Workers Vanguard No. 988

14 October 2011



The graph titled “Change in Share of National Income 1979-2008” on the front page of WV No. 985 (2 September) does not show the “enormous growth in wealth at the very top,” as written in its caption. Personal income consists of a flow of earnings from various sources, whereas wealth is accumulated assets (minus debts). Under capitalism, the ownership of the means of production is concentrated in the hands of a small class of capitalist families, who expropriate much of the wealth produced by the proletariat. In 2009, the collective wealth of the “Forbes 400” richest Americans was $1.3 trillion, while nearly 25 percent of all households—and 40 percent of black households—had zero or negative net worth.