus. Every appointment shows that his populist campaign rhetoric was disguising a government for the ultra-wealthy and the military. He has already appointed the wealthiest cabinet ever with a net worth of $12 to $35 billion, and he is putting generals in what are usually civilian positions. A look at his current appointments show us what we can expect the Trump administration to pursue for policies. Much of the work that has been done for social and economic justice will be threatened. This means that we will need to escalate our efforts and be more assertive. The potential for people working together in solidarity will grow and the long-term impact of the Trump era could be a mass movement that will change the political culture in the United States.

Mansions And Slums: The Inequality Of Living Space

by Abhisek Sarda | CC BY 2.0

By Tamara Pearson for Counter Punch – Australians have the biggest homes in the world. New free-standing homes are an average 245.3 sqm – three times bigger than UK homes, and 22 times bigger than the average Hong Kong home. For Australia, this space privilege shows up the all pervasive myth that the country has no room for refugees. But for the world, there’s a deeper story of a global inequality of space – a story that goes well beyond mere population density differences.

Wealth Inequality Worses: Top 10% Owns Three-Quarters Of Wealth

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By Staff of CBO – In 2013, aggregate family wealth in the United States was $67 trillion (or about four times the nation’s gross domestic product) and the median family (the one at the midpoint of the wealth distribution) held approximately $81,000, CBO estimates. For this analysis, CBO calculated that measure of wealth as a family’s assets minus its debt. CBO measured wealth as marketable wealth, which consists of assets that are easily tradable and that have value even after the death of their owner.

America’s Racial Wealth Divide Is Nothing Short Of Shocking

“Suffocating Black Wealth,” an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

By Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins for Other Worlds – Most media coverage of racial injustice has understandably focused on our country’s unfair policing and criminal justice system. But to fully understand the current reality of racial inequality in America, we also need to take an honest look at our nation’s shocking wealth disparities. Wealth — the total assets a family owns after the bills are paid — is the safety net we all need to help us get through the tough times and invest in our futures. And its polarization along racial lines is striking.