Americans across the income spectrum have generally grown wealthier over the past 50 years but those at the top (A.K.A. the "millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners" to use the parlance of our times) have made out much better than the rest of us. As the Urban Institute pointed out today, in 1963, families in the ...
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Americans across the income spectrum have generally grown wealthier over the past 50 years but those at the top (A.K.A. the "millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners" to use the parlance of our times) have made out much better than the rest of us. As the Urban Institute pointed out today, in 1963, families in the top 90th percentile of household wealth had roughly six times the wealth of families in the middle. By 2016, that had doubled to 12 times.
Here's how that evolution of wealth distribution looks graphically:
Of course, part of the problem is annual household income distributions. As the charts below reveal, the gap between real earnings of the top and bottom 10% of households in the country has nearly doubled over the past 50 years with 90th percentile families today making 13x more than the families at the bottom of the income spectrum, compared to 7x in 1963.
Meanwhile, the Urban Institute figures the growing wealth gap is at least partially attributable to homeownership rates for minorities being persistently stuck ~20 points below those observed among Whites.
Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to own homes, so they more often miss out on this powerful wealth-building tool. Homeownership makes the most of automatic payments—homeowners must make mortgage payments every month—to build equity.
In 1976, 68 percent of white families owned their home, compared with 44 percent of black families and 43 percent of Hispanic families. By 2016, the homeownership gap had narrowed slightly for Hispanics but widened for blacks. Black and Hispanic families were also less likely to own homes than white families with similar incomes.
And while they didn't cover it, we're going to go out on a limb and suggest that the growing wealth divide might have something to do with the Fed's decisions to do this...
...which resulted in this...
Of course, only the people who were already wealthy were able to take advantage of the Fed's "official" policy decisions designed to inflate one massive asset bubble after another over the past 35 years.