Wealth Gap Grows As Household Net Worth Plummets

The U.S. wealth gap in what is being called the “lost decade” for middle-class Americans in the 2000’s, has soared while the median U.S. net worth for households has dived to $57,000 in 2010 from 73,000 in 1983, ecreditdaily.com reports.

The findings come from the gravitationally left, think-tank Economic Policy Institute, who recently released “The State of Working America, 12th Edition,” which looks to see where and why the middle class has immerged into the country’s economic abyss.

Economic policies, including U.S. policymakers’ failure to action, have weakened the chances of workers to benefit from the United States’ economic growth and has contributed to the widening wealth gap in the country, the report suggests.

According to the study, the median household net worth would be $119,000 ““had wealth grown equally across households.”

The report also provides a more historical analysis: the top one percent had 125 times the net worth of the median household 50 years ago, which then jumped to 288 times the middle class net worth in 2010.

The Pew Research Center released a report entitled “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class: Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier” in August, 2012 which reported the results of a survey conducted with 1,287 middle class adults.

Of those surveyed, 85 percent said it was more difficult to maintain a middle-class standard of living now than it was ten years ago. The study also reveals that the middle-class tier has decreased from 61 percent in 1971 to 51 percent in 2011.

The study continued to say:

“For the middle-income group, the “lost decade” of the 2000s has been even worse for wealth loss than for income loss. The median income of the middle-income tier fell 5%, but median wealth (assets minus debt) declined by 28%, to $93,150 from $129,582. During this period, the median wealth of the upper-income tier was essentially unchanged—it rose by 1%, to $574,788 from $569,905. Meantime, the wealth of the lower-income tier plunged by 45%, albeit from a much smaller base, to $10,151 from $18,421.”

Often, the middle-class is associated with the American Dream, but the deepening crevasse in the U.S. wealth gap has made voters uneasy and left them questioning what steps will be taken to fill the gap.