Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

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

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."

Jake Johnson

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."

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."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Sunrise Movement Warns of 'Betrayal' as Pelosi Bends Toward Corporate Democrats

"We need Dems to hold the line for a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, full stop."

Jake Johnson ·


Progressive Groups Warn Congress Against Including Carbon Tax in Reconciliation Package

"If lawmakers are really concerned about holding the costs of this spending bill, they should get rid of the billions of dollars we waste every year on subsidies to polluters."

Jessica Corbett ·


Opposing His Renomination, Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell 'A Dangerous Man'

"Your record gives me grave concern," Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Jerome Powell. "Over and over, you have acted to make our banking system less safe."

Jake Johnson ·


California Wildfire Victims Lead Calls for Tougher PG&E Criminal Penalties

"The power company is the biggest serial killer in state history, and all it gets is fines?"

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressives Warn Democrats Against Means-Testing Reconciliation Bill to Death

"Raising taxes on the rich is much more efficient than means-testing benefits and accomplishes exactly what the spending hawks claim to be concerned about!"

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo