At a recent meeting of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head, professor Timothy Smeeding spoke on the topic of “Global Income Inequality.” His main theme was that while global poverty has been going down — fewer people are living on income of less than $1 per day (a pretty low standard of poverty) — the inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity throughout the world is growing, especially in America.
Smeeding showed a chart from a Rockstone Research report showing that in America, from1998 to 2013 the median net worth of the top 10 percent went up 75 percent (from about $640,000 to about $1,112,000). During the same period, the “middle class” had its median net worth drop 19 percent (from $76,000 to $62,000). The “working class” dropped 53 percent (from $46,000 to $24,000). And the “lower class” saw its median net worth drop 27 percent (from $7,500 to $5,500). Note: The percentage figures are directly from the report, while the dollar changes are estimated by looking at a bar graph.
The American Health Care Act contains $600 billion in tax cuts that would save the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans, on average, $200,000 each. Losers under the new law would be people who are older, but not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare (many of whom voted for Donald Trump and his promise of a great replacement for Obamacare), the sick and low income.
And wealth inequality continues to grow.
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