Economist Edward Wolff's latest paper on household wealth during the Great Recession has some really startling data on who gained and lost ground between 1983 and 2013 ...
US net worth rose considerably over that period, which is what you would expect to see. Technology has improved and productivity increased, so society has a greater capacity for wealth building. America was also quite a bit older on average in 2013 than it was in 1983, so average wealth should have gone up.
But all of these gains went to the top 20 percent of the population. It's worse than that, actually. Over 100 percent of the gains went to the top 20 percent, because the bottom 60 percent of the population got poorer.
In other words, the average American household is poorer today than it was in 1983.
[Vinnie Rotondaro is NCR national correspondent. His email address is email@example.com.]