America's richest 1 pc hold 24 pc of country's wealth, warns Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 06:10 hrs

Nobel Prize winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz has said the richest one percent of Americans now hold 25 percent of the country's wealth in a major sign of inequality and more needs to be done to boost equality.

Speaking in Davos, Stiglitz said that inequality was the result of the top one percent seeing their wealth double since 1980.

By contrast, he said that the median income level in the US had not changed since the early 1990s.

Speaking to the BBC's economics editor Stephanie Flanders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Stiglitz called for more work to boost the educational opportunities of the 'bottom 50 percent' of Americans, higher minimum wages, and more collective bargaining in the workplace.

He said that America considered itself as a land of equality and opportunity, but the stats showed otherwise, the US has one of the worst opportunity rates of any of the advanced economies.

According to the report, Stiglitz contrasted the situation in the US in the past 30 years with that from the Second World War to 1980, when he said the US economy enjoyed 'rapid growth in which we all grew together'.

Looking outside the US, Stiglitz praised Brazil, where he said a major bipartisan effort over the past 20 years had markedly improved equality in the country.

Meanwhile, he said that the Scandinavian countries were leading the way with the highest levels of equality, the report added. (ANI)

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