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  • There's a chart I saw recently that I can't get out of my head.


  • A Harvard business professor and economist asked more than five thousand Americans: how they thought wealth was distributed in the United States.

    一位哈佛教授兼經濟學者訪問了 5000 多位美國人關於他們所認為的美國財富分布為何。

  • This is what they said they thought it was:


  • dividing the country into five rough groups of the top bottom and middle three twenty percent groups,


  • they asked people how they thought the wealth in this country was divided?


  • Then he ask them, what they thought was the ideal distribution?


  • And 92 percent, that's at least nine out of ten of them, said it should be more like this.

    92% 的人,也就是 10 人中至少 9 人,說理想狀況應該是這樣。

  • In other words, more equitable than they think it is.


  • Now that fact is telling, admittedly, the notion that most Americans know that the system is already skewed unfairly.


  • But what's most interesting to me is the reality compared to our perception.


  • The ideal is as far removed from our perception of reality as the actual distribution is from what we think exists in this country.


  • So, ignore the ideal for a moment.


  • Here's what we think it is again.


  • And here is the actual distribution.


  • Shockingly skewed.


  • Not only do the bottom 20 percent and the next 20 percent, the bottom 40 percent of Americans barely have any of the wealth. I mean, it's hard to even see them on the chart.

    最窮的 20% 和次窮的 20%,也就是美國最底層的 40% 不僅幾乎沒有分配到任何財富,連在圖上幾乎都快看不見了。

  • But the top one percent has more of the country's wealth than nine out of ten Americans believe the entire top 20 percent should have.

    但是最富有的 1% 所擁有的財富,比九成人認為最富的 20% 共有的還要多。

  • Mind-blowing.


  • But let's look at it another way because I find this chart kind of difficult to wrap my head around.


  • Instead, let's reduce the 311 million Americans to just a representative one hundred people

    我們將三億多的美國人口替換成只有 100 位代表,

  • Make it simple.


  • Here they are.


  • Teachers, coaches, firefighters, construction workers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, some investment bankers, a C.E.O., maybe a celebrity or two.

    老師、教練、消防員、建築工人、工程師、醫生、律師、幾位投資銀行家、一位 CEO,可能還有一兩位明星。

  • Now let's line 'em up according to their wealth.


  • Poorest people on the left, wealthiest on the right.


  • Just a steady row of folks based on their net worth.


  • We'll color code them like we did before based on which twenty percent quintile they fall into.


  • Now let's reduce the total wealth of the United States, which was roughly 44 trillion dollars in 2009, to this symbolic pile of cash, and let's distribute it among our one hundred Americans.

    現在我們再把美國全部的財富,假設是 2009 年的 54 兆元,變成這這疊象徵性的鈔票,分給這 100 位美國人。

  • Well, here's socialism, all of the wealth of the country distributed equally.


  • We all know that won't work.


  • We need to encourage people to work and work hard to achieve that good ole American dream and, keep our country moving forward.


  • So, here's that ideal we asked everyone about, something like this curve.


  • This isn't too bad! We've got some incentive as the wealthiest folks are now about ten to twenty times better off than the poorest Americans.

    還不賴嘛!右邊是大家羨慕的有錢人,資產也只是窮人的 10 到 20 倍而已,

  • But hey, even the poor folks aren't actually poor since the poverty line has stayed almost entirely off the chart.


  • We have a super healthy middle-class with a smooth transition into wealth, and yes, Republicans and Democrats alike chose this curve.


  • Nine out of ten people, 92 percent said this was a nice, ideal distribution of America's wealth.

    10 人中有 9 人,92% 美國人都同意,這是美國財富分布的理想曲線。

  • But let's move on.


  • This is what people think America's wealth distribution actually looks like.


  • Not as inequitable, clearly.


  • But for me, even this still looks pretty great!


  • Yes, the poorest twenty to thirty percent are starting to suffer quite a lot, compared to the ideal,

    是的,最窮的 20~30% 資產少了很多,跟理想差距不小,

  • and the middle class is certainly struggling more than they were,


  • while the rich and wealthy are making roughly a hundred times that of the poorest Americans and at about ten times that of the still healthy middle class.

    富人的收入大概是窮人的 100 倍,也是小康的中產階級的 10 倍左右。

  • Sadly, this isn't even close to the reality.


  • Here is the actual distribution of wealth in America.


  • The poorest Americans don't even register.


  • They're down to pocket change.


  • And the middle class is barely distinguishable from the poor.


  • In fact, even the rich between the top ten and twenty percentile are worse off.

    事實上,連最富的 10 至 20% 都更窮了。

  • Only the top ten percent are better off, and how much better off?

    只有最富的 10% 好得多,有多好呢?

  • So much better off that the top two to five percent are actually off the chart at this scale.

    好到最富的 2 至 5% 都已經爆表了。

  • And the top one percent, this guy, well, his stack of money stretches ten times higher than we can show.

    至於最頂端的 1% 這位仁兄,他的鈔票堆可以爆表十次。

  • Here's his stack of cash restacked all by itself.


  • This is the top one percent we've been hearing so much about.

    他就是我們天天在談論的那 1%。

  • So much green in his pockets that i have to give him a whole new column of his own because he won't fit on my chart


  • One percent of America has forty percent of all the nation's wealth.

    1% 的美國人坐擁全國 40% 的財富。

  • The bottom eighty percent, eight out of every ten people or eighty out of these hundred, only has seven percent between them.

    最底的 80%,也就是十人有八人,或 100 人中只有 80 人只分到 7% 的財富。

  • And this has only gotten worse in the last twenty to thirty years.

    這 20 至 30 年來貧富差距只有更加懸殊。

  • While the richest one percent take home almost a quarter of the national income today.

    這 1% 的收入幾乎是全國 1/4 的收入。

  • In nineteen seventy-six they took home only nine percent, meaning their share of income has nearly tripled in the last thirty years.

    在 1976 年,他們的收入只佔全國 9%,意味著這 30 年來他們的收入增為三倍。

  • The top one percent own half the country's stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

    這 1% 擁有美國一半的股票、債券和共同基金。

  • The bottom fifty percent of Americans own only half a percent of these investments.

    底層的 50% 美國人僅持有 0.5%。

  • Which means they aren't investing - they're just scraping by.


  • I'm sure many of these wealthy people have worked very hard for their money,


  • but do you really believe that the C.E.O. is working 380 times harder than his average employee, not his lowest paid employee, not the janitor, but the average earner in his company,

    但你真的認為一個 CEO 努力的程度是他手下員工的 380 倍嗎?我不是說底薪人員,也不是清潔員,而是他手下的正職人員,

  • the average worker needs to work more than a month to earn what the C.E.O. makes in one hour.

    一般的職員需要工作一個月以上才能賺到 CEO 一小時賺到的錢。

  • We certainly don't have to go all the way to socialism to find something that is fair for hardworking Americans.


  • We don't even have to achieve what most of us consider might be ideal.


  • All we need to do is wake up and realize that the reality in this country is not at all what we think it is.


There's a chart I saw recently that I can't get out of my head.


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