The Distribution of Wealth: Perception versus Reality

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The actual distribution of wealth in the U.S. is as remote from the public’s perceived distribution as the perceived distribution is from the ‘ideal’ distribution as envisioned by most Americans. The richest one percent of Americans control forty percent of the wealth, as well as fifty percent of all stocks & bonds. In contrast, the poorest fifty percent of Americans control only a shocking 0.1% of stocks & bonds.

Using a sample of five thousand Americans, a Harvard business professor and economist asked how these Americans thought the distribution of wealth looked in the United States. He then asked what the ideal should be. The graph above gives the perception versus the ideal versus the reality of the situation.

The most telling aspect of this is that the majority of Americans already know that the scale is unfairly skewed, but they don’t understand the extent to which it is. The actual chart shows us that the bottom forty percent own such a small percentage of the wealth in the United States that they do not even register on the chart.

This is in the wealthiest nation in the world. Let’s take a step back. Let’s examine the global distribution of wealth.

The richest one percent is in possession of forty six percent of the world’s wealth whereas the bottom seventy-one percent holds just three percent of the world’s wealth. On a planet where the poorest person is four degrees of separation removed from the wealthiest person, how can we possibly call this a just and fair system? The solution is simple: We can’t. So we decided to design and build our own system. Something a little more fair and updated. You are being invited, not to a revolution, but rather, an evolution at dreams collective. In the following blogs we will outline the issues we face as a global culture, and how our co-operative seeks to engage these challenges. Let’s start with the problems of our education & learning system.

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