Charts: Who Are the 1 Percent?

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmunningsontour/2479531295/">Ian Munnings</a>/Flickr

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Occupy Wall Street has focused national attention on the vast majority of Americans who have been left behind by the economic growth of the past few decades. But if OWS is the voice of the 99 percent, who exactly are the 1 percent?

A quick look at the numbers reveals that they aren’t all bailed-out Wall Street execs or brokers pulling down fat bonuses. That’s just some of them:

Even though the richest 1 percent of Americans don’t all work on Wall Street, they do control a disproportionate amount of its wealth, including nearly half of all stocks and mutual funds and more than 60 percent of securities.

But you can’t beat this chart for the most dramatic measure of just how wide the gap between the tippy-top and the 99 percent has become. While incomes for the superrich have skyrocketed in the past three decades, most Americans’ have flatlined. 

ALSO: Check out our charts on income inequality, overworked America, and six common economic myths.

Sources: Occupations of top 1 percent: John Bakija, Williams College (PDF); asset ownership: Edward N. Wolff, Bard College (PDF); income growth: The World Top Incomes Database

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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