Average Americans today aren’t hurting because the economy has stopped generating wealth. Average Americans are hurting because the wealth the economy is generating continues to cascade disproportionately to the top.
By Sam Pizzigati April 27, 2010
The Great Recession, new research shows, has left wealth in the United States even more concentrated at America’s economic summit.
Average American households have been riding an economic roller coaster over the last quarter century. The stock market has boomed and collapsed. Housing has boomed and collapsed. The entire economy has boomed and collapsed.
Where has this wild ride left the typical American family? Back to square one. And then back some more. The typical American household, as of mid 2009, held less in real net worth — that’s assets minus debts, adjusted for inflation — than the typical U.S. household held back in 1983.
But the even bigger story may be the reason why. New York University economist Edward Wolff tells that story in a new analysis of the Federal Reserve’s latest household wealth data research just published by the Bard College Levy Economics Institute.