Thoughts on wealth concentration

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

Do the richest 10% of Americans hold 70% of America’s wealth?

This was apparently published in the Financial Times according to http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/…

“The concentration of wealth in different countries varies considerably, with the top 10 per cent in the US holding 70 per cent of the country’s wealth, compared with 61 per cent in France, 56 per cent in the UK, 44 per cent in Germany and 39 per cent in Japan.”

According to them, wealth disparity is greater in the US than it is in France, the UK, Germany, and Japan.

Do you believe it? What are your thoughts on these statistics?

It’s not a question of believing; these figures usually come from two independent sources: tax returns and longitudinal surveys, with both suggesting similar wealth distributions.

As to thoughts on these statistics, I would highly recommend this book: Edward N. Wolff, Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It.

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