According to a report from The Guardian, America’s three richest families have increased their wealth by 6000% since 1982. Namely, the Waltons, who own Walmart, the Mars family of Mars Candy, and the Koch brothers. Their combined wealth sits at 4 million times the average for US families—$348.7 billion.
Typically, familial wealth is dispersed through taxes and generational spending. As many are aware, though, these families are using their already exorbitant wealth to expedite even more financial growth by lobbying against estate taxes.
Entire businesses are founded on the concept of protecting the rich. Families hire accountants and wealth managers to actively make it appear as if they don’t have as much money, and therefore save on taxes. In this system, the average American either works for the already corrupt economy, or starves.
This issue isn’t just one of economics. The United States saw in 2016 that the majority doesn’t always win, and money is a major reason why. As long as the wealthiest Americans are allowed to legally bribe politicians, we’ll continue to have deep-seated bias. No matter how many votes come in, there will always be a bigger check.
There’s at least one of those families is working to make change. Warren Buffet, the third wealthiest American according to Forbes, has gone directly to congress to advocate for increased estate taxes. If he succeeds, we could see a gradual decline in the wealth gap. But before that happens, his estate tax has to get past the top two wealthiest Americans.