Wealth and Power in America: Social Class, Income Distribution, Finance and the American Dream

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Wealth in the United States is commonly measured in terms of net worth, which is the sum of all assets, including home equity, minus all liabilities. More on the topic: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=ff2efe1946d5c4d43e435783f57e86dc&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=books&keywords=wealth%20america

For example, a household in possession of an $800,000 house, $5,000 in mutual funds, $30,000 in cars, $20,000 worth of stock in their own company, and a $45,000 IRA would have assets totaling $900,000. Assuming that this household would have a $250,000 mortgage, $40,000 in car loans, and $10,000 in credit card debt, its debts would total $300,000. Subtracting the debts from the worth of this household’s assets (900,000 – $300,000 = $600,000), this household would have a net worth of $600,000. Net worth can vary with fluctuations in value of the underlying assets.

The wealth—more specifically, the median net worth—of households in the United States is varied with relation to race, education, geographic location and gender. As one would expect, households with greater income feature the highest net worths, though high income cannot be taken as an always accurate indicator of net worth. Overall the number of wealthier households is on the rise, with baby boomers hitting the highs of their careers. In addition, wealth is unevenly distributed, with the wealthiest 25% of US households owning 87% of the wealth in the United States, which was $54.2 trillion in 2009.

When observing the changes in the wealth among American households, one can note an increase in wealthier individuals and a decrease in the number of poor households, while net worth increased most substantially in semi-wealthy and wealthy households. Overall the percentage of households with a negative net worth (more debt than assets) declined from 9.5% in 1989 to 4.1% in 2001.

The percentage of net worths ranging from $500,000 to one million doubled while the percentage of millionaires tripled. From 1995 to 2004, there was tremendous growth among household wealth, as it nearly doubled from $21.9 trillion to $43.6 trillion, but the wealthiest quartile of the economic distribution made up 89% of this growth. During this time frame, wealth became increasingly unequal, and the wealthiest 25% became even wealthier.

According to US Census Bureau statistics this “Upward shift” is most likely the result of a booming housing market which caused homeowners to experience tremendous increases in home equity. Life-cycles have also attributed to the rising wealth among Americans. With more and more baby-boomers reaching the climax of their careers and the middle aged population making up a larger segment of the population now than ever before, more and more households have achieved comfortable levels of wealth. Zhu Xiao Di (2004) notes that household wealth usually peaks around families headed by people in their 50s, and as a result, the baby boomer generation reached this age range at the time of the analysis.


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47 Responses

  1. Sonalben Patel says:


  2. FHOX:D says:

    como mierda yege a qui???????

  3. Chuck Dellano says:

    On YouTube look for,Clinton Documentary || Swedish Team 2016

  4. War Is Peace says:

    Initial add by Goldman Sachs intentional?? Or was I just the witness of the most incredibly ironic moment on earth?

  5. jerry henrie says:

    Read "GET RICH IN MARITIME SHIPPING STOCKS" by Jerry Henrie at amazon in kindle and paperback.

  6. Urinal splashguard? or crocyamaka? says:

    No election will solve our problem. VIOLENCE will do it. No one including my self is willing.

  7. HateGovernment says:

    Our education system teaches us to be employees, not employers.  You get a college degree so you can work for someone else.  Business owners don't need degrees.

  8. MyTwitzWorld says:

    "Socialism for the rich, Capitalism for the poor"….that really got me 1:02:56

  9. Edward Dodson says:

    This society has from the very beginning been dominated by a privileged elite who secured and protected their privilege by putting into government individuals of low integrity. The early landed interests that dominated U.S. politics and wealth distribution are still with us. Our system of property and tax law ensures that landed wealth is taxed very lightly, while those who actually produce wealth and provide real services are taxed heavily.

  10. Mike utubesux says:

    Screw that, Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein 2016! If you think Hillary or Ron Paul will solve our problems you're wrong.

  11. Avi Abraham says:

    Ron Paul 

  12. Nicola Reddwoodd says:

    Hillary 2016.

  13. barclyde1 says:

    Alot of Jews here!

  14. TheGoodNews01 says:

    We already have a system that achieves all that: "There was no unemployment, and the price of living was still extremely low; you saw very few conspicuously destitute people, and no beggars except the gypsies. Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom. Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine." George Orwell – Homage to Catalonia page 6.

  15. AnixCo1990 says:

    Thats why capitalism must be ended and be replaced with a system that will provide for all. Like what the Venus project is trying to acheive.

  16. dajokn19 says:

    As someone with a degree in History I have to disagree. There is evidence of social chiefs, trade networks, and division of labor going back as far as BCE 11,000. Social division and concentration of wealth are not at all unusual or new in human civilization.

  17. Christina Chapman says:

    As an anthropology student, I must inform you that your history is absolutely nonsensical. Hunter-gatherers didn't have a concept of "property" or "trade" until there wasn't enough food to go around. The vast majority of our evolutionary history was spent as egalitarian hunter-gatherers WITHOUT class or meaningful social statuses.

  18. Skibum Willy says:

    fix it!
    “fake speech corrects mankind's course”

  19. Eric MastermindAlliance says:

    Everyone can point fingers. I point them back at you. In life we have one thing determines our result. Goals. If you have no goal you have nothing to plan. Without a plan you have nothing to act on. Without taking action there is no results. I own the company called Goal Setting Clothing. I help others set goals. What is your goal?

  20. MASTERSTUDENT1 says:


  21. Skibum Willy says:

    The bad guys have a plan. Why don’t you GET ONE! Watch "99% Movement" on Youtube! /watch?v=hcLZKn0Aso0
    Decomission evil ambitions! The NWO anti-plan!

  22. finn6861 says:

    I think they are extremely hard working-but it doesn't seem to be at their jobs.And it doesn't seem to be 500 times harder than other hard working people/What they are, are sociopaths morbidly obese with profit.If you replace the money hoarding with food-you would see them as nothing other than disgusting.

  23. Warsie says:

    The united states has ALWAYS been ran by the rich.

  24. Reformed2005 says:

    No historical evidence Jesus existed

  25. armageddon2419 says:


  26. Shivek Dhar says:

    what makes u think that the RICH arnt hardworking??

  27. Sconi71 says:

    I guess conservatives feel that it is good for the US that the Walton family controls 40% of the wealth in this country yet pays their employees about $8.20 per hour on average? That amount does not give their employees enough purchasing power to help the economy. Jack up their pay to about $12 an hour not only gives them a wage that helps them and their families survive but it would also give them more purchasing power which would help the economy.

  28. Sconi71 says:

    Hardworking and dedicated doesn't mean anything in this country I see illegal immigrants working the cabbage fields in my county. They are dedicated and hardworking, and also vastly underpaid. While CEO's in this country make 340% more than the average worker in their companies, the middle class continues to disappear.

  29. Sconi71 says:

    Wrong wrong wrong. There are many 1% who inherit their money and contribute nothing to society. There are also many hard workers in this country that will never make it to the middle class. With that being said, since the 80's the middle class has been slowly disappearing. As a country we are more productive than ever before yet all of the wealth is trickling to the top. Unions only make up about 11% of the workforce and you want to blame them. I suggest you educate yourself.

  30. James Nachtwey says:

    If you definitely want to earn more income, you should search google for Caul Cash Code. That can help you get the cash you deserve.

  31. Thastor says:

    did i say so? idiot. Your just as dumb as tea party disinformated idiots, you leftists are just as bad. Listen christopher hitchens and get EDUCATED. idiot.

  32. N Allen says:

    So you think America is the 1% and the 99% are not Americans?

  33. Thastor says:

    what a anti american incredible trash, go live in syria, or north korea or iran! idiots. Watch christopher hitchens on america and get educated.

  34. jose m says:

    How do people become rich? Well they have to be hardworking and dedicated. You are simple giving a contradiction; your statement is communist fallacy. I see you support president Chavez, compare and contrast both U.S and Venezuela, you will find out the U.S (run by those rich people) is far better socially and economically than Venezuela, even the poor have better life than the poor under Chavez.Ahmed jones is right, in the end it does not matter who runs the country but how he does it

  35. OneEtronOneMaouth says:

    non mais sérieux, Farme ta yeul caliss personne comprend tbnk

  36. 台灣尚青 says:


  37. Warsilver says:

    You can't compare India to the US is wealth disparity. India is a developing country, i.e. Kuznets curve. You can argue correctly that the rich are becoming more rich and faster; BUT as the video states, "When observing the changes in the wealth among American households, one can note an increase in wealthier individuals and a decrease in the number of poor households". The rich are getting richer, but so are the poor.

  38. Gico says:

    que merda de legenda…..

  39. BrazilianMaster says:

    Brazil will rise to rule the economy in the world

  40. Learn English says:


  41. نبراس النبراس says:

    مراقبين بالدية

  42. Danniel Marques says:

    conteúdo ótimo com uma MERDA de legenda tudo errado

  43. Mattowarrior777 says:

    damn this is in interesting contrast to the idea that clintons administration was "ultra liberal" and "For the regular folks"

  44. EJGonzalezC says:

    i need to diagree with you why the 1% rules everything and the 99% is stuck think about that.

  45. Ahmed Samy says:

    it doesn't matter which class who runs the country , what matters what they do to other members of the society .

  46. EJGonzalezC says:

    the united states needs to be return to the people. This country is ruled by the rich and not by the hardworking population.

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