Plutocracy: A Glimpse at the Top and Bottom

The vast inequality of wealth in the US has been highlighted in various ways over the past few years, particularly by the Occupy movement. No news here. But the gap between six of the wealthiest of our plutocrats and 49,000,000 other Americans simply startles. The six are the offspring of Sam Walton who brought us wall to wall, err…border to border, Walmarts. Take it away Sylvia:

Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist at the Center on Wage and
Employment Dynamics at the University of California-Berkeley, compared
the Waltons’ cumulative net worth with that of the overall population,
as cited in the Survey of Consumer Finances. (She used the Waltons’
wealth from 2010, which was valued at $89.5 billion.)

Allegretto found that in 2007, the wealth held by the six Waltons was
equal to that of the bottom 30.5 percent of families in the U.S. In
2010, the Waltons’ share equaled the entire bottom 41.5 percent of

That 41.5 percent represents nearly 49 million families, notes Josh Bivens
at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. While median family
wealth fell by 38.8 percent, Bivens wrote, the wealth of the Walton
family members rose from $73.3 billion in 2007 to $89.5 billion in 2010,
or about 22 percent growth.

Read the whole article at


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