I heard yesterday on NPR that 110 people in Russian had 35% of their countries wealth. I was thinking that couldn’t possibly be true. But after reading a little, it seems plausible. That is one of the most crazy facts I’ve ever heard.
It got me wondering about US distribution of wealth. The problem with trying to get your mind wrapped around the whole problem here in the US is that it is very easy to askew the numbers. It is tricky figuring out what the fudge factor is and what exactly what each party is using for information when publishing their findings.
It is all over the place. But one thing is for sure, there are a very small percentage of people here in the United States that have an unbelievable percentage of all the wealth. It isn’t as “bad” as Russia, but it is pretty unbelievable.
The average CEO’s salary is really a whole lot more than what people believe. Like I said above, it really depends where you look to find the numbers. Here it says it is 350 times the average worker’s salary. That is pretty much a ballpark number. That means that the average CEO makes as much in one day as their worker would make in one year. That seems pretty high.
There is only an X amount of wealth. It seems to me that the country would be better off if it was spread more evenly. If you watch the video below, it shows how very little a very large percentage of all Americans have. The poorest 40-60% of us have virtually no accumulated wealth. That is more than 150,000,000 people in our country.
I remember reading somewhere that something around 20 something percent of us do not have health insurance. If you remove all the people over 65 years old that have medicare, that percentage is much, much higher. Probably in the 30% range. And these are the people that have virtually no wealth. So, every time one of these people get sick or haves an accident, really no matter how minor, they are destitute. If not destitute, then severely hurt financially.
We live in a very affluent country. If you want to see what happens when the wealth is very inequitable, go to a country like Brazil. The infrastructure and crime is horrible. We as a country need to think more as tribe and start doing things that are good for the whole. What is perceived as wealth inequity is never a good thing for society. It isn’t a perception anymore in the US, it is a reality. We need to address it or we, as a whole, will all suffer the consequences.