Thursday, October 12, 2017

It bears repeating

The Nation argues that huge policy changes are needed because 20 wealthy people own as much wealth as nearly half of Americans.  Me?  I'll do the math.

The article notes that these 20 people--really 20 families with ~ 50 people--control something like $732 billion in assets.  The article claims that 57 million households with 152 million people control less wealth than this.

Doing the math, we would see this amounts to just short of $5000/person, or about $13000 per family.  In other words, mean family wealth among the 1st-48th percentiles of our country is apparently about the same as the value of a good used car--in a country where almost all households own at least one vehicle. 

In other words, the problem is that for whatever reason, half the country really needs to discover what Walter Williams, Dave Ramsey, and others have been teaching for years.  Government's role is, sadly, mostly negative, as it prioritizes present consumption over savings and capital formation. 

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