Saturday, April 02, 2011

Michael Moore and the Wealthy 400

An underreported sideline to the Wisconsin legislative walkout was Michael Moore's speech in which he asserted that the wealthiest 400 Americans in the United States had more wealth than the least wealthy 50%, approximately 150 million folks. Below is the Youtube embed of his March 5 "America is not broke" speech.

The 50% figure was based on information from Forbes (not exactly a source noted for a liberal bias). At the time of Moore's speech, the most recent figures available were from 2007. Shortly afterwards, the data from 2010 became available, and lo and behold, the richest 400 Americans now are more wealthy than all of the lowest 60% of Americans. I suspect that a big part of the difference came from a decline in home equity during the Great Recession. Many Americans have a negative net worth, and they would seemingly be in the lowest 50%. Many more were driven into negative net worth when their home equity, their only asset, went from positive to negative.

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