According to the most recent Americans and Billionaires Survey by Harris Poll, 44% of American adults feel they have the resources necessary to become billionaires, mostly due to speculative investments like cryptocurrency.
“It’s not just investing in an IRA [individual retirement account],” owner of Opta Financial in Tampa, Florida, Freddie Rappina.
“People want to achieve a higher wealth status, and the way to do that is to use investments to build assets and generate income,” Rappina added. “Investments don’t make you rich; income makes you rich.”
Concerns about excessive riches are mixed
While this is going on, the majority of Americans have a love-hate relationship with great riches.
The Harris research concluded that “there is a mounting disconnect”: One day, six out of ten adults hope to be billionaires. 40% of people indicated they dislike billionaires at the same time. Many also argued that although billionaires should be improving society, they aren’t going far enough.
The report also revealed that over half of Americans, or 47%, think there should be a cap on how much people may accumulate in wealth and that 66% of adults believe wealth disparity is a serious national concern as the wealthy get richer.
Of those surveyed, 24% believed that personal wealth should be limited to less than $1 billion, while 20% believed that it should be limited to between $1 billion and $10 billion.
According to Forbes’ yearly ranking of the wealthiest people, there are about 200 people in the U.S. who are currently worth more than $10 billion. Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk are the top five richest people, and they are all worth more than $100 billion.
Other findings also indicate that the Covid epidemic contributed to the high wealth inequality that already existed.
Owning stocks and real estate has continued to be advantageous for the wealthiest Americans, especially last year when both the stock market and home values increased. The wealthiest 1% possessed a record 32.3% of the country’s wealth as of the end of 2021.
On the other hand, the proportion of wealth held by the poorest 90% of Americans decreased from 30.5% before the epidemic to 30.2% as a result.
58% of Americans surveyed by Harris felt that wealth increase during this time had been unfair to those who had to deal with the financial ramifications of the unexpected economic slump.
Support increases for taxing the super-wealthy
According to a report released in May by Oxfam, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to ending poverty, the gap between the wealthy and the rest of society is growing, highlighting the need for higher taxes on the wealthiest people.
As part of his 2023 federal budget, President Joe Biden has his own proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy.
“Right now, the average billionaire — there are about 790 of them or so in America — has a federal tax rate of 8%,” Tweeted by Biden.
In the United States, households earning more than $100 million would be subject to a 20% minimum tax under the “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax.” Those worth more than $1 billion may contribute more than half of the revenue.
However, billionaire tax plans haven’t taken off despite growing popular support for increased taxes on the really affluent.