Last year was a good year for approximately 261 Americans. According to a study from the Center for Responsive Politics, 261 House and Senate members reported a net worth of more than $1 million for 2009.
As a whole, all the members of Congress got richer last year. The median wealth of a House member was up from $645,503 in 2008 to $765,010 in 2009. Over the same time, median wealth in the Senate jumped from $2.27 million to $2.38 million.
So essentially half of our Congressmen are millionaires, compared to one percent of the country’s entire population. Which means, as John Cook wrote, we’re living in a plutocracy.
The last plutocracy of note was the ancient society of Carthage. Their best general tried to capture Rome using elephants, and the civilization ended with 50,000 people forced into slavery and the entire city being burnt to the ground.
So we’ve got that going for us.