Most people work hard to provide for their family hoping to generate enough money to afford the basics. Their only chance at vast fortune is a lottery ticket.

For other families, they need only wait patiently for their fortunes to come — the result of a genetic lottery they were lucky enough to win.

No family is wealthier than the Waltons of Wal-Mart.

Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart in 1962 in Arkansas after a 20-year career managing stores. Twenty years later, Walton’s fortune had grown to $690 million, according to the first Forbes 400 listing of the wealthiest individuals in the country in 1982. Adjusting for inflation, that figure rises to $1.81 billion in 2018 dollars.

A generation later, Sam Walton has long since passed, while the Walton family fortune has ballooned. It now boasts not one, but seven members of the Forbes 400, with a combined family worth of $169.7 billion.

In other words, the Walton family saw their wealth rise by more than 9,000 percent over the course of a generation. And for the heirs of Sam Walton, their only real contribution to generating this fortune has been hard waiting, not hard working.

That was just one finding in a new report I co-authored for the Institute for Policy Studies. We found that wealth dynasties like the Waltons now loom more dramatically over ordinary Americans than ever.

Read the full article at Inside Sources.

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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