Moral Issue

In America today, the top 1 percent owns 38 percent of the financial wealth of America. The bottom 60 percent owns 2.3 percent. 

In America today, one family, the Walton family of Walmart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent, while the top 400 individuals in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of the nation – over 150 million people.

In terms of income, the top 1 percent earns more income than the bottom 50 percent, while the wealthiest 16,000 Americans, who make more than $10 million a year (the top 0.01 percent), saw their income increase by nearly a third from 2011 to 2012. 

According to the most recent study, from 2009 to 2012, 95 percent of all new income went to the top 1 percent. Meanwhile, since 1999, median family income declined by more than $5,000 after adjusting for inflation.

Today, a record-breaking 46.5 million people live in poverty in the United States. At 21.8 percent, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. One out of four kids in this country now lives in a family that receives food stamps.

Poverty among seniors is growing. Over 9 percent of seniors lived in poverty last year, higher than in 2009.  More American seniors were living in poverty last year than in 1972.

In recent years, while median family income has declined and poverty has increased, the number of millionaires and billionaires has grown at an extraordinary rate. In 1996, there were 121 billionaires in this country. Today, there are 442.