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Figure with arms raised standing on a pile of dollar signs.
Apparently it wasn't enough that, a year ago, the 400 wealthiest households had $1.37 trillion. This year, according to the Forbes 400, the 400 wealthiest have $1.7 trillion. That's trillion with a TR. These are people so rich it's basically impossible to wrap your mind around it. The poorest people on the list have $1.1 billion apiece.

The average American, the median, has a household income right around $50,000 a year. Median household wealth peaked at $152,950. The average wealthiest person in the country, if that's a concept that makes any sense, has as much money as more than 27,000 average Americans did at the peak of the housing bubble. That's a decent-sized town!

But this chasm of inequality isn't just a matter of the 400 wealthiest people in the country. In New York:

The wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites made more than 40 times what the lowest fifth reported, a widening gap (it was 38 times, the year before) surpassed by only a few developing countries, including Namibia and Sierra Leone.
This is what decades of relentless class war from above produce: Manhattan is in competition with Namibia for where inequality will be worse, and a few multibillionaires have enough money to influence policy to their own liking (as, for instance, Bill Gates has done on education) regardless of what experts or voters think is a good idea. The fact that this few people have this much money and this much power is the reason there's still even a debate over tax rates for the wealthiest—because just a few hundred people have the power to break our country.

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