Research by Emmanuel Saez of UC Berkley and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics shows that the richest one hundredth of one percent of Americans now hold over 11 percent of the nations total wealth. How do these super rich people spend their money? If you said politics you are correct. Of the spending of the .01 percent, political spending is the fastest growing. It is even growing faster than their wealth. A way to show how rich the .01 percent are, is that in 1978 the .01 percent was 220 times richer than the average American. In 2012 the .01 percent were 1120 times richer than the average American. Along with the rich getting richer, the bottom 90 percent are getting poorer. In the mid 1980s the bottom 90 percent held 36 percent of the nation's wealth. Now they hold less than 23 percent. Meanwhile, the .01 percent account for much of campaign donations. In the 2012 election the .01 percent accounted for 40 percent of all campaign contributions. The author of this article wanted to bring attention to this inequality in the distribution of income and representation in politics.
- Does this inequality in the distribution of income show that the US/economy is going in the wrong direction?
- Should such a small percent of the population be able to to influence politics so much?