Contrary to 40+ years and counting of “trickle down” narrative, the reality is that the gap between the 1% and everyone else (let’s say the bottom 90%) has never been wider. It’s become a chasm, and the charts below tell the story.
Here is the wealth share of the bottom 90% and the Top 1%, equalized in 1989:
Here is both the share (scale at Left ) and level (scale at right) of total net worth held by the Top 1%. To put it in numbers: Their share has gone from about 23% to about 32%. In dollar terms, their share has skyrocketed from just under $5 trillion to about $45 trillion.
Spoiler Alert: There has been no trickle-down, and in fact, the opposite has occurred: The wealthy and ultra-wealthy have captured more and more of the pie, leaving less for everyone beneath them, carving out the middle class in the process.
When Barry was tapped – and subsequently tapped me – to get involved in a documentary project that sought to shine a light on the perniciousness and unsustainability of wealth and income inequality, I jumped at the chance.
The result is the award-winning Americonned. It had its theatrical debut in six cities around the United States last week, and is premiering on a host of streaming services this week (Linktree). The team behind this film – Sean Claffey, Dave Pederson, Jillian Hurley, Jeff Mann, et al. – all poured their heart and soul into it. The subject matter experts – Gary Evans, Richard Florida, Janet Gornick, Jacob Hacker, Nick Hanauer, Barry Ritholtz, Marty Walsh, and others – lay it all out so perfectly. And the personal stories are compelling.
It was a privilege to be part of the team. I hope you’ll check us out: Americonned.
America’s Corporate Welfare Queens (November 13, 2013)
Minimum Wage Increases Do Not Destroy Jobs (January 24, 2019)
Generational Reset of Minimum Wage (November 30, 2021)