Jan 23, 2013

People plainly do not know how unequal their society is. USA. Singapore

People do not really know how unequal their society is.

There is this picture of how wealth is distributed in USA. The "estimated" bar shows what 5500 Americans thought the distribution was. Actually, the top 20% own 84% of the wealth. The 4th 20% own 0.2% and the last 20% own 0.1% of the wealth.

The country is far more unequal than they thought.

There is a stunning visualization in youtube: Wealth Inequality in America

From It's Official: Republicans Have Convinced America that Wealthy People aren't that Wealthy

For Singapore, the GDP for 2011 is S$326.8 billion. According to the Central Provident Fund data for employment salary, out of the 1,735,000 employees, the bottom 20% (347,000 employees, salary below $1250) earn about $3.1 billion (about 0.9% of the GDP). The 4th bottom 20% (salary below $2500) earn about 2.2%. These estimates count employees. Non-employed and self-employed are not counted. Only income is counted, not wealth.

If we assume that poor employees have zero savings, the wealth percentages for these groups will be close to 0%, similar to the actual USA data. 40% of the population own practically 0% of the country's wealth.

Note: This is about private wealth. For a post about public wealth or common wealth, please see the citizen-ownership democracy manifesto.

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