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In addition to exposing the culture of super-rich families, in The One Percent Jamie also discusses what life is like on the other end of the economic spectrum. His film explains the widening gap between haves and have-nots in America.

According to The One Percent, since 1979...
  • The top one percent of Americans own roughly 40 percent of the country's wealth.
  • The top one percent possesses more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
  • An average member of the top one percent earns roughly $862,000 a year while a majority of Americans earn only $34,736. That's what the average CEO earns in less than one day of work!

Jamie says this rising inequality gap could be an ominous sign. "Historians always list a growing wealth gap among the many reasons for the decline of great civilizations," he says.

Robert Reich agrees. "Societies are fragile things, they're based on trust," he says. "If people don't feel that they have a fair chance of getting ahead...a lot of people feel excluded. That's not good for society. That doesn't keep America together."
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FROM: What Class Are You? Inside America's Taboo Topic
Published on April 21, 2006

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