By Robert Reich
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
The crisis of income inequality in America is well-known, but there is another economic crisis developing much faster and with worse consequences. I’m talking about inequality of wealth.
The wealth gap is now staggering. In the 1970s, the wealthiest tenth of Americans owned about a third of the nation’s total household wealth. Now, the wealthiest 10 percent owns about 75 percent of total household wealth.
America’s richest one-tenth of one percent now owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
Wealth isn’t like income. Income is payment for work. Wealth keeps growing automatically and exponentially because it’s parked in investments that generate even more wealth.
Wealth is also passed from generation to generation. An estimated 60 percent of the wealth in the United States is inherited. Many of today’s super-rich never did a day’s work in their lives. The Walmart heirs alone have more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined.
America is now on the cusp of the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history. As wealthy boomers die, an estimated $30 trillion will go to their children over the next three…