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Never Did So Few Own So Much

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U's hardly surprising to learn wealth is rather unevenly distributed in this country. But the extent of the unequal distribution, as revealed in a recent study by the Urban Institute which is printed in the current issue of the Progressive, is amazing. The study defines America's "superrich" as being 4.4 percent of thé population. According to the report, this small group owns: -An estima ted 35.6 percent of the nation's wealth. - Twenty-seven percent of all privately held real estáte. -Thirty-three percent of cash holdings. -Forty percent of non-corporate business assets. - Sixty-three percent of privately held corporate stock. - Seventy-four percent of Federal bonds and securities other than savings bonds. -Seventy-eight percent of state and local bonds. - Virtually all corporate and foreign bonds and securities notes. What this means is that virtually all U.S. corporations are controlled by people in this class. Moreover, if the $3.5 trülion that comprises America's total wealth were evenly distributed, every American over the age of 21 would have $25,000. As it is, the 4.4 percent average $200,000 in net assets while half the population has no more than $3000 in net assets.