Saturday, August 9, 2014

Broken Record

Maybe this is the flip side of the huge and growing disparity of wealth in this land of the free and home of the brave. Seventy-five percent of those who aren't in the fabled 1 percent, are gloomy about their financial futures. That's three-quarters of the country that say things are bad, and they ain't getting better.

Here's the gist of it: the rich aren't just getting poorer, most of the rest of us are getting poorer. Americans aren't buying stuff, they are putting off major decisions, and they're not retiring when they wanted. And they don't think things are getting better by any stretch of the imagination.

Some of what the source article says:

In its first large-scale study of household finances, the U.S. central bank uncovered lingering effects of the sharpest economic downturn since the Great Depression, with 42 percent of respondents saying they had delayed major purchases and 18 percent saying they put off a major life decision, including buying a home or getting married, due to the crisis.

Thirty-six percent said they now planned to retire later, according to the online survey.

In a finding that could figure into the Fed's monetary policy debate, three-fourths of households said they expected their incomes to be the same or lower over the next year.

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Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.
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