``Billionaire Bonanza’‘—Wealth Inequality in Americaby Representative Janice D. Schakowsky
Posted on 2015-12-03
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring my colleagues'
attention to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies,
``Billionaire Bonanza: the Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us.''
This report exposes just how drastic wealth inequality in America has
become. As a whole, America is now wealthier than it has ever been
before. But that wealth is concentrated in the hands of just a few
Americans. The 20 wealthiest individual Americans have more wealth than
the lowest 50% combined--that is, 20 Americans with more wealth than
152 million Americans.
The report ``Billionaire Bonanza'' found that the wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population in America. The wealthiest 100 households in America own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States. Economic inequality is also racial inequality.
Congress needs to enact common-sense policies to close the loopholes that have allowed for this extreme wealth inequality. It is time to raise revenue so we can increase opportunities for those at the lowest rung of the economic ladder to climb toward the top. I thank Chuck Collins and Josh Hoxie, the authors of this critical report, and I urge my colleagues to consider their proposals and to take action against the unsustainable concentration of wealth in America.