Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are both proposing wealth taxes as a part of their bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The taxes are an effort to close the growing wealth gap in the United States. Here’s a look at what wealth looks like in the United States:
As a whole, American households have seen their wealth, also called net worth, grow 58% from a low of $68 trillion, or $577,000 per household, in the first quarter of 2009 to $107 trillion, or $881,000 per household, in the second quarter of 2019, based on an inflation-adjusted dataset from the Federal Reserve.
Due to the increase in value of investment assets commonly held by higher income groups, the top 20% of income earners have seen their net worth grow 78% since the recession. Their share of the nation’s wealth grew from 64% to 72% during that period. At the same time, the bottom 20% of income earners have seen their wealth drop by 30%.