Home > inequality, upward income and wealth redistribution > US wealth inequality increased significantly from 2003 through 2013 (2 charts)

US wealth inequality increased significantly from 2003 through 2013 (2 charts)

from David Ruccio

According to a new study by Fabian T. Pfeffer, Sheldon Danziger, and Robert F. Schoeni,

Through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the losses in wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession. Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013. These wealth losses, however, were not distributed equally. While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2003 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.

 

wealth since 1984

wealth trends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. July 2, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Households at the bottom usually have their home as their main asset.

    If my perfectly safe and comfortable house loses 50% of its money value, I have supposedly lost half my wealth, while in fact nothing about my real wealth has changed. I still have a perfectly safe and comfortable house.

    If, however, I want to sell my house I have lost 50% of its value. But then, if all of the houses have lost 50% of their value, I can sell mine buy another and once again have a perfectly safe and comfortable house.

    To value things exclusively by MONEY PRICE is deceptive.

    • John McDonald
      July 9, 2014 at 2:56 am

      On the other hand, if I had refinanced my 50%-inflated house and had taken the inflated-equity out and spent it I could be in real financial trouble while still in my “safe and comfortable (50%-deflated) house” with its new inflated mortgage.

      Or on the other hand, if at retirement I had planned to sell my 50%-inflated house because I needed the proceeds to supplement a rather low Social Security retirement income (and rent a modest apartment) but my house lost 50% of it value I would have suffered a real wealth loss.

      On the other, other hand, I agree with you, “To value things exclusively by MONEY PRICE is deceptive.” But I might add to your quote, “especially when the Fed is promoting MONEY-PRICE balloons in financial assets with low MONEY-PRICED (interest rates) credit.”

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