A post by Shoemoney yesterday got me to thinking again about a topic that both amazes me and doesn’t at the same time. Shoe’s post was Millionaires continue to climb in the US as more people go out of work. In it, he talks about how the number of millionaires in the United States has grown over the past years while unemployment continues to bump against the highest levels we’ve seen in years. According to Shoe, in 2010, while the unemployment rate skyrocketed 25% over levels in 2009, the number of millionaires in the U.S. grew by nearly 10%. How crazy is that?!
We’re definitely in one of the most dire economic situations I’ve ever lived through seeing our country in (certainly not the worst we’ve ever seen in the history of the U.S. though). Seems like doom and gloom continues to be pounded into our heads by media outlets and friends at every turn. I’m sure we all have at least one (or more likely dozens) story about someone getting slapped down by the economy over the past 3 years. It hits close to home for a lot of us.
What’s crazy to me though, is while we watch people’s lives get devastated by lost jobs, lost homes, etc., you walk into an Apple Store and it’s wall to wall people from open to close. iPad 2′s are still in high demand. Restaurants, both high and low end, continue to thrive and get packed to the rafters.
The rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer.
The thought I had while reading the Shoemoney post was amazement at how powerful figuring out how to make money, regardless of what you do (speaking of legal ways of course), really is. It’s amazing that 56% of the United States’ household wealth is controlled by about 10 million people (the millionaires in the U.S.).
One source estimates we will end 2011 with about 10.5 million millionaires in the U.S. That number is expected to nearly double to 20.6 million millionaires by the end of 2020.
Should we really be surprised, though, that the rich keep getting richer? Sure you can argue that they enjoy benefits of wealth others don’t, but the reality is, many of them took advantage of opportunities presented to them and worked their way up from there. The silver spoon argument is a weak one in my opinion.
For those of us who aren’t millionaires, it’s up to us to make it happen. The Internet is a level playing field and awaits those who want to grab hold and make something happen.
When 2020 rolls around, I want to be part of the 20.6 million who are millionaires much more than I’d rather be part of the rest that aren’t!