Monday, January 30, 2023

Meaningless Millionaires

We hear a lot about "wealth", and "wealth inequality" today. 

As I've often repeated in my blogging, zero remains zero and inflation creates more wealth inequality as a "base".  If the top income last year was $100, and it is $1000 today, we have 1x the inequality. Any growing economy increases income inequality. 

A million dollars today is the equivalent of $390K in 1990. There tends to be a lot of talk about "millionaires" (or billionaires), which is the Deep/Administrative State misleading you. Of COURSE there is more numeric "inequality", but that is far from "the story" because there are a ton of factors involved.  "Poverty" for a family of 4 today is $26k, but since the state is at war with families, there are not many stable families of 4, and FAR fewer without the complexities of divorce, addiction, etc 

If you go look at the linked charts, you can see how much Vietnam, Jimmy Carter, and now Biden have cost us ... especially those of us who at one time had "nice pensions". 

On top of that, government subsidies bump the actual living conditions higher, and to be "poor" in American likely means you are obese, have a nice color tv, high speed internet, a lot of subsidies, and probably a car. (80% of poor Americans have access to a car). Compared to the rest of the world, poverty in America is somewhere between rich and middle class elsewhere. (gee, why don't we have a Southern border?)

In order to be the equivalent of a 1990 millionaire today, you need to have $2,270,826, or basically $2.3 million. 

The average cumulative  inflation since '92 is 127%, however it varies from 200% in Seattle to 104% in St Louis. 

I have no interest in being an inflation expert, but my guess is that housing is the big reason for the difference in cities. My son paid $750 a month for an efficiency dump in Denver, and $750 for a nice one bedroom in a complex with a pool, exercise area, good parking, and a nice neighborhood in Des Moines. Basically 2x as good for the same money. 

So a billionaire today is really worth $390 million in 1990 dollars. Certainly nobody is going to have much pity on someone worth $390 million, nor even on someone worth $390k in 1990 dollars. The point is (as always) take what the government and media (but I repeat myself) tell you with a BIG grain of salt! 

You need $10 today to buy what a buck would buy in 1960. For those of us born in the 50's or 60's, that might explain a bit about how "we don't feel rich", though the numbers on our bank accounts look like we "should" be. 

Who loves inflation? Debtors, of which the government is the gorilla in the room paying back their debt with ever more worthless dollars. Have a billion dollar debt in 1990? Pay it off today with the equivalent value of $390 million today! 

As our government rulers continually show us, it is great to be king! 

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