The poorest 47% of Americans have no wealth.
The poorest 47% of Americans have no wealth. In 1983 the poorest 47% of America had $15,000 per family, 2.5 percent of the nation's wealth. In 2009 the poorest 47% of America owned ZERO PERCENT of the nation's wealth (their debt exceeded their assets). At the other extreme, the 400 wealthiest Americans own as much wealth as 80 million families -- 62% of America. The reason, once again, is the stock market. Since 1980 the American GDP has approximately doubled. Inflation-adjusted wages have gone down. But the stock market has increased by over ten times, and the richest quintile of Americans owns 93% of it.
Source: Paul Buchheit, "Five Ugly Extremes of Inequality in America," Alternet, March, 24 2013. http://www.alternet.org/economy/five-ugly-extremes-inequality-america-co... [verified 4/17/14]