By Ilana Novick
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
The top 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the 150 million Americans in the bottom 60% of the country’s wealth distribution, according to a January working paper from University of California at Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman.
America’s rich frequently pay lower taxes, use their money to influence public policy and do not have to choose between paying medical bills and paying their rent. They also don’t suffer the indignity of having strangers comment on the groceries they purchase with SNAP benefits, as Stephanie Land describes in her memoir, “Maid.” Add to all this another benefit of wealth, according to a new study from the Government Accountability Office: a longer lifespan.
Even as life expectancy in general is on the rise, it “has not increased uniformly across all income groups, and people who have lower incomes tend to have shorter lives than those with higher incomes,” the report reveals.
Both poor and middle-class Americans are less likely than the wealthy to live into their 70s and 80s, the GAO found. More than 75% of the wealthiest Americans who were in their 50s in 1991 were still alive in their 70s in 2014. By…