Wealth inequality in the US: Source: Edward N. Wolff, “Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze—an Update to 2007,” Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Working Paper No. 589, March 2010, Tables 10 and 11
From Paul Street
What’s ‘not normal’ about inequality of wealth and income under the amoral system of capitalism?
I recently read a call for increased economic equality from an interesting source. The author of the appeal was Bill Gross, Chief Investment Officer and co-founder of the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), a $14 billion global capital investment firm headquartered in California. Forbes lists Gross as the world’s 778th richest billionaire. His net worth is $2.4 billion and he “earns” $200 million a year. “You could hire 2,000 schoolteachers for that money,” says William Popejoy, a former financial executive who has been a Pacific Investment Management Co. trustee for more than two decades.
In a July 15, 2014 USA TODAY Op Ed titled “Invest in Normalcy for All,” Bill Gross claimed to be bothered by the fact the United States is currently as unequal as it has been any time since the 1920s. He noted with disappointment that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranks the US 31st among 34 nations examined for income equality. The US is “surpassed only by the likes of Chile and Turkey,” Gross complained. Gross is disturbed (or claims to be) that US corporations are enjoying record after-tax profits equaling 10% of US gross domestic product (GDP) – “exceeding the levels of the Roaring 20s” – while US wages have fallen from 57% of GDP in 1970 to 43% of GDP today.