Economy

The Rich Are Now Richer Than Ever. Again.

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

For many people including myself and some readers of this website, our financial situations are deteriorating as rising costs and inflation are eating what little savings we had built up, but the rich are doing just fine.

America's rich have no reason to be concerned about rising costs because because their wealth is still growing as a share of the economy. They're so rich, they now have more wealth than the entire American middle class.

From Bloomberg:

The middle 60% of U.S. households by income -- a measure economists often use as a definition of the middle class -- saw their combined assets drop to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data going back three decades. For the first time, the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. [...]

A generation ago, the middle class held more than 44% of real estate assets in the country. Now it’s down to 38%.

The pandemic generated a boom in housing values that has benefited most those who owned real estate in the first place. It also led to soaring rents this year, which hurt those who can’t afford a house. The self-feeding loop created more wealth for the wealthier.

Having 0.4 percent more wealth than the entire middle class may not sound like much at first glance, but that is a comparison between 1.3 million rich households and almost 78 million households in the middle class. It's actually obscene.

The reconciliation spending bill that congressional Democrats will eventually pass will raise taxes on the rich by some measure, but it won't even make a dent in this massive pile of wealth that becomes self-perpetuating at some point.

As Bloomberg points out, those who've gained the most are people who were already ahead; people who already had substantial assets. Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money in the first place and the rich have a lot to spend on investments in real estate and ventures in emerging stock.

There was a point in my life when I was embarrassed that I have almost no assets of my own, but the older I get the less I care. The older I get the more it sinks in that the game is rigged. That is a fundamental fact of life in America even without accounting for being transgender.