How much more unequal has the United States become in the Trump years? We don’t exactly know. We have some juicy anecdotal data — billionaires, for instance, have increased their net worth by $600 billion or so just since mid-March — but broader national stats won’t be available until well into 2021.
The more pressing question right now: Would Joe Biden’s election this November change the trajectory of inequality in America? Would the rich stop getting richer?
Absolutely, Donald Trump proclaimed earlier this week in a tweet aimed at America’s affluent, the 10 percent of American adults who own 84 percent of the nation’s stock.
“If you want your 401k’s and stocks . . . to disintegrate and disappear,” the president warned Monday, “vote for the Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats and Corrupt Joe Biden.”
But Wall Streeters themselves don’t seem so far to find Biden cause for panic. A Biden victory, one top JPMorgan Chase analyst is telling his clients, could even mean a “slightly positive” outcome for shareholders. Americans with big dollars to invest, notes CNN Business, are expecting a President Biden to “moderate” whatever rich people-unfriendly sentiments he might have expressed on the campaign trail.
Progressive activists, meanwhile, are crossing their fingers, ever on the lookout for signs that a Biden presidency might actually challenge — on some level — the nation’s continuing concentration of wealth and power. And this search for hopeful signs now has activists pouring over the just-released reports from the “unity” task forces that Biden and his chief primary rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, set up this past May to haggle out consensus policies in six key issue areas.
Each eight-member task force went about its work with two co-chairs, one a Biden choice, the other a Sanders pick. Both Biden and Sanders chose highly regarded policy heavyweights for the chair slots and the rest of the task force line-ups as well, names as familiar as former Secretary of State John Kerry and Green New Deal champion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.