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Video- US wealth disparity at all-time high


The haves and the have nots. It’s why Occupy Wall Street began and spread across the US.

The movement focuses on the growing disparity between the top one percent of earners and everyone else.

One American family paints a stark picture of the wealth gap. The Waltons, who own Wal-Mart, have amassed a fortune equal to the combined net worth of the bottom third of the country. According to the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, the six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune are worth nearly 70 billion dollars.

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and the biggest private employer with over 2 million employees worldwide. The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and now has 85-hundred stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names.

Income inequality in the US is the highest it’s been since the 1920s, with the 400 richest Americans who are all billionaires having as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of Americans families.

Based on the most recent data, the cumulative wealth of the Forbes 400 was over one and a half trillion dollars; the wealth of the top 1% is about 225 times greater than that of the typical family. Economist
Rollin Amore says wealth in America runs in cycles.

Amore is not sympathetic to the Occupy movement. He says the US government can’t mandate equality.

According to the Congressional Budget Office the top 1 percent income grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007 compared to just 18 percent for the bottom 20 percent of the income scale. Still, last
year Congress gave a tax break to the very richest families.

According to think progress, for years the Walton family has spent money lobbying Congress for tax breaks.

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