Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said cheering for soaring stock prices while wages stay low is 'inequality in a nutshell.' We made 6 charts to show why she's right.
- On Saturday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented on a new high in the US stock market by saying that "the Dow soars, wages don't. Inequality in a nutshell."
- The representative may have a point: Nearly half of Americans don't own stocks at all, and the lion's share of stock ownership is concentrated in the wealthiest 10% of families.
- Business Insider put together six charts illustrating how the benefits of a booming stock market may not reach most working- and middle-class Americans.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The US stock market has been on a tear for years, hitting several all-time highs in recent weeks. While this is certainly a good thing, the benefits of a booming stock market don't necessarily accrue to all Americans.On Saturday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented on an NBC News tweet noting the Dow Jones Industrial Average passing 29,000 for the first time:Advertisement
Ocasio-Cortez has a point. As the following charts show, nearly half of American families own no stock at all, and the lion's share of stock market ownership belongs to households at the top of the wealth distribution.
The stock market has risen dramatically over the last decade.
However, most Americans don't directly own any stocks at all.Advertisement
Investing in retirement accounts like IRAs or 401(k)s, which often lead to indirect ownership of stocks, is much more common than directly owning stock, but still more concentrated in the upper echelons of the wealth distribution.
Even among Americans who directly own stocks, the actual amount and value of those holdings is heavily skewed toward the top.Advertisement
The value saved up in retirement accounts paints a similar picture.
While the stock market has seen double-digit annual growth rates in several years of the last decade, wage growth has been much more modest.Advertisement
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