In another in a series of striking revelations detailing just how deep social, economic and cultural inequality in the developed world has sunk, America's three richest people — white men, naturally — are now shown to control the same amount of resources as are represented by almost the entire bottom half — some 160 million citizens — of the United States.
According to new data, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates now own or control the same level of financial resources as the 160 million Americans at the bottom half of the US economic ladder.
The three are estimated to control just under $250 billion of assets, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, cited by the Guardian.
In suggesting that the ever-increasing economic and resource divide in the US is a "moral crisis," the think-tank study — titled Billionaire Bonanza — notes that new tax-reform policies being floated by the White House will only serve to "exacerbate existing wealth disparities," pointing to a minimum of 80 percent of Trump's tax relief decrees benefitting the richest one percent of Americans.
Billionaire Bonanza co-author Chuck Collins decried the upcoming tax cuts for the richest Americans, observing that "Now is the time for actions that reduce inequality, not tax cuts for the very wealthy," cited by the Guardian.
"Wealth inequality is on the rise," Collins, an economist, warned.
Forbes magazine — which recently published its list of the 400 richest Americans, with a combined worth of almost $3 trillion, higher than the entire UK GDP — gushed that 2017 was "another record year for the wealthiest people in America."
"The price of admission to the country's most exclusive club jumped nearly 18 percent to $2 billion," the business-friendly publication enthused.
According to the Billionaire Bonanza report, however, "Our wealthiest 400 now have more wealth combined than the bottom 64 percent of the US population, an estimated 80 million households, or 204 million people."
"That's more people than the population of Canada and Mexico, combined," noted the report's authors, adding, "So much money concentrating in so few hands while so many people struggle is not just bad economics, it's a moral crisis," cited by The Guardian.
Rapidly expanding wealth inequality in the developed world is concurrent with additional new data pointing out that one in five US households live in what the report describes as an "underwater nation," indicating families with either zero assets or some form of debt.
Following the October Forbes publication of its 400 richest Americans, Amazom.com share prices rose enough to place its owner, Jeff Bezos, into the top spot of just shy of the planet's first $100 billion — white, male, naturally — person.