Although America has the largest economy in the world, real wages have not gone up since 1972 because most workers have experienced stagnating incomes for decades. Across the country middle-income Americans face a precarious economic future. Median income has fallen in over 80% of America’s counties since 2000, a trend that is accelerating. Even mortality rates reflect growing income inequality. Poor and rural Americans now die at rates well above that of wealthy and urban Americans.
Meanwhile the rich just keep getting richer. A study by the Pew Research Center found that the median net worth of upper-income families is now 70 times greater than that of lower-income families. As of 2015, the 400 richest Americans had a combined wealth of $2.3tn. Over 75% of the nation’s wealth is held by 10% of the population, and the gap between the rich and the middle class in the US is the highest ever measured.
How America’s rich betrayed their fellow citizens