by James Thompson

It is well-known that the top 1% control 42% of financial wealth in this country. What does this mean for the 99%? This brief paper will be a quick and simple look at this from the perspective of the 99%.

In 2009 the estimated total net family household wealth for the entire country was $54.2 trillion. The population of the United States was 305 million in 2009. Let’s talk about equitable wealth distribution.

As indicated above, this is a very simple analysis. If you do the simple math and divide $54.2 trillion by 305 million people, that would mean there should be $177,049.18 for every man woman and child in this country in 2009. 42% of $54.2 trillion comes to $22,680 billion. Again, this is the share of the top 1%. If you divide that figure by 305 million people, that comes to $74,360.66 for every man, woman and child in this country.

In 2007, the aggregate annual net family household income was $7.723 trillion. The top 3.65% (those earning more than $200,000) earned 17.5% of that total family income or $1.351525 trillion for that year. If that $1.351525 trillion was distributed equally among the 305 million people living in this country, that would amount to $4431.23 for every man, woman and child.

These simple calculations are not intended to be a final solution to all of our nation’s financial problems. However, it can be easily seen that if incomes and wealth were more equitably distributed, all people could be quite comfortable.

Obviously, more sophisticated analyses are needed to come up with a plan for distribution of wealth to all peoples in this land. However, it is also obvious that the current system is not in the interest of the 99%.