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The Ever-Shrinking Trillion Dollar Club

A handy yardstick for gauging how rapidly our wealth is concentrating.

Blogging Our Great Divide
January 04, 2015

by Bob Lord

One way to get a handle on the concentration of wealth in America at the very top is to count how many billionaires are needed to represent a one trillion dollar net worth.

I wrote about this a year ago in an Arizona Republic op-ed piece. At the start of 2014, we only had to combine the fortunes of America’s top 51 billionaires, a group small enough to fit in a city bus, to reach the trillion dollar mark.

Turns out, we may look back on that situation as egalitarian. You see, just one year later, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the trillion dollar club has axed one-third of its members.

That’s right. As of December 31, it only requires our 34 richest Americans to reach a collective net worth of one trillion dollars.

How long before the trillion dollar club is a one-member club?

Bob Lord, an Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow, practices law in Phoenix.

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