The immigration debate is probably one of the issues that will become even more controversial with Obama’s new plan.
Misperceptions on the issue are, however, huge. Table above shows that when asked people in the US think one third of the population is foreign born, while the actual number is closer to one seventh. Source here.
A lot of the discussion on income inequality goes to show how much those at the top have gained, including some of the graphs I posted here, which tend to look at the top of the distribution. Below the mean income (in 2013 prices) of the lowest fifth of US households.
Note that the income of the lowest fifth increases in the late 1960s, and with the bubble-driven booms during Reagan/Bush-I and Clinton (but not Bush-II). But the growth is dismal. It goes from $9,755 in 1967 to $11,651 in 2013, or about 0.4 percent per year. And not at all since the Great Recession. The data is available here.
Household wealth amounted to about 430% of national income in 2013. The graph below comes from Piketty’s frequent co-author Emmanuel Saez. The original paper, with Gabriel Zucman, here.
Composition has changed too. Pensions have become relevant, while proprietorships and partnerships are down, meaning less people own farms and their own businesses.
Not all poor are the same. In purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars, the bottom 40% in the US, in terms of income per capita, would be among the top 10% in Brazil, and the same with respect to a Brazil and India comparison. Source is the World Bank.
This week a Map and a graph really. Global household wealth in mid-2014 totaled USD 263 trillion, according to the new edition of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report (written again by Shorrocks, Davies and Lluberas; I pointed out to the previous edition before here). Map below shows the global distribution of wealth by country.
The top 1% in the US holds approximately 20% of income, and more like 33% of all wealth, as shown in the graph below.
The equivalent for the top decile is 75% of wealth. Asset price dynamics is essential to understand the evolution of wealth inequality, and inheritance is central to its persistence. If you had any doubts.