Michael Bloomberg, (right) founder of Bloomberg LP, and Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group, at the 10,000 Small Businesses (1OKSB) Partnership Event in London on December 14, 2016.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mixed Feelings About Extreme Wealth
At the same time, most Americans have a love-hate relationship with extreme wealth.
“There is an increasing disconnection,” the Harris report found: Six in 10 adults want to be billionaires someday. Meanwhile, 40% said they despise billionaires. Many also said that billionaires have a responsibility to improve society, but are not doing enough.
As the rich get richer, 66% of adults view wealth inequality as a serious national problem, and nearly half of Americans, or 47%, believe there should be a limit to wealth accumulation, it turns out. from the report.
A mobile billboard in Washington, DC, calling for higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy, shows an image of billionaire Jeff Bezos on May 17, 2021.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Of those surveyed, 24% said personal wealth should be limited to less than $1 billion, while 20% said it should be somewhere between $1 billion and $10 billion.
There are about 200 people in the US who are currently worth more than $10 billion, according to Forbes’ annual ranking of the richest people. In the top five, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk are all worth over $100 billion.
Meanwhile, extreme wealth inequality was exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, other reports also show.
The wealthiest Americans continued to benefit from owning stocks and real estate, especially last year when both the stock market and home prices soared. At the end of 2021, the top 1% owned a record 32.3% of the country’s wealth.
On the other hand, the share of wealth held by the bottom 90% of Americans has fallen from 30.5% from 30.2% to 30.2% since pre-pandemic.
In the Harris survey, 58% of Americans disliked wealth accumulation during this time, while others suffered the financial consequences of the sudden economic downturn.
The minimum income tax for billionaires would set a minimum tax rate of 20% for U.S. households worth more than $100 million. More than half of the revenue could come from companies worth more than $1 billion.
But despite growing public support for higher taxes for the ultra-wealthy, tax proposals for billionaires have failed to gain traction.
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