A comments discussion:
The bit you quote isn’t all that bonkers, Mr W. A little while ago I saw the claim (can it be true?) that median wealth in the UK is little different from median wealth in the US – it’s average wealth that differs a lot. That would be consistent with US plutocrats being “extremely” wealthy, in the sense of being much wealthier than our plutocrats.
Mind you, I doubt that such figures are worth much – how the devil does anyone know enough to talk usefully about wealth? Tax tends to fall on income and expenditure, not wealth. Maybe it’s easier with a plutocrat whose wealth is mainly in shares of one quoted company, but how would anyone else know that that’s true?
The median wealth claim wouldn’t surprise me all that much to be honest. The bottom 50% of the wealth distribution usually have perhaps 5% or so of all wealth. The bottom 30 to 35% usually have negative wealth – in aggregate. So, median wealth is going to be something like someone with £5,000 or maybe £20,000 or summat like that free and clear. Really wouldn’t surprise me to find that that’s a general number that applies across most rich country economies. A bit of equity in a home, the beginnings of a pension pot, something like that, that’ll be the median wealth number.
That’s the off the top of my head answer. Does anyone actually know? Median – not mean – wealth for UK/US/some other rich countries?