Observations on life

Inequality of wealth you say … nothing new though 

Is inequality of wealth all that unequal? Lets examine wealth for a minute. If you believe the wealth of our richest 1% families is unfair, then you must also believe that the small and medium businesses that drive our economy are unfair as well.

He talked of the capitalist domination of government in bygone Republican times, praised the determination of ABC to end the “rule of the rich” and give the average American a chance. Ninety percent of the wealth of the country was in the hands of 4 percent of the population he said. ABC was the “man of the hour” to chase the money changers from the temple, so that the common people of the country could have a chance at the good things of life. (1934)

No one could be more mistaken than the isolationists, he said America had erred gravely by refusing to sign the Versailles Treaty and refusing to join the League of Nations. “We did not accept our responsibility as a world power.” (1938)

If the above sounds familiar, it should because you are hearing a similar song today. It would appear nothing much changes with political rhetoric or the problems it raises. How did we ever survive since the 1930s?

The good news is that we have made great strides in wealth disparity. Today the top 1% have only about 35% of the wealth, a far cry from 90%. 😎 (That was before January 2016 of course).

And by the way, we still seem to have a problem with accepting our responsibility as a world power. But we are still adept at blaming our predecessors.

Oh yes, who said the above? It was Harry S Truman and of course ABC is FDR.


The wealth share of America’s top 3 percent, Fed researchers calculate, rose from 44.8 percent of the nation’s wealth in 1989 to 51.8 percent in 2007 and 54.4 percent in 2013. The top 3 percent now hold over double the wealth of America’s poorest 90 percent of families. – See more at: http://inequality.org/wealth-inequality/#.dpuf

[I like the use of “poorest” above; pretty cool equating poor with 90 percent of American families]

Look at the assets of people who are wealthy. Notice most of their wealth is in their business followed by investments with relatively little in pension accounts and liquid assets. One could correctly surmise they earned their wealth and that most of it is at risk one way or the other.

Source: Wall Street Journal Blog

Here is an interesting article that is an eye opener. The very average guy who just happens to be a millionaire. Portrait of a Millionaire


7 replies »

  1. In 1989, I had no wealth, had just bought a house, and my wife and I had two children, ages 2 and 5. 25 years of Laborite for wages later, we find ourselves with two independent, adult children, and wealth in the top 5 percent of american households. But, how do you say inequality got worse (or better) since it ain’t the same people. One of the richest guys in the world, Mark Zuckerberg, was a babe in arms. Steve Jobs was getting fired at Apple.

    The wealth issue can only be measured by comparing movement among quantiles over a lifetime. I think you will find an increased concentration, but that probably happens every time there is an economic revolution – this time one of technology. Are we worse off after the personal computer, windows, iPhones,etc. because they made a very small group of individuals wealthy. I think not


    • Right on!

      But you see, the idea that things should be easy and equal, (even colleges guaranteeing a good job) is the ideology of the day. People look at where you are today and don’t want to look at what it took to get there.

      I started right out of high school in the lowest paying job in a company of fifteen thousand ($1.49 an hour). It took me over 45 years to reach the top 3% of US households and now those of us who worked our butts off are the bad guys and don’t share enough. 😡


  2. A millionaire today is not doing very good. lol. I graduated high school in 1974 and $209,000 then would buy what a million dollars buys today. Or, put another way you would need 4.8 million dollars today to buy what 1 million dollars bought in 1974.
    That is the real problem with increasing the money supply through price inflation over the last 40 years.
    Wages almost never keep up with prices for the average worker. Also, as your income goes up, your taxes go up.
    As the value of your house goes up even if it is paid off, your property taxes go up.
    There has always been and always will be someone making more than someone else and if you think government is going to fix it you are fooling yourself.
    Since 1974 I have lived well by adjusting my expectations and choices to meet my needs.
    People in the United states have it too good, very few are really poor, there is a safety net and few miss a meal.
    We do not have to grow our own food, find the water we need or repair our homes or cars.
    We have indoor plumbing and power, central air and heat. We have come very far in 100 years.
    If you do not like how things are going in your life, do something about it.
    If you are waiting for government to do it, you will be waiting a very long time.
    Be careful what you wish for: the government that has the power to give you everything you want today, has the power to take from you everything it wants tomorrow.
    If the United States is such a bad place to live, why is everyone coming here from all over the world.


    • I graduated high school in 1961. I wrote in my yearbook that one of my goals was to be a millionaire, which at the time seemed like a big deal. To meet that goal I would need $7,926,989 today. I’m a failure!


      • I am a fan of history and know that most of the things politicians spew have been said in the past. You have to really laugh at some of the stupid things that they say. If you took any of it too serious you would kick the dog and beat the wife. I refuse to let them rent space in my mind with their crap. I saw the best post yesterday. “Make sure everyone in your boat is rowing and not drilling holes, when you are not looking, know your circle.” Spring cleaning is not just about cleaning out the closets of junk. Make a real honest evaluation of your life and adjust according to your short term plan. In 60 years, I have learned, at least for me, everything works out in the end if YOU follow your plan. And your plan is not my plan and my plan is not your plan.


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