A few hundred years ago, when the American Civil War broke out, no one thought there would be a generation of generations.
A generation of millionaires and billionaires.
In the early 1800s, the top one-tenth of 1 percent owned a smaller fraction of the country’s wealth than they do today.
Today, that number is around a quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and a similar fraction of Americans own less than half.
That’s the kind of wealth we’re seeing, says Steven Burtless, a wealth expert at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
We see wealth inequality and inequality in our society, he says.
It’s not just a matter of the wealthiest people owning more of the nation’s wealth.
It’s also about the wealth being owned by the middle class and working class, he explains.
And we’re witnessing the greatest inequality in the last generation, and it’s been exacerbated by the financial crisis.
The number of millionaires in America today is at an all-time high, but in the past, it was almost unheard of, according the Center for Responsive Politics.
That was largely due to the Great Depression, says Mark Perry, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
When you look at the median wealth for the top 1 percent, the median has gone down.
That’s the difference between the top quintile and the bottom quintile.
The median wealth of a typical household has declined from $1 million to $200,000, according as the Pew Research Center.
That has had an impact on incomes, and so wealth inequality has increased, according Perry.
It hasn’t gone down in the middle.
Wealth inequality has actually increased over the last 40 years.
We’re seeing it now, even though we’re on a recovery.
The rich are making money.
The poor are not.
The middle class has shrunk.
It has shrunk because of the financial system, and that’s why we’re losing millions of jobs.
That is what’s fueling the populist backlash.
The populist backlash is fueled by the idea that the rich are getting richer, and the middle and working classes are shrinking, says Paul Ryan, the House Speaker and former budget director.
In 2016, the richest Americans increased their wealth by nearly $3 trillion, compared with a $1.9 trillion increase for the bottom 60 percent of the population, according a Pew study.
The richest Americans now own roughly a third of all wealth, according Pew.
The gap between the middle quintile of Americans and the top fifth of Americans is about $10,000 today, while the gap is $23,000.
The middle quintiles are getting poorer.
And that’s going to impact their standard of living, says Ryan.
And then it’s going on to impact how much they can spend.
The wealthy have been getting richer and the poor have been losing jobs.
It is a dynamic that has been building up over the past few decades.
It isn’t going to go away, Perry says.
That dynamic will continue to grow, because the economic recovery is getting better.
It will be easier for the middle-class to earn more money, because they will be able to invest more.
That will help them save more.
And that will boost the growth of the middle classes.
And it will help all Americans.