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Ideal wealth distribution

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A 2011 study by Norton & Ariely reveals that Americans are united in their vision of what the "ideal" wealth distribution would be, which may come as an even bigger surprise than their shared misinformation on the actual wealth distribution that has been he main focus of research by John Bates Clark Medal winner and MacArthur Fellow , Emmanuel Saez. They said that the ideal wealth distribution would be one in which the top 20% owned between 30 and 40 percent of the privately held wealth, which is a far cry from the 85 percent that the top 20% actually own. They also said that the bottom 40% -- that's 120 million Americans -- should have between 25% and 30%, not the mere 8% to 10% they thought this group had, and far above the 0.3% they actually had. In fact, there is no country in the world that has a wealth distribution close to what Americans think is ideal when it comes to fairness.[1]

So maybe Americans are more sensitive to Income inequality in the United States and are much more egalitarian than most of them realize about each other. [2]

The ideal income distribution has yet to be studied in the same way, although income disparities in the U. S. have grown rapidly in the past two decades (1990 - 2010), especially in the top 0.1 % where the disparities have been driven by increased salaries and business income [3]

Average world income[edit]

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If all the wealth were distributed equally, there would become more wealth. This is because the productivity of industrialized nations is increased by mechanization and other economies of scale. Some would decrease, because their products would not be consumed by the rest of the world, but this would be made up for on a massive scale by the decreases in the need for transportation. So with this proviso, let us consider what the actual average world income would be, minus this increase.

The average world income is, in one sense,

Gross domestic product (WP) (PPP): US$74.00 trillion, 2010 estimate [4]

Divided by:

World Population 6,889,167,846 (December 21, 2010)([2])

= $10,741.50

Which is under the 'poverty line' in the USA. The average US income is

$14.660 trillion (2010)[5]

Divided by:


= $47,482.46

The conclusion that becomes instantly clear is, Americans wanting a fairer wage are in fact wanting to also have an unfair wage. And the people that have the most self-interest in Egalitarianism are not Americans, or Europeans for that matter. Good thing that self-interest is not what drives most humans, unless they need that to compensate for inequaliity of their income.

Wonder why there are no sources showing 'Average World Income' as a whole? It isn't because I didn't look. It is empirically proven in any case, by mathematics, but this disparity is the one thing world economists don't even want to think about for very long, let alone want everyone else looking at. Try a search for 'average world income' anywhere, on any search engine.

It's really quite simple. Everyone knows what 'fairness' means. Everyone significantly over the line, per person in their income dependency group, are part of a problem. Everyone near or below the line may be interested in the solution. The rest is just talk.

And of course, the world economy is not a zero sum (WP) game, either. Giving more money to developing countries enables them to create industries that will increase the world's total GDP.

The definition of greed is not, wanting things. It is what you do about it. Not sharing the wealth with developing countries means developed nations have only poor people to sell to. It is not even in their interest to keep it to themselves. But they do, and that is greed. They do irrational and illogical things, because of their desire for things, things that even stop them getting more. They literally cannot stand to give anything away.


  1. Norton, M. I., & Ariely, D. Building a Better America—One Wealth Quintile at a Time. Perspectives on Psychological Science January 2011 6: 9-12.
  2. http://sociology.ucsc. edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html Sociology ucsc]
  3. Kopczuk, Wojciech and Saez, Emmanuel. “Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916–2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns.” National Tax Journal, 2004, 57(2), pp. 445–487.
  4. [1]
  5. United States, International Monetary Fund,, retrieved 2009-10-01 </li>
  6. US Census, 2010. Population clock numbers: U.S. Population Clock, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. </ol>