Fairness of the U.S. Financial System MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. II, No. 8 December 1995


Several recent analyses report the growing disparity in the United States between the haves and the have nots. One points to the differences between the top level of management and the entry-level worker. Another discusses how the proportion of households holding the top and the bottom fifth of U.S. wealth has grown, whereas the middle portions have shrunk. Some suggest that the growing disparity between the upper and lower segments of society portends tremendous upheavals, change, and social unrest. Income and wealth figure largely in our self-images and socially accepted concepts of success. The financial system in the United States is consumers' primary tool with which to manage, maintain, protect, save, and invest their income and wealth. Accurately predicting how the financial system will change in the future is extremely difficult. Nevertheless, people's opinions of the fairness of the U.S. financial system may indicate their faith in the system and hence the potential for their reaction to the disparity.