Here is one more example that the gap between the super-wealthy in the United States and the rest of Americans is growing wider and wider.
A group of 25 hedge fund executives in 2010 managed to earn a combined $22.1 billion -- an amount equivalent to 441,400 American households each making $50,000 a year (roughly the current average). Considering that the median household size is 2.6 persons, that means that these 25 took home as much as the average 1,150,000 Americans combined. That's bigger than the population of Dallas... or Rhode Island.
Ten years ago, the same 25 Wall Street barons would have taken home a total of $5 billion. Now, a single hedge fund chief, John Paulson, was able to make that much ($4.9 billion) in 2010. Paulson made billions during the worst of the financial downturn because he bet that the mortgage bubble would burst. Most of his profits in 2010 came from investing in gold, buying and selling stock in Citigroup... and collecting an estimated $1 billion in management fees.
Cross-posted at AllGov.com