Is It a Problem If One Percent of Americans Possess 50% of American Wealth and Assets?

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Is it a problem if one percent of Americans possess 50% of American wealth and assets?

Kelvin Howard
PHI 103 Informal Thinking
Instructor Stephen Krogh
February 25, 2013


One percent of Americans possess more cash, stocks and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. How could it be that 400 people have more wealth than half of the more than 100 million U.S. households? The distribution of wealth pertains to allotment of wealth in a given place and/or time. It measures the application of wealth at any given moment and can also point out if the owner of this wealth is becoming more concerted or more democratic. The distribution of wealth is usually cited as the amount of wealth owned by each individual (or family or household) relative to the total wealth of a society. Since the supply of wealth summarizes differences in prosperity owning among persons. The most common methods of calculating the inequality or distribution of wealth is measuring the percentages of total wealth owned by selected percentages of a sample population. Individuals are ranked by Economist according to their wealth and report the shares of the total wealth that are owned by proportions of the population. For example, the top 1, 5, and 10 percent of wealth holders owns what percentage of the total wealth. ...Encyclopedia of Urban America: The Cities and Suburbs... Studies of the dissimilarity of wealth often analyze the demographic and economic correlates of individual wealth holding and how these correlates affect dissimilarity. These studies show that the most significant demographic characteristic in determining wealth is age; typically, wealth increases with age. People have a tendency to save while they’re employed, and then devour their savings after they retire. Occupation and nativity also affects the ownership of wealth. Professionals and Merchants generally have higher incomes than manual and unskilled laborers, and they tend to be overrepresented...
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