This is ... wow. I'm speechless. Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist at the University of California Berkeley Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, dug into the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances and:
[T]hen compared those numbers to the net worth of the six members of the Walton clan as reported on the Forbes 400 list in 2007. They are all children or children-in-law of the founders of Walmart. Their total net worth that year: $69.7 billion.
That’s equal to the wealth of the poorest 30 percent of all Americans, according to Allegretto’s calculations.
As if that's not outrageous enough, Allegretto also notes that:
[T]he new 2011 Forbes 400 has the inherited worth of these six Waltons at $93 billion. The 2010 SCF data that is slated for release spring of 2012 will almost certainly show a further widening of the wealth gap given that corporate profits, stocks and CEO pay have all recovered while housing values & equity (the lion’s share of wealth for average American’s), wages and family incomes have yet to turn around.
I'm still trying to work past the speechlessness here.
Six people. As much wealth as 30 percent of people. In 2007, the population of the United States was 302.2 million people. Six people had as much wealth as 90.7 million of those people. Or, to put it in another way, we're not talking about the top 1 percent. We're talking about the top .00000002 percent.
The infographics designers of the world are going to have a real challenge with this one.