For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Report: 20 Wealthiest in U.S. Own More than Bottom Half
WASHINGTON - CHUCK COLLINS, chuckcollins7 at me.com
JOSH HOXIE, josh at ips-dc.org
Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and long-time inequality activist. Hoxie is the director of the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the group. The two are co-authors of the just-released report “Billionaire Bonanza: the Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us,” which finds:
“America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulfstream G650 luxury jet — now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.”
Some additional findings from the report:
* “The wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States. Among the Forbes 400, just two individuals are African American – Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.
* “The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population. Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.
* “With a combined worth of $2.34 trillion, the Forbes 400 own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined, a staggering 194 million people.
* “The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families. That’s as many households in the United States that own cats.
The report proposes several solutions to close the growing gap between the ultra wealthy and the rest of the country. These policies include closing offshore tax havens and billionaire loopholes in the tax code that the wealthy exploit to hide their wealth.
“Our report underscores the need for a direct tax on wealth to slow and reverse these dangerous concentrations of wealth,” said Hoxie.
David Cay Johnston, Al Jazeera: “The wealthiest dozen Americans own more than the bottom half.”
FRIENDS: Help Us Fight
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.