Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Money Quote

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, on America's economic divergence
The seriousness of America’s growing problem of inequality was highlighted by Federal Reserve data released this month showing the recession’s devastating effect on the wealth and income of those at the bottom and in the middle. The decline in median wealth, down almost 40 percent in just three years, wiped out two decades of wealth accumulation for most Americans. If the average American had actually shared in the country’s seeming prosperity the past two decades, his wealth, instead of stagnating, would have increased by some three-fourths. (my emphasis)
I know I certainly saw two decades' worth of savings and investment disappear.  I know, too, that I am one of the lucky ones who didn't lose everything and, more importantly, I've been employed steadily for the past four years and able rebuild my savings somewhat.  All this tells me that I and most people in my life are more fortunate than the majority of Americans.  Drastically so compared to most human beings on this planet.

At one time in America the economic security I seem to have attained was a reasonable expectation for many.  No more.  Uncertainty is the new norm, with more and more Americans sliding from middle class to poverty and the rest of us hoping we can hang on.

As the rich get richer.

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