The wealth gap is widening in the U.S., according to the EPI. Learn more about economic trends shaping the middle class.
Growing income disparity has set back the average American family by $58,000 between 1983 and 2010, according to a report released yesterday by the Economic Policy Institute or EPI.
The median household net worth in 2010 would have been $119,000 – not the actual $57,000 – had wealth grown equally across all households in the prior 17 years, according to the nonprofit EPI, launched in 1986 to help shine a spotlight on the economic circumstances of low- and middle-income American families.
The middle class could face another “lost decade” due to chronic high unemployment and declining wages, according to the EPI, which said in a statement, “The typical worker has not benefitted from productivity growth since 1979, though there has been sufficient economic growth to provide a substantial across-the-board increase in living standards. Instead, high earners have reaped a disproportionate share of all income growth.”
Investors of all wealth levels – including the nation’s richest – express a high level of concern over the state of the U.S. economy, according to ongoing Millionaire Corner research, which also shows that the rich and middle class, alike, are worried about preserving their wealth. Millionaires are more likely than non-millionaires, however, to believe that the American Dream is still within reach of anyone who works hard.
The vast majority of Millionaires attribute their own financial success to hard work, education, smart investing and frugality. These experiences appear to shape their views of the growing gap between the rich and poor. About 28 percent say it’s not a problem, citing the statement “if you work hard in America you can be successful.” Another 30 percent say, “Wealthy Americans pay taxes, provide jobs, invest in the U.S. and give to charities.
In comparison, the majority of less affluent investors – those from households with investable assets below $100,000 – perceive the wealth gap as a problem. Nearly 30 percent cite, “Americans at the lowest wealth levels face many obstacles to success.” Nearly 43 percent cite the factor, “The wealthy don’t pay their fair share to society.”