Old People Keeping All the Wealth for Themselves

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The American economy.Photo: Sergey Lavrentev/iStockphoto

According to a new Pew Research analysis, the wealth gap between old and young is wider than it's ever been: Households headed up by someone over the age of 65 are 47 times wealthier than households headed up by people under the age of 35. Of course, it's not a new phenomenon that young people are lacking in disposable income (and haven't accumulated valuable assets like houses) , but the sharpness of the contrast IS new. The gap is markedly wider than it was before the start of the recession, in fact. It's doubled since 2005, and is more than twenty times what it was 25 years ago — roughly the lifespan of many of these hard-up young adults.  Median wealth for that older group is up 42 percent since 1984; for the younger set, it's down 68 percent.  This all raises an important and troubling question: Is it time to do away with senior citizen discounts at the movies?

Related: The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright [NYM]