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If Inequality Continues to Grow at Current Rate, Richest Americans Will Own 100% of US Wealth in 33 Years: Analysis

"However you slice it, the rich have been getting richer. Lots richer."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils new Kindle reading devices at a press conference in Santa Monica, California. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

If wealth inequality in the United States continues to soar at its current rate, the top 10 percent of Americans could own 100 percent of the nation's net worth by 2052.

That's according to an analysis by Dallas Morning News finance columnist Scott Burns, who wrote Sunday that the wealthiest Americans "will truly 'have it all' just 33 years from now."

"If they continue to gain share at that rate, they'll have the remaining 22.8 percent of net worth held by the other 90 percent in just 12 more surveys, give or take an upheaval or two."
—Scott Burns, Dallas Morning News

"However you slice it, the rich have been getting richer. Lots richer," wrote Burns, citing Federal Reserve data. "Here are the basics. From 2013 to 2016, the top 10 percent of households increased their share of total wealth from an amazing 75.3 percent to a stunning 77.2 percent. That's a share gain of 1.87 percent in just three years."

"If they continue to gain share at that rate," Burns added, "they'll have the remaining 22.8 percent of net worth held by the other 90 percent in just 12 more surveys, give or take an upheaval or two."

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Burns's analysis is just the latest evidence that wealth inequality in the United States, juiced by President Donald Trump's massive tax cuts for the rich, is reaching unprecedented heights.

In February, University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman published research showing the top 0.00025 percent—just 400 Americans—owns more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans.

As Common Dreams reported in June, Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People's Policy Project, pointed to Federal Reserve data to show that the bottom half of Americans lost $900 billion in wealth between 1989 and 2018.

Over that same period, Bruenig found, "the top one percent increased its total net worth by $21 trillion."

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