June 27, 2004

The burden of the poor

To the Editor, New York Times Magazine:

Barry Bearak ("Poor Man's Burden," June 27) describes Brazil's deep economic inequality, citing that 10% of the population controls 50% of the country's wealth. It is wise to recognize such disparity as sign of a serious problem. If Bearak's figures are correct, it is even worse here in the U.S., where, according to Inequality.org, only 5% of the population accounts for well over 50% of the wealth. Fully one third of the U.S.'s net worth is owned by less than 1% of the population. Where is our Lula?