Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
As survey data continues to show that raising taxes on the wealthy is extremely popular among the U.S. public, new research by inequality expert and University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman found that the richest 0.00025 percent of the American population now owns more wealth than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent.
Zucman, who helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) develop her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal, observed in a working paper (pdf) that “U.S. wealth concentration seems to have returned to levels last seen during the Roaring Twenties.”
According to Zucman’s research, the richest 0.00025 percent—just 400 Americans—have seen their share of America’s national wealth triple since the 1980s, while the wealth of much of the U.S.…
Last summer, at a social dinner in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to meet Anand Giridharadas, the former New York Times columnist and author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. As he explained the message of his book, I became intrigued. For years, I have viewed the staggering economic inequality in the U.S. with fear and anxiety. I have watched the widening gap turn into a chasm, serving to illustrate just how broken the U.S. system has become.
Anand seemed curiously eager for me to read the book, but I didn’t fully grasp why until I picked up a copy and read to page 205 – where there is a single mention of my name.…