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Inequality remains incredibly high in the US. That’s using the definition of the roots of the word “incredibly” as in not credible, hard to believe. And yet, it’s true. A recent analysis compiled some simple data:

  • Three households (Gates, Buffett, Bezos) own as much as 63 million households.
  • “More than half of US wealth is controlled by 25 billionaires.”
  • About 20% of US households have negative net worth.
  • “households in the top 0.01 percent, with wealth over $45 million, evade 25 to 30 percent of personal income and wealth taxes.”

As incredible as that may be, at least one of those data points is an improvement. During the Great Recession, about 40% of US households had negative net worth. The improvement is probably from the recovery in the housing market. The main engine for maintaining the inequality has been the US tax code that are more likely to benefit the rich over the poor. Ironically, the rich then leverage that benefit by being more likely to evade taxes. None of the existing or likely tax codes are expected to decrease, and are more likely to increase it.

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