Six Waltons Have More Wealth Than the Bottom 30 % of Americans

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If you’ve no debts and have $10 in your pocket you have more wealth than 25% of Americans. More than that 25% of Americans have collectively that is.

Apr. 9, 2012 4:04 am


Is there a problem? Didn't they earn it?

(When I visit the link, I get the Welcome Page for Forbes, which has a quote from Tibillus "Hope ever tells us tomorrow will be better. ”

And I don't buy it that 2/3 of Americans are worth at least $12k. It's probably less than 1/3.

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

From the article:

"Total US household wealth is in the $50 trillion (yes, trillion) to $70 trillion range"

"This year, Americans will pay $2.62 trillion in federal taxes and $1.42 trillion in state-local taxes... If the federal government raised taxes enough to close the budget deficit—an additional $1.014 trillion..."

So my idea of taxing net worth at 3% is way off the mark.

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I like to put things into perspective. We've all heard that the 400 wealthiest people in America have more combined wealth than the bottom 150 million of us combined. Since a picture is worth a thousand words you have to picture something like Michigan Stadium. It has a full capacity of around 100 thousand people. It's a huge football stadium and when full it's amazing.

So picture 1500 such stadiuims side by side. I don't think you could fit 1500 of those stadiums in my state but that's neither here nor there. 1500 Michigan stadiums filled to capacity back yard. 1500 Michigan stadiums could hold 150 million people if packed in tight and my back iyard can hold 400 people in it if packed tight.

1500 Football stadiiums vs. a back yard barbecue and the backyard barbecue has more wealth. If nothing else it's one of the most disturbing things I can imagine. One of those 150 million can survive and get by on about 12,000 dollars a year and so can one of those guys in the backyard.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

When a company uses its size to browbeat other companies and rips off its workers (for which it was recently sued, and lost, and had to pay back-payments), and, according to economic researchers whose work has been published in both books and articles, has stores which result in a net loss of jobs that is greater than the number of jobs provided, and also a lowering of the average wage for a given area or community, then you have a monopolistic corporation, not free-market competition. P.S., The company has been in the news recently for being investigated for having bribed foreign officials.

Robindell's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Good for the waltons, they took a risk And achieved wealth that comes from success. I am happy for them as i try to achieve the same level of wealth.

workingman's picture
Mar. 20, 2012 8:13 am

Sam's wife Helen passed away in 2007. She gave all of her wealth to charities after her death. She was a true American.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Can't beat the lucky sperm! I am especially disgusted with the way Walmart, under Sam, pushed patriotism and buy American, and then the kids went out and became the biggest Chinese importer. The family rode that Buy American wave to billionaireland.

May. 8, 2012 12:06 pm

All because of the myth of 'fiduciary responsibility.' Making money is never what motivates the creation of a great business. It is what follows the creation of real value, not what drives it. The problem of inheritance is similar to any succession of established power. Those who follow rarely appreciate where the value is created and what the culture of the business requires to achieve it. Some have other ideas about what to do with their own lives, and others only know the techniques they have been taught and the sense of privilege in that lucky sperm club. Few share the passion of the founders and know how to persist against the wind when necessary.

Check out "the Descendents" for the problems of family and legacy at a simple level. Fighting about the money is a common tragedy often portrayed in melodrama. The money can be the frame against which the human dysfunctions are measured, but the fight is about the dysfunctions, and nothing about the money can fix that. Sam's legacy was handled with the best legal advice to make the most money for the kids. There ain't no failure quite like "success."

If we believed that we were really "in this together," and if we truly stood "united," there would be no reason to be concerned that any American would be lost to poverty without being able to inherit a family trust. No child would ever be left behind, and no elder left on the street or starving alone and cold. No one would be uncared for. Family values would be human values in the sense that there are no strangers or aliens, only fellow human beings.

Our civic identity would be about "self-governing" as a shared responsibility requiring integrity and respect despite differences. If we appreciate "family values" as a macro image, having to deal with difficult people and even budget for them in our "overhead" expenses is part of being human. Blessings can come with costs, but the latter do not make them curses. At some point, that sense of respect and civility has to be internalized as a blessing rather than treated as the curse of caring for others.

Being able to resent some other seems to be taken as a basic American right. "One and many" has become Marxist Liberalism to the believers in Exceptionalism and other White Lies. Being frustrated with those who want to be superior or at least the standard others must match is not resentment. It is anything other than envy. It would be laughable were we able to get them to share the joke when it is on them. We can all be in on the joke about being human. Having to deal with their displaced fear, anger and alienation is not a joke.

Are the Waltons the modern family value story of success and how to avoid being on the shit end of the stick? Right up there with the Koch Brothers for creepy.

Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

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