Home > upward income and wealth redistribution > The median net worth in the United States is, in real terms, lower today than it was in 1989.

The median net worth in the United States is, in real terms, lower today than it was in 1989.

from David Ruccio

median net worth

The median net worth in the United States is, in real terms, lower today than it was in 1989. 

As Matt O’Brien explains,

This is a story about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn’t have much of the former, which has rebounded sharply, but has lots of the latter, which hasn’t. Indeed, only 9.2 percent of the middle 20 percent of households owns stocks, versus almost half of the top 20 percent. So the middle class has not only missed out on getting a raise, but also on the big bull market the past five years.

The only thing they haven’t missed out on was the housing bust: 63 percent of that middle quintile own their homes, which are more likely to be a financial albatross than asset. And it doesn’t help that, with student loans hitting $1.2 trillion, people have to take out more and more debt just to try to stay in, or join, the middle class.

  1. October 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Would you say it’s also a story about cutting capital gains taxes, estate taxes, etc.?

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