The billionaires in this week’s list of the world’s wealthiest people are the ones who have made a career of selling their wealth in a variety of ways.
Their businesses and their public profiles have become so successful, that they are able to move into the rich world at such a rapid rate, and in so many places.
These are the top-earning people in our country, according to the Forbes Billionaires Index.
They’re also the ones most likely to have children with their wives.
“These are the people who are the most likely candidates to take their children out of the United States to live abroad,” says David Zweig, professor of public affairs at Georgetown University and author of the Forbes 100 list.
“This is a very, very, small population.”
And these are the kids of the richest people who live in the United State, according the US Census Bureau.
So these are people who, by virtue of having been born there, are able, in effect, to be US citizens at birth.
The fact that they’re the wealthiest people in America is largely because they are also the most affluent.
The richest 20% of Americans are estimated to own over $1 trillion.
Of the rest, the top 1% own almost $1.6 trillion.
The top 1.2% of American households hold over $3 trillion, according an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
But the wealth gap between the richest and the rest of the country is far greater.
The bottom 90% of households in the US are worth around $500,000, according a recent report by Oxfam.
“That’s a lot of money.
That’s not enough to buy a home, buy a car, buy clothes, buy health care, buy groceries,” Zweige says.
“The other thing that really jumps out is the inequality in wealth.”
For instance, the richest 0.01% of US households have more wealth than the bottom 90%.
The top 0.1% have around $4 trillion, the Oxfam report found.
But in terms of income, that disparity is even greater.
About half of all US households are in the top 0 to 5% of earners.
“They’re not only the richest in America, they’re also very rich in a lot more places,” Zwieg says.
Wealth has also changed over the years.
In the early 20th century, the wealthiest 1% owned about 30% of the nation’s wealth, according data from the US Federal Reserve.
Today, the bottom 50% own about a quarter of all the nation.
“In many ways, the rich have become much richer over time,” Zwerig says.
In 1900, there were just about 20 billionaires in the country, Zweigs research shows.
Today there are more than 500.
By contrast, the poorest half of US families have a combined household income of less than $1,000 a year.
“It’s really interesting that the wealthiest 50% of families have grown richer and become more equal,” Zweiig says, “while the poorest 40% have become poorer and become less equal.”
As of 2016, the median net worth for the bottom 80% of people was $18,200, according census data.
By comparison, the lowest 20% had median net assets of $4,300, according Census data.
The median wealth of the wealthiest Americans in the past was $12.6 million, according Zweigel.
“What we have seen over the past 50 years is a sharp increase in inequality,” Zwangig says about the wealth disparity.
“As wealth increased, inequality increased, as well.”
Inequality in the richest One of the biggest winners in the wealth boom in the 1990s and 2000s was the private equity sector, Zweiigs research finds.
It’s now worth about $2.6 billion.
But that was before the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent financial collapse that hit the US economy.
“There was a lot going on,” Zwaligs says.
Before the crisis, private equity investment was booming.
Now it’s down to a trickle.
“Before the crisis private equity had doubled in value every 10 years or so,” Zwiigs says, which was not enough for the rich to get rich quickly.
But after the crisis it skyrocketed, thanks to the collapse of the global economy.
But it wasn’t all bad news.
For one, private capital invested in US infrastructure projects that saved jobs and helped to create more wealth for the middle class, Zwig says (see our story on the boom of the private finance sector).
“But the private investment also helped create a lot fewer jobs,” Zwaigs says: In fact, private investment in US manufacturing in 2000 was around 1.3 million jobs, according Forbes data.
Today that number is 1.4 million, Zwiig says: “So the private capital investment did help create