Post-ACE resources

January 25th, 2008 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

On last night’s show I made mention of an online graphic demonstrating the relative wealth of US presidential candidates. That graphic is available at this post with the large version here showing just what the disparities are. While I’m at it, I misremembered some of the details – Obama is ‘only’ at between $2 and $3 million, while Clinton is up over $34 million and Edwards is over $50 million. Richardson is over $6m while Kucinich is somewhere around $200k. On the Republican side, Huckabee’s personal worth is something under $1m, while all the other contenders listed are over $1m – Thompson at $8m, McCain at $40m, Giuliani at over $50m, and Romney at $350m, though this is believed to be a significant under-estimate.

As is noted in the accompanying article, Kucinich is the one with a worth closest to the ‘average’ American, though $200k still puts him well above the median – in 2004 US households had a net worth of just over $100k. I’m not one to attack candidates purely on account of their wealth – as we pointed on during the show, it’s the policies that matter, and criticisms of, for example, Edwards for raising issues of poverty, are cynical and ill-founded. It’s significant, though to note the correlation between wealth and being perceived as a ‘viable’ candidate. Note too that the 2004 CNN figures I reference above show just 6.4m US households with net worth over $1m (excluding primary residence) and around 500k households with net worth over $5m. There are around 100m households in the US (the census’s 2004 estimate was around 107m) which puts Obama firmly in the top 6% of households by wealth (assuming his reported wealth is his household wealth – if not, he’s even more firmly up there). All of the other remaining candidates (now that Kucinich is out) with the exception of Huckabee are firmly in the top half-percent of households by wealth.

Bob also referenced a San Francisco Chronicle article criticizing the court decision allowing the exclusion of Kucinich from the Nevada debate.

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