[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sat Feb 9 20:19:49 UTC 2008

On Feb 9, 2008, at 3:25 AM, BillK wrote:
> The 'rich get richer' is a worldwide trend.

So is the 'poor get richer'.

> I have read that in the US 1% of the population now control 40% of the
> nation's wealth.

This is the long-term historical norm for the United States, so it is  
not a shocking or unexpected distribution.  I would note that this  
financial wealth (as distinguished from net worth which hovers in the  
low to mid-30s percentage-wise).

It is worth observing that the percentage is lowest during major  
economic recessions and highest during economic booms, at least in the  
20th century.  There were sharp drops in wealth controlled by the top  
1% in the early 1930s and late 1970s, but I do not think that anyone  
would argue that this benefitted the middle class or the poor in any  

An interesting artifact in this type of data is that control of the  
wealth tends to be much more elastic in the anglosphere countries than  
in other European countries where a high percentage of wealth is also  
controlled by the top percentiles (e.g. France) -- the nature of the  
"control" is qualitatively different.

> So the economy could well be booming while much of the population was
> becoming poorer (relatively, within their own country).

That is a very strained definition of "poorer".  Much of the third  
world wishes that kind of poverty would be inflicted upon them.


J. Andrew Rogers

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list