Over the past four decades, wealth has increasingly concentrated among the highest-income households. These households are disproportionately White and male. In 2018, three White men held aggregate wealth greater than the aggregate wealth of one-half of Americans. The median White household has 41 times more wealth than the median Black household and 22 times more wealth than the median Latinx household. On average, women earn less than men in all industries. The largest pay gaps are in management, in which men earned $88,000 on average in 2016, compared to $55,000 for women. At the intersection of race and gender the gaps are even more shocking. Women of color are disproportionately poor suffering poverty rates of 21.4% Black women, 18.7% Latinas, and 22.8% Native American women, as compared to 7% for White men The United States exhibits wider disparities of wealth than any other major developed nation.
Most state and local tax systems worsen inequality. The lower one’s income, the higher one’s overall effective state and local tax rate. On average, the lowest-income 20% of taxpayers face a state and local tax rate more than 50% higher than the top 1% of households. The nationwide average effective state and local tax rate is 11.4% for the lowest-income quintile of individuals and families, 9.9% for the middle quintile, and 7.4% for the top 1%. Three nationally recognized expert panelists provide a deep dive into these tax issues including how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act exacerbates the impact of regressive state and local tax systems on inequality.