There's a gap between America's richest citizens and everybody else. And that gap has been growing larger for years.
No, it's not income inequality. We're talking about debt.
The vast majority of Americans are deeper in debt than ever, while the richest sliver of the population has actually seen its debt go down in the last 30 years or so, according toInternational Monetary Fund research recently cited by CNN. It's not only bad news for the debtors themselves; this kind of pattern has emerged before, according to CNN -- and each time, it was followed by a major U.S. financial downturn.
Debt has become an enormous problem for the typical American. Among the bottom 95 percent of earners -- most of us, in other words -- debt has risen to eye-popping levels. In 1983, the bottom 95 percent had 60 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to the IMF's research. By 2007, it had risen to $1.40 of debt for every dollar earned.
For the top 5 percent, it's been a different story. In 1983, that group had 80 cents of debt for every dollar they earned. By 2007, that had dropped off to 65 cents of debt.
Read it at The Huffington Post
by Alexander Eichler