Concentration of Wealth

Most of us have never heard of the French economist Thomas Piketty*, but he is someone who has impressively predicted that there would be a “further concentration of wealth among the richest families” – a predictor that seems to be very accurate.

To put it more simply- if one were to describe “Wealth” in the United States as a pie, then the top echelon of people (“the wealthiest”) over time are getting a significantly larger share of that pie.

Economists…please do not write to me…I realize that my example is probably much too simplistic given complex economic tools, but the fact remains that the “middle class”; may very well be “shrinking” in relation to their piece of the “Wealth” pie and the concentration of wealth in the United States today.

For further reading on the subject:  The Middle Class May Be Under More Pressure Than You Think by William R. Emmons ** and Bryan J. Noeth (In the Balance Issue 11 2015)

I found their definitions of “Thrivers” “Middle Class” and “Stragglers” fascinating and they have written other cogent articles/essays.

I have also previously written articles about Wealth for example: “Do You Think You’re Wealthy…?” (9/14/13).  Check my website under the “Wealth” category.

Another interesting article about the problems of the middle class titled: Rising Rents Slam the Middle Class appeared in the Squared Away blog of March 3, 2016 – the working and middle class are paying a higher percentage of their incomes for housing. One reason is that middle incomes have not kept up with rent increases, especially in metropolitan areas and new rental housing units are not keeping pace with demand.

Also, From a William Emmons article/essay: “owning productive assets and minimizing debt has never been more important for families’ financial success.”**

If you would like to read more essays go to  and the series of articles/essays: In The Balance (Center for Household Financial Stability)

If you are interested in knowing about the status of your own financial health go to the In The Balance article/essay: Five Simple Questions That Reveal Your Financial Health and Wealth by William R. Emmons , Bryan J. Noeth (In The Balance issue 10 2014)

Quite honestly I could not tear myself away from these essays! They are written in clear succinct language accompanied by interesting charts/graphics.


* Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, Mass., and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014.

**William R. Emmons is senior economic adviser at the Center for Household Financial Stability at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Lowell R. Ricketts is a senior analyst at the Center.

*** The Importance of Wealth is Growing by William R. Emmons , Lowell R. Ricketts (In The Balance Issue 13 2015)

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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About Attorney Barbara Ann Dalvano

Attorney in Denver, Colorado with extensive practice experience in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Business Succession Planning, Probate, Contract Law.

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