The Billionaire Bonanza 2017 report

As Congress considers tax cuts, some are calling for actions that reduce inequality.

There's a big difference between the uber wealthy and the rest of us according to the Institute for Policy Studies' Josh Hoxie who co-authored The Billionaire Bonanza 2017 report.

“Three people—Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet together own more wealth than the bottom half of the country combined,” said Hoxie

<PSI_END_OBJECT>Expanding the comparison to all the billionaires who comprise the full Forbes 400 list, the report said the group collectively has more wealth than the bottom 64% of the U.S. population.

“When so much money concentrates in so few hands, while so many people struggle to get by, that’s not just a bad economic situation, that’s a moral crisis,” said Hoxie.

To figure out your wealth, add up all your assets, then subtract your debt.

However, many Americans fare far worse financially amid a growth in U.S. income disparity. Hoxie said one in five Americans have zero or negative net worth, meaning their debt is larger than their assets.

Hoxie said he hopes the report will inspire people to think critically about how wealth and equality affects their lives and the country.

U of H economics professor Steven Craig said he sees two big general trends:

1. Globalization has changed the rate of return to new technologies, which keeps wages suppressed because workers are having to compete throughout the world, not just locally.

2. The rest of us living our lives.

“People are abrogating their responsibilities to themselves and counting on the rest of society to take care of them,” said Craig. “A large share of the economy has no savings. No matter what your income, you should have about six months income in the bank for emergencies.”

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