In 2003, the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992. Fast-forward 10 years: that figure is down to a mere $56,335.
Ordinary Americans got 36 percent poorer in just a decade.
The Great Recession and the bursting of the housing bubble did their damage, but a long list of additional factors have helped funnel money out of the hands of regular Americans and into the pockets of the rich, including deregulation, high unemployment and job insecurity, the shareholder value trend in which corporations focus on manipulating stock prices while throwing workers under the bus, the reduced influence of unions, the shredding of the social safety net, privatization, and tax structures which favor the rich.
And once the inequality train leaves the station, it only gathers speed until something stops it. As Thomas Piketty has recently emphasized, the rich get richer faster than you and me because of the rate of return on their wealth.