Rich Schultz wrote:Most of the people on this forum have more wealth than 20% of Americans combined.
"About one in five U.S. households owe more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and other debts that aren't backed by collateral — so not including car loans — than they have in savings, checking accounts and other liquid assets, according to a new University of Michigan report."
No one seemed to respond to this, and I was going to make a similar point, so it's worth quoting again.
There was a pretty ironic moment on this morning’s Up With Chris Hayes. The panel was discussing whether we live in a post-truth world, and how much the media is to blame for this. Amidst this conversation, host of PBS’s Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, repeated a highly misleading talking point. It’s a claim you’ve probably seen it a hundred times before; that the wealth of the six Waltons, who own Walmart, is greater than the wealth of the bottom 30%. It sounds astounding, and it is a true fact. But it is also highly misleading. The fact is meant to tell you something problematic about the Waltons’ wealth, but in actuality it tells you almost nothing about their wealth. This is clear if you consider that Amy Goodman herself almost certainly has more wealth than the bottom 25% of households. In fact everyone on the Up With Chris Hayes panel probably has more wealth than the bottom 25%.
For a full debunking of this claim see Tim Worstall or Felix Salmon, but what you mostly need to know is that almost 25% of households have zero or negative wealth. So anyone with any positive wealth has more than them. This fact is entirely about the wealth at the bottom tail of the distribution, not the top tail. As the story is told by Goodman and others it implies that the opposite is true. This may not be a lie, or a literally false claim, but it is completely misleading and decreases rather than increases understanding.