Alla luce degli ultimi dati relativi alla situazione finanziaria dei consumatori pubblicati dalla Federal Reserve, Matt Bruenig propone su Jacobin Magazine un’analisi della distribuzione della ricchezza negli Stati Uniti.
These overall statistics appear to tell a simple and intuitive story. Older people are wealthier than younger people because they have had longer to accumulate wealth and because they had better economic experiences than younger generations today. White people are richer than black and Latino people because of past and present racism in America. And individuals with college degrees are wealthier than those with less education because of the earnings premium that college graduates enjoy.
All of these things are true to some extent and help explain overall differences. But this sort of analysis can cause some people to think that overall wealth inequality in society is primarily an artifact of racial, educational, and age-base disparities. In reality, the level of wealth inequality within each group is virtually identical to the wealth inequality that we see in society as a whole.
In basically every demographic group, the top 20 percent owns around 80 to 85 percent of the group’s wealth, while the bottom half owns zero to 5 percent of it.