The Sobering Reality of Wealth Distribution in America
Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau
How much did you (your family) make last year? Over $232,000? Congratulations, you're not Occupy territory, but close: you are in the top 5 percent. Good job (if you wanted to make the Top 1 Percent your family needed to make $445,000...that's rarefied territory, my friend. People are protesting you. Your family drove thousands of people to camp out in Zucotti Park. (As an aside, did you know that many of the Occupy protesters were well-off, white and educated ...just not well off enough).
More seriously, this is a chart about families of four. If you're making $66,000 per year (the median) -- for a family of four -- you're doing pretty well compared to other American families. If you're family is making over six figures you're doing really well.
What, that doesn't sound like that much money? But, you say: "I worked hard, went to school and college, and I do a good job working for my company to put food on my table for my two kids." Your wife works too, I bet. Yet, it still seems like you have to scrimp and save just to have that one-week vacation at a (rented) lake house. There never seems to be enough money to pay bills and save for retirement.
But perhaps think about it another way. We all compare ourselves to our relative Joneses. But, this should make you stop and think. Not everyone is driving a 3 Series. Not everyone lives in the "right zip code." Most people are probably not as well off as you.
Let this chart remind you that we while many of us bitch about our problems, life ain't that bad and it could certainly be worse. You (likely) aren't working two shifts at Jack In The Box to make ends meet, living in a rundown apartment complex in a bad part of town with subpar school options for your kids and your political concerns ignored because you don't make enough to matter to any of the political elites.
Then again, given the fact that the majority of Americans are closer to the lower end of the chart than the upper, the frustrating reality is that maybe this is like more of us than we think.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.
- Astros Take Royals, Announcers by Surprise with Game One Win
Mon., Oct. 19, 7:00pm
Wed., Oct. 21, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 24, 12:00am
Sat., Oct. 24, 11:00am
- Why Are Neighbors Angry That the Glenbrook Golf Course is Becoming a Botanical Garden?
- Cougars Destroy SMU, Storm Out To 5-0 Record