Wealth Inequality in America

There has never been a time in US history where the wealthy have so much and the rest of us have so little. And by wealthy I’m not talking about those making a few hundred grand a year. I’m talking millions a year, the top 0.1%, the top 0.01%.

What’s more disturbing is that we can’t begin to have a conversation about how to deal with this problem — whether it even is a problem — until we all actually understand the distribution itself. And the reality is most of us only think we understand it.

This amazing video uses infographics to help explain the disparity. I hope you will take six minutes and watch it.

2 thoughts on “Wealth Inequality in America

  1. It’s interesting you should mention this on your blog. I think it ties directly into the freemium business model. Simply put, if only a tiny percentage of people actually have money to spend, then only those people will be paying for things.

    This freemium model will move from the virtual world into the real world as the wealth gap increases. We’ve already are already starting to see this with places like Cafe Gratitude. Someday, Starbucks, Walmart, and Safeway will all have a ‘free tier’.

    That being said, your numbers are little off. $150k/year puts you in the top 10%, and $390k/year puts you in the top 1%.

    The really obscene gaps are within the top 1%. At the bottom end of the top 1% are the people that are doing well, but that live normal lives. Once you get to the top .1% and .01%, you find the wealth concentration that the video describes.

    • Wow! Quite an insight, Rich, and a little embarrassed I didn’t see this myself. Freemium is geared around the idea that 5% pay and that if the costs are low enough/payment high enough then this can be a very healthy business. It will be interesting to watch this through the “freemium” mindset and see if it does indeed play out that way.

      As for the numbers, you are right and I’m going to correct those. I watched the video a while ago and just got around to posting it. I should have double-checked my numbers. Sadly, $150k/year feels like middle-class income, especially on the coasts.

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