The United States has now reached a most inauspicious new milestone; the distribution of wealth and resources in this nation is more extreme and inequitable than it has ever been in our country’s recorded history. I fear that if the economic disparity becomes any more extreme than it is right now, the very fabric of our civilized society will begin to unravel. Actually, lately it feels like some of our nation’s most basic infrastructure is already beginning to collapse.

In this current economic Depression the richest 5% of our populace now owns and controls 2/3 of everything. The wealth gap is so severe that it has helped to create the violently volatile and unstable economy that we currently enjoy. The Pew Research Center has just released some mind boggling income survey research which shows just how gargantuan the disparity of resources has now grown.

median wealth ratios chart

Huge Wealth Disparity for Black & Hispanic Families

The Pew Foundation’s recent analysis of government data clearly explains just how divisively disproportionate the distribution of wealth, resources and assets has become in our country today. And though all of us (except the tiny plutocratic minority) are really suffering severely financially, the income gap for families of color is even more horrific. The median wealth of white households is now almost twenty times that of black families, and eighteen times that of Hispanic households.

Median net income chart

Median net worth chart

Here is a brief excerpt from the Pew Research Center’s stunning wealth disparity findings among different groups:

“These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

The Pew Research analysis finds that, in percentage terms, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

As a result of these declines, the typical black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009; the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth; and the typical white household had $113,149.

Moreover, about a third of black (35%) and Hispanic (31%) households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with 15% of white households. In 2005, the comparable shares had been 29% for blacks, 23% for Hispanics and 11% for whites.

Hispanics and blacks are the nation’s two largest minority groups, making up 16% and 12% of the U.S. population respectively.”


“You Can’t Own Property if You are Property.”

Please click here to view Professor Melissa Harris-Perry’s astute analysis of this growing wealth gap on the Rachel Maddow Show.

Images are via the Pew Research Center