The case for an American social wealth fund

How would you like to get an annual dividend of $6,400?

Americans have the money together
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock/IvancoVlad, iStock/Antr)

The ownership of American wealth is hideously unequal: The top 10 percent owns about 79 percent of it, and the top 1 percent alone owns about 39 percent — while the bottom half owns virtually nothing. And while that discrepancy used to be smaller back in the more equal New Deal days, it was still huge. The top tenth or so of society has always accounted for the overwhelming bulk of American wealth.

One proposal for equalizing this situation is to build up a social wealth fund, as I have proposed before, and Matt Bruenig lays out in a recent worked-out paper. The idea is for the government to accumulate a significant fraction of all the national wealth, and pay out the ensuing capital income with an annual dividend to all adult citizens.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us