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America's wealth gap reaches new record; societal tensions rise as economic collapse looms


Wealth gap

(NaturalNews) The gap between upper-income and middle-class Americans is greater than ever, according to a recent study published by the Pew Research Institute.

The report, based on data from the Federal Reserve, indicates that the median wealth for high-income families is now nearly seven times that of middle-class households. Median wealth, determined by subtracting debts from assets, was found to be unchanged over the past three years for middle-income families, standing at $96,500 after adjusting for inflation.

In contrast, median wealth for upper-income families was $639,400 -- an increase of 7 percent over the last three years. Pew says that this is the biggest gap seen since the Fed began keeping records three decades ago:

The latest data reinforces the larger story of America's middle-class household wealth stagnation over the past three decades. The Great Recession destroyed a significant amount of middle-income and lower-income families' wealth, and the economic 'recovery' has yet to be felt for them.

Pew's definition of middle-income is based on households that earn between two-thirds and two times the median income, after adjusting for the number of people in the household. According to this definition, 46 percent of American households are considered middle-income.

A full third of Americans are in the low-income bracket, while 21 percent are classified as high-income.

The research shows that, across the board, Americans are struggling to regain the losses incurred during the Great Recession, but those in the high-income category lost less of their holdings during the years between 2007 and 2010. High-income Americans have also recovered much of the lost wealth from that period, while low-income households have not recovered their losses at all.

Over the longer term, high-income households have managed to double their wealth since 1983, while for middle-income families, very little has changed in the same period, after adjustments for inflation.

For lower-income families, wealth has decreased overall since 1983. Since 2001, when lower-income wealth increased to its highest point of $19,100, the figure has dropped to a current low of $9,300 -- in 1983, lower-income median wealth was $11,400.

No wonder Americans are gloomy and pessimistic, even after the POTUS assured them that America had survived the Great Recession and is now enjoying an economic recovery.

The only people experiencing anything resembling a recovery are those who are already comfortably well off, and no amount of speechifying can alter that fact.

President Obama may seem convinced that a recovery has taken place, but the average American does not appear to be sharing in his optimism.

In fact, nearly half of Americans asked during the final months of 2014 believed that we are still in a recession. Prepping is at an all-time high as more and more Americans are recognizing the necessity to prepare for an economic collapse that many believe is right around the corner.

People are concerned that the incessant creation of increasingly worthless dollars in an effort to falsely stimulate the economy will result in a financial disaster of biblical proportions. More Americans are investing in gold and/or taking their money out of the banks. It is estimated that as much as 25 percent of the current gold trade is driven by those who believe that a collapse of the dollar is imminent.

As Stephen Moore of The Patriot Post points out, there are "a dirty bunch of hidden indicators pointing to an American economy that may be in a lot worse shape than Washington is telling us."

Moore points to, among other indicators, the "$1 trillion growth gap," "the raiseless recovery," "the myth that inflation is dead," and the current $18 trillion national debt as key factors toward explaining Americans' lack of faith in the economy.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when only 34 percent of the populace believes that their children will be better off than they are.

Sources:

http://www.latimes.com

http://www.pewresearch.org

https://patriotpost.us

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com

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