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America's Lost Decade: Typical Household Wealth Has Plunged 36% Since 2003

Tyler Durden's picture


Does it feel like you're poorer? There is a simple reason why - you are! According to a new study by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36% decline... Welcome to America's Lost Decade.

Simply put, the NY Times notes, it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.


As Russell Sage Foundation concludes, through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the loss of wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession. Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013. These wealth losses, however, were not distributed equally. While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2003 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.


The American economy has experienced rising income and wealth inequality for several decades, and there is little evidence that these trends are likely to reverse in the near-term.


It is possible that the very slow recovery from the Great Recession will continue to generate increased wealth inequality in the coming years as those hardest hit may still be drawing down the assets they have left to cover current consumption.

The inequality-battler-in-chief remains unaware of the greatest irony of this surging rich-getting-richer as poor-get-poorer society:

 Inequality in the U.S. today is near its historical highs, largely because the Federal Reserve’s policies have succeeded in achieving their aim: namely, higher asset prices (especially the prices of stocks, bonds and high-end real estate), which are generally owned by taxpayers in the upper-income brackets. The Fed is doing all the work, because the President’s policies are growth-suppressive. In the absence of the Fed’s moneyprinting and ZIRP, the economy would either be softer or actually in a new recession. 


The greatest irony is that the President is railing against inequality as one of the most important problems of the day, despite the fact that his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed – with the President’s encouragement – to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality. This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough.


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Sat, 07/26/2014 - 21:56 | 5008566 InsurgoCasca
InsurgoCasca's picture

Wealth effect, bitchez!

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:17 | 5008620 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

i don't see how the author doesnt connect all the dots and see that it hasnt been a 'slow recovery'. we are in a depression and have been in one for nearly a decade. use a realistic deflator, such as the way we calculated inflation in 1980, and we havent had real growth since 2005.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:25 | 5008652 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

-- Upton Sinclair

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:44 | 5008685 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Speaking of the salaries & perks of the parasitical class, here's some completely unexpected news no one could have ever seen coming...

Bloomberg's Top Advocate Admits Gun Control Proposals Wouldn't Stop Mass Shootings

“Because people perceive a mismatch in the policy solutions that we have to offer and the way some of these mass shootings happened, you know, it is a messaging problem for us, I think. … Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:53 | 5008699 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Money and debt built the American dream.

Great lecture by Chris Whalen


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:08 | 5008734 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

About the only wealth most people have is the equity in their homes.    The real estate collapse of 2007-2009 is responsible for most of the decline.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:34 | 5008795 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

The shale boom gives lie to whole load of BULLSHIT.


"The wealth creators create more wealth while the debt creators create more debt." AND NEVER SHALL THE TWAIN MEET!

This is not rocket science anymore folks. "Your debt jubilee is to die in the Promise Land." (Apparently with a hundred to one kill ratio and the reckless abandonment of the very idea of humanity. In short a "War Crimes Tribunal.")

King David was no wussie...that's fer sure...but he was still a Christian...meaning any conversion by the Sword was NOT a true conversion. "You must drink of the body and blood and turn yourself WILLINGLY over to Him!"

Anyone who thinks the Bible was written by a Man is a nut...and I might add "so the Founding Fathers said of the United States Constitution."

Separation of powers, Bill of Rights, a Jury of your peers...NO BILLS OF ATTAINDER. This is what it means to be an AMERICAN.

That Basic Law was not founded in guilt but in BATTLE.

(So was the Code Napoleon I might add...

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:21 | 5008880 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



To me, the most shocking part of this study is that a full 25% of American Households have a net worth of just $3,200; and that 5% (1 out of 20) households has a negative net worth of -$27,416!


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:32 | 5008907 Shocker
Shocker's picture

We are on Year 5 of the Recovery correct?

Layoff List:


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 02:14 | 5009021 Elvis the Pelvis
Elvis the Pelvis's picture

The American middle class is dying on the vine.  Bitchez.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 02:48 | 5009068 old naughty
old naughty's picture

and this is not going to end well.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:43 | 5009194 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Is NOT ending well.....and we're not done yet.


Fixed it for you.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 08:34 | 5009309 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

All the while that a typical wealth of a jewish household surged 3600 percent over the same period.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:16 | 5009704 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

36% sounds about right as evidenced by the bankrupt furniture stores, empty strip malls, plunge in retial sales, dismale huose purchase numbers by Merikans, and poor car sales.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:07 | 5009822 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Son of Loki - The debt overhang by 2008 was 40%. Coincidence with this 36% corrolary number? I think not. But the debt was used to mask the outsourcing and the result of course is a declining living standard.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 15:04 | 5010124 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Seniors and Pensioners dependent on COLA have been serverely crushed with the measley 0% to 1.7% CPI the BLS prints since their COLA is directly linked to that despite food, local taxes, etc sky rocketing the last 8-10 years. I bet those folks are much more then 36% to 40% "less wealthy" now.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:01 | 5010296 welostyourgold
welostyourgold's picture

Please Cite.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:32 | 5009879 Jadr
Jadr's picture

Don't upvote this tool pimping his shitty blog in every ZH article.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 03:31 | 5011749 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Can one of the Tylers block this asshole's IP?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:12 | 5009836 Jerk_Store
Jerk_Store's picture

green shoots,  baby.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:15 | 5009376 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

is that what the Laugher curve means?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 08:05 | 5009271 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

What King David do you refer to??? If you are referring to King David of the Bible his time was way before Christ. Making him a Jew not a Christian.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:18 | 5009842 All_Your_Base
All_Your_Base's picture

Indeed; I took it as of the same line as Jesus, "Son of David."

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 04:48 | 5009128 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Woa now, if we start talking debt isnt the typical household net worth a negative number some multiple of their yearly income?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:10 | 5009475 Ballin D
Ballin D's picture

If we count the debt the govt has given us with a gun to our heads.  


Whats 100+ trillion / (300 million * (1-.47))?  Im only counting tax payers.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:30 | 5009589 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Whalen is correct to a point. Money and Debt creation is necessary when you have a growing economy that makes products and creates solid middle class jobs; so new debt (and interest on debt) can be serviced from future (real) growth.

Once our criminal class started the stampede to outsource middle class jobs the link in the chain was broken. Without real income in the hands of the middle class the cancer will only continue to grow.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:47 | 5010397 RKDS
RKDS's picture

It's amazing how many people choose to not see this.


And it's sad to see how many people, including the dingbat who wrote this "article," choose to ignore the nosedive from 2003-2009 and find a way to blame Obama.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 20:20 | 5011028 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Money as debt built the Bankster dream...  Whalen isn't taking about that, though, is he?  Debt Money Fraud - the one topic none of the BIGS dare discuss lest the Debt Money Tyrant respond.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:02 | 5008836 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

So called gun control advocates only seek to limit gun ownership from the people. They never make any effort to stop .gov agencies from acquiring guns especially military grade weapons.

Which for me proves that they are not anti-gun ownership, they are anti-who has the gun advocates. Never a reason to not deny the law abiding average person, always silent on .gov expansion.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:13 | 5009203 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I agree but it's moar like:

Gun control advocates are sociopaths who want all guns taken from the masses so they can be controlled by the police and military for them.


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:45 | 5009239 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The sound everyone just heard was Michael Bloomberg fainting and doing a faceplant into the floor ;-)

"In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.

Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.

Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District."

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:05 | 5009465 ImReady
ImReady's picture

Truly great news! Alan Gura is a GOD!!

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:14 | 5009480 nmewn
nmewn's picture

It is good news, very good news.

But the bureaucracy will contnue on in its quest to be the sole provider of self defense. This is how they solicit patronage from the weak minded, its not over, it never is with them.

Stand firm, Molon Labe ;-)

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:25 | 5009579 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The fuck?  The 2nd amendment doesn't give anyone the right to bear arms...  it merely prohibits the government from usurping that natural right.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:58 | 5010106 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

A fact which escapes many, including those who support the Second Amendment.  Self defense is a natural right, and one which carries with it the ability to match one's opponent in firepower if so chosen.   Full-auto included....

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 18:06 | 5010661 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

Exactly. They show little interest in seizing illegal guns, why even Eric 'My People' Holder supplies them to the Mexican drug cartels. Be under no doubt that the destruction of the middle class is the objective. A few years back I'd have thought it crazy, but Cloward-Piven seems to be the agenda.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:53 | 5009250 rbg81
rbg81's picture

The Fed is doing all the work, because the President’s policies are growth-suppressive. In the absence of the Fed’s moneyprinting and ZIRP, the economy would either be softer or actually in a new recession. 

The above line from the article is total BS.  ZIRP does rob from the Middle Class to enable the Government to support the lower classes with entitlement spending.  I think the economy and the Middle Class would be a lot stronger if not for ZIRP, because of the distortions it causes.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:01 | 5009353 centerline
centerline's picture

And without ZIRP, existing debts would implode.  Rock, meet hard place.

Reality is that runaway government spending has finally run it's course.  And there is nothing anyone can do with interest rate policy to change this.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:59 | 5009666 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Reality is that runaway government spending has finally run it's course.  And there is nothing anyone can do with interest rate policy to change this.

Sadly, you are incorrect.  After ZIRP, comes Negative IRP (NIRP).  In that scenario, the Government makes $$ off its debt.  It only charges 1-2% for capital "preservation".  Don't think it won't come to that.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:38 | 5010039 centerline
centerline's picture

I have no doubt that NIRP will come.  But that does NOT change the fact that there is nothing anyone can do with interest rate policy that is going to fix anything.  Period.

So, prove me incorrect here.  Where does NIRP lead?

Or, to get back onto your thesis, if not for ZIRP - what would have the outcome been?

And, dont get me wrong here.  It is clear that the government sided with banksters and not main street.  But, beneath all that - beyond the simpleton shit... we are in a massive ponzi scheme.  There is no way the monetary promises that have been made can be kept.  The choice made is the most obvious one from the perspective of the powerful... eat the middle class to buy time.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:09 | 5010299 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

And that is game over time. Do you really think at that point anyone in their right mind will finance new debt issuance as the old debts come due? That will definitely put the dollar in the tank for good if they ever pull a stunt like that. You basically have to force people to buy new debt issuance with gun pointed at the head and there is no way to hide the intention or what you really are at that point no matter what bullshit they want sell it as like economic patriotism for example. That is a bunch of bullshit because you can easily have a United States of America without a federal government uniting the whole mess. All the obligations just become localized.


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:26 | 5010362 rbg81
rbg81's picture

I think you're confused.  It is EASY to sell new debt these days, even junk bonds.  Its the only place to get yield.  Don't see that turning around any time soon.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:40 | 5010394 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Unless I am misunderstanding charging negative interest on things like T-bills won't provide yield for the holder only the issuer.

Doesn't really matter anyways since I think like half the outstanding Federal Debt is coming due by 2016. Don't quote me on the exact amount and date but end result is there is mostly likely going to be a default when this all comes due since it is mostly coming due all at the same time. If BRICS is up and running and is a true god's honest secondary option outside petrodollar that will all but guarantee a default in missed payments since anyone outside the US that can will probably not touch Treasuries with a 10 foot stick while existing shennigans are allowed to persist. You would wait until after the default happens then buy in when the interest rates have to spike if they can't force people to buy in at artificially depressed rates.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 18:24 | 5010708 rbg81
rbg81's picture

No, it won't.  NIRP can only "work" in an environment where people are so scared of any investment that they will pay a penalty to "preserve" the bulk of their $$, even if it means losing a little every year.  It would be targeted at people whose savings far exceed the FDIC protection limit--or if the FDIC is kaput.  Basically, think a very severe depression where a SOLID MAJORITY is dependent on the US Gov for survival, directly or indirectly.  You could argue, we are there now.

Also, we have ZIRP today, but could well have NIRP in the future.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 18:53 | 5010798 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

So, Zirp vs Nirp. Aren't we already at Nirp if we view Zirp vs Nirp as nominal yields vs real yields?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 17:14 | 5010472 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

There is also good debt and bad debt. I agree if you are strictly chasing yield junk bonds are always a good bet if you do a little due dilligence first before buying in but if you are looking for value aka good debt muni bonds are a good place to look for it. If you are still in the system and want to do some good with your investing you invest locally where each dollar has a larger positive effect on every individual through said projects. With that said you still need to do due dilligence to determine which projects are actually beneficial and will generate revenue afterwards, like sewer bonds for example in urban areas.


And back to NIRP on Treasurys I can't see that happening unless they are about to default on debt payments. When you can't squeeze anymore blood out the stones that is like that last trick in playbook to avoid a default and that should be painfully obvious to everyone at that point. With that said I could be wrong since we've seen enough stuff we never thought we'd see in our lifetime already in the past couple of years.


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 17:54 | 5010622 negative rates
negative rates's picture

We are destined to be a divided nation by beliefs alone, and that may not be a bad thing in the long run.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:36 | 5009756 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

You are correct and another way of saying this is that the Fed is not doing any work; the purpose of the Fed is to steal, not to produce. It is the Fed's [counterfeiting] that necessarily causes lower interest rates because this theft simultaneously decreases productive work.

Yes, the economy of productive work would be stronger without the theft from it just like leeches removed from the host must improve the health of the host.


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:34 | 5008669 Da Yooper
Da Yooper's picture

"When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss."



Nawwwwww come on people we need to loose money so the tribal bankers can make money




after all some banker needs our money to take a vacation 3 or 4 times a year  back to ISrahell


their economy depends on this


our military aid plus what the bankers skim allows their economy to function


at our expense


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:54 | 5009253 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Yeah, its all the fault of the Joooos.  Because none of the bankers or the top 1% are non-Jews, right?  

Drama Queen much?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 08:19 | 5009286 Da Yooper
Da Yooper's picture

Just calling a spade


a spade


problem is some folks dont like or want the






looks like you are one of



Sun, 07/27/2014 - 15:22 | 5009732 rbg81
rbg81's picture

The truth is that the world is a complicated place.  Methinks that those who simply blame everything on the Jews go through life with huge blindspots.  Its a handicap that may help you feel better in the short run, but may make your problems worse.  If the Jews disappeared tomorrow, the World would not be the Land of Milk and Honey you imagine it would be.  Historically, things don't end well for the anti-semites.  Most people are their own worst enemy.

And, Mr. Yooper, I did my time in Houghton, MI.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:10 | 5009687 Plato's Law
Plato's Law's picture


Personally, I would rather prefer more diversity than what we now have, which is 2% of the population with 3200% over representation in offices of power and decision making.

The site may be three years outdated, but the racial/ethnic over representation is unchanged. 


It's funny how MSM decry every type of gender/ethnic/religious/sexual proclivity imbalance on earth except for this one.

It appears, if Judaics are truly being unfailry "prosecuted" in the western world, either they are doing it on purpose for reasons of manipulation of public persona (Machiaveli) or they at least allow it to happen and could stop it if they wanted to, or possibly they desire to completely destroy the western way of life (mass choas and crime, what we live with now daily) and become brutal criminal overlords when it all completely crumbles (any day now), which they might possibly be already and most just don't see it or happily are willing to deny the obvious (lambs to slaughter), or combination of all the above. 

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:02 | 5008725 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The graph doesn't show the individual's share of the national debt.  Since that has exploded higher I would say that the average American is far in the hole.


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:11 | 5008746 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

You, sir, have the right of it!

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:57 | 5009658 MissCellany
MissCellany's picture

Hey, but it's not OUR debt. WE didn't sign the credit-card slips.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 15:16 | 5010152 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture
Odious debt

In international law, odious debt is a legal theory that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.

When a despotic regime contracts a debt, not for the needs or in the interests of the state, but rather to strengthen itself, to suppress a popular insurrection, etc, this debt is odious for the people of the entire state. This debt does not bind the nation; it is a debt of the regime, a personal debt contracted by the ruler, and consequently it falls with the demise of the regime. The reason why these odious debts cannot attach to the territory of the state is that they do not fulfill one of the conditions determining the lawfulness of State debts, namely that State debts must be incurred, and the proceeds used, for the needs and in the interests of the State.   Odious debts, contracted and utilized for purposes which, to the lenders' knowledge, are contrary to the needs and the interests of the nation, are not binding on the nation – when it succeeds in overthrowing the government that contracted them – unless the debt is within the limits of real advantages that these debts might have afforded. The lenders have committed a hostile act against the people, they cannot expect a nation which has freed itself of a despotic regime to assume these odious debts, which are the personal debts of the ruler.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 20:26 | 5011044 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Hi guys, what happens to wealth when payment is demanded on the $60 trillion in debt?  If the answer includes "nascent" then I'll be so impressed! Thanks!

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 22:13 | 5011284 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Government exists because the overwhelming number of people want it to. It doesn't matter if it is tyrannical, it comes into being because of a massive infrastructure that provides its sustenance.

If 99% of the people were anarchists, you wouldn't have government. In reality, 99% of the people want government. They approve of government stealing from them.

That 99% is morally responsible for any government debt.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:51 | 5009914 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture


the ones who actually pay taxes are the ones in the hole, so, they are farther in the hole than the average citizen.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 02:45 | 5009062 TheSecondLaw
TheSecondLaw's picture


I agree whole-heartedly.  I have never agreed with the term "Great Recession".  I have called it the "Disguised Depression".  Recently read a post where someone called it "Depression Denial".

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:48 | 5009244 rbg81
rbg81's picture

And, of course, this has nothing to do with the dysfunction of the bottom 25-40%.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:47 | 5010076 Plato's Law
Plato's Law's picture

It's quite easy to agree the ratio of under achievers is far larger now than a half C ago.  The more aggresive, more controversial, more required question is what is the self-identified nature of the persons in charge since WW2, and how has the balance of their control changed (obviously increased) in the same time period.  IOW, who were the Captains of the ship when it went aground?  (And of course, who were their sympathizers/enablers?)

I'm just another dumb shite like any one else on the bell curve.  But it somehow occurs to me that if we can identifiy the self-proclaimed identity of the persons operating the controls of power, then look closely at their operating manual (The Talmud), that might be a good thing.  Is there something wrong with this conclusion? 

If the mere nature of closely examining the operating manual of these controllers makes one a bad person, that tells me more about the name caller than it does about the subject of hte verbal abuse. 


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:24 | 5010114 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Personally, I blame Liberals more than the Jews for the current sorry state of our country.  Are a lot of Jews liberal?  Yes.  But IMHO, the three guiltiest people since WWII are Lyndon B. Johnson, Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama, with Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi vying for honorable mention.  So there's one Jew in that bunch.

As for the Talmud, haven't read it.  But surely there are English translations of it, no?  If you think its such a magic book, why not get off your ass and read it?  Maybe its because knowledge isn't enough--you also need drive, nerve and intelligence.  The closest thing I've found to an operating manual on how to get ahead is "How to Win Friends and Influence People".  It works pretty well, but is hard to execute in practice.

There are so many stupid, dysfunctional people these daze that it makes me want to cry.  I am certain that this was not true in my youth.  Pre-1982, people just seemed better.  Now all too many people are just buffoons--do some time at any Walmart if you doubt me.  Why is this?  In short, we've made it too easy as a society to be poor and stupid.  Once upon a time, if you were stupid and lazy you suffered.  Now we subsidize it.  Technology has also played a part.  It is easy for stupid people to use and it insulates us from our own stupidity.  People can use technology to create electronic echo chambers so they only have to deal with others as stupid/lazy as they are.  Who knows, ZH may be one of these.  There is a very prophetic film called "Idiotocracy" -- it's supposedly a comedy, but I'm convinced its a documentary.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:54 | 5010094 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

I think the bottom 70, 80, 90% is dysfunctional in most regards.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:52 | 5009519 saveUSsavers
saveUSsavers's picture

A 3% deflator we get AT LEAST 3% GDP CONTRACTION, exactly !

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 20:21 | 5011035 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

We haven't had real growth outside of the 2008 collapse since 1980!!!

You have to subtract out marginal debt increases...  spending a credit card is NOT "growth."

Note the second chart at the following link...


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:21 | 5008645 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Yup, wealth effect to Solyndra execs, et al.

Whenever the government picks winners, everyone else be damned and run for cover.

And here we are. Everyone has run for cover via lobbying, campaign donations, etc.

Which has resulting in their being taken under the wing of the government in a silent partnership.

Which has turned the USA into the FSoA (credit Doomstead Diner).

Welcome to corporatism aka fascism.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

- Benito Mussolini


Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:46 | 5009195 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Solyndra.....the smartest guys in the room2.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 08:02 | 5009266 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

See, that's why we need yet another increase in the minimum wage.  (sarc)

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:36 | 5010047 reinhardt
reinhardt's picture

there is a "simple reason" and then there is THE reason:




Sat, 07/26/2014 - 21:58 | 5008569 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Thank God my wealth can't plunge, I'm not wealthy  

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:00 | 5008713 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Wealth takes negative values.  Go borrow and spend and see.


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:17 | 5008760 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

"Wealth takes negative values. "

YOU don't even need to go into debt yourself to be made poorer by inflation and leverage; the Government and The FED will destroy the value of your labor and render you unable to work honestly to cover inflated living expenses or live off of what you already have via the slow confiscation.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:23 | 5009213 NoPension
NoPension's picture

The solution is easy.
We simply need place higher values on those things we now have. And stop placing so much value on old stuff. Then, you can be RICH!

For example. Old- Big house, pool, 2 cars in the garage.
New- lots of free time, a bike( for exercise) and no car insurance.

Houses,cash,cars,boats, granite counter tops. Realize what a drag these things are, be thankful your now relieved of the burden.

Lower your expectations people. The Amish look happy, don't they?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:49 | 5009431 spinone
spinone's picture

Actually, Amish people look miserable.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:58 | 5009524 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

We're all going Amish over the next 50 years.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:41 | 5009615 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

We're all going Amish over the next 50 years.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:18 | 5009845 Jerk_Store
Jerk_Store's picture

Actually, Amish people look miserable.

Amish people eat good..

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:20 | 5008763 Zirpedge
Zirpedge's picture

The interesting psychological phenomena in play are the upper middle class who defend the status quo that is raping everyone else. They are struggling all the same but are desperate to pretend it isn't happening to them. Funny really but tragic too. They can't let on that their businesses are insolvent and the cost of living has exceeded their ability to keep up with them Kardashian.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:24 | 5009387 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

the sustainable jobs and income of the top 20% will within 20 years be only 10%  of the population - many of the independent businesses are a function of "disposable" income which is shrinking in the aggregate and for the top 20% -as well  -  those businesses owned by the top 20% will go away - some you are already seeing as Amazon scoops up the volume at margins that retail cant meet

the entire middle class culture of aggressive consumption  is imploding not just income 

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 21:58 | 5008571 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

So what are the fucking many more losers in numbers going to do about it !!

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 20:40 | 5011043 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Nuttin' more than go to the bar and laugh at the "conspiracy theorist" that told them for years the financial system was rigged.  That and dream about "retirement."  I'd laugh, but it is so sad.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 21:59 | 5008574 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

The jig is up.  Obama is the last in a long line to make a career of kicking the carcass.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:34 | 5009884 Jerk_Store
Jerk_Store's picture

The jig is up.  Obama is the last in a long line to make a career of kicking the carcass.


That's rayciss

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:05 | 5008580 Democratic koolaid
Democratic koolaid's picture

 still a good time to buy?

how about spinning it possitivly, Looks like a discount for new home buyers. U.s.a. is for sale, firesale, meaning everything at afordable prices?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:01 | 5008581 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Fascism and cronyism at its finest.

For everyone else, there's Alpo.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:15 | 5008866 toady
toady's picture

Talkin bout my kennel-ration.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:01 | 5008582 ekm1
ekm1's picture

Absolutely fantastic post


That's how growth and inflation must be measured, by 10 year span, not yearly, monthly, weekly or by millisecond.


Fantastic post

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:29 | 5008662 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

The problem with 10 years (or any other fixed span) is that you get artificially low or high growth estimates 10 years after a crash or a peak (2010, 2018, etc).

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:31 | 5008666 ekm1
ekm1's picture

That's precisely I say 10 years. It'd include strong spikes higher or lower, normally every 4-7 years

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:02 | 5008583 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

And thats based on the offishul numbers...
..We r friggin doomed!

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:17 | 5008624 ekm1
ekm1's picture


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:04 | 5008587 Danno Anderson
Danno Anderson's picture

Only after Amerika learns that if you consume more than you produce, (trade deficit), you become poorer, will we be able to turn this around.  Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan were right when they ran for President, but they lost. 

All the professor of economics in the US have always been wrong on their pro free trade doctorine.  The Chinese are the winners and decades before that the Japanese were the winners with the pro free trade of the US.  


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:23 | 5008776 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

I've been thinking a lot about Buchanan.  ( Perot is better known although the memory is waning... )


Pat Buchanan might have actually tried to shut down the globalist agenda and focused the nation on internal problems. 

THAT might have exposed the problem.  THe U.S. probably would have had a wild exodus of corporations even if he had actually sat down with Ron Paul and taken the long knives to the tax code and bureaucracy...

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:31 | 5009396 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

Buchanan, Perot and Ron Paul all had the same message but the best was Sir Jimmy Goldsmith – a Raider in the 80’s – actually went up against the WTO in Europe and USA

See this 5 part video with Charlie Rose -……1994!

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:32 | 5009924 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

T O V, Damned good basic point! No economic free lunch just because you consume your ass off.

Danno that is

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:01 | 5008835 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

The problem isn't free trade, the problem is borrowing more than we can afford to pay back.  Free trade just ensures that stuff is made where it can be made most efficiently.  It also allows desperately poor people in underdeveloped countries to have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs, not that the union-bought "humanitarians" on the left give a shit about that.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:33 | 5009401 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

you lack the understanding of the word "free" in free trade

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 03:52 | 5009105 Burticus
Burticus's picture

What we have ain't "free" trade.  It's gubbermint-managed trade.

The use of "free" trade to describe gubbermint-managed trade is just another example of the effectiveness of brainwashing through repetitive lying propaganda by the gubbermint-media complex.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 13:38 | 5009889 Jerk_Store
Jerk_Store's picture

Only after Amerika learns that if you consume more than you produce, (trade deficit), you become poorer, will we be able to turn this around.

Why do we have to change? I thought we were special..We do god's work damn it!

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:07 | 5008595 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

In Obama's defense "trickle down economics" was already used and "bang you in the ass economics" is not ready for prime time yet. He had no other choice than to play the cards he had and fake it.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:12 | 5008601 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

Check your ass, fonzannoon.  You've already been banged!

I'm here if you want to talk about it.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:13 | 5008605 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I'm not ready yet, but as long as i know you are there....

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:16 | 5008616 ekm1
ekm1's picture


Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:20 | 5008641 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

hey did u get my reply to u late last night with that movie to check out about free will?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:23 | 5008648 ekm1
ekm1's picture

I answered this morning

Check it

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:31 | 5008664 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

all i'm saying is you won't regret watching it. great flick.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:35 | 5008673 ekm1
ekm1's picture

What's the movie called again?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:32 | 5008786 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture


"At this moment I think it is important that I see all of your breats"




Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:50 | 5008695 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Quit playing Mr. Nice guy / We love ya Fonz, ;-)

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:57 | 5008709 ekm1
ekm1's picture

Wow, what's up YC?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:14 | 5008748 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I've always appreciated you ekm.  Still cleaning those(air conditioning) ducts?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:21 | 5008770 ekm1
ekm1's picture

still there

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:31 | 5008789 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Good on you/ EKM has good understanding of "Eastern Europe"

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:27 | 5008784 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

I know the the whale escaped in the end; but, what happened to the kid after he was left at the aquarium?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:09 | 5009476 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

fonz, are you ok?

I'm not comprehending your comment.  Reagan's trickle down economics didn't work and have been vilified by the left ever since so Obama's only choice was to do trickle down economics again???

When Reagan tried it, at least some crap that rich people bought was made in America so there was trickle down.  Now the likes of John Kerry buy yachts from New Zealand, cars from Europe, and use illegals as domestics and gardeners.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:09 | 5008597 g3h
g3h's picture

Total wealth in the U. S. reached all time high recently.  So does this mean "inflation adjusted total wealth" is not?  Any analysis on that?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:16 | 5008617 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

You have to separately break out the 0.01%, that's where it all goes.

"Total" numbers just don't work anymore.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:15 | 5009701 g3h
g3h's picture

Sure.  Was wondering if there is ready analysis.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:28 | 5009738 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



was thinking the same..  



Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:22 | 5008647 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

You're thinking of mean, they're talking about median (and percentiles).  Though I wouldn't be surprised if adjusting for inflation also destroyed the gains in total wealth, even using the official lowball estimates for inflation.



Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:17 | 5009709 g3h
g3h's picture

Of course.  That's close.  But not exactly.


There is also a population growth contribution.  So I expect the mean to fare worse.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:15 | 5008609 db51
db51's picture

I can tell you for certain that Plunge Protection has been fist fucking me for at least 10 years.....dry.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:20 | 5008640 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

perhaps i dont understand what you're getting at.  i have little sympathy for anyone who loses money speculating on shorting stocks...

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:50 | 5009794 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

You don't understand real markets then. Of course we haven't had one in quite a while so it's easy to understand your stance.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:14 | 5008610 Binko
Binko's picture

If the chart had a trend line at 99% it would look like a rocketship to space over the last few years.

The 1% control government as well as media. So the great mass of people only hear a very consistent and managed propaganda stream. The number of us on websites like this, reading stuff like this, is very small. That's why nothing if importance is likely to change.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:14 | 5008611 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Show me the 99.99th percentile.

Also, discount all of these by about twice the official government inflation number, the median will be down 50%, and even the 75th percentile will barely break even.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:15 | 5008612 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

This is apples-to-oranges because the average household is smaller in 2014 than in 2003...

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:17 | 5008628 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

especially if you count all of the abandoned households...

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:24 | 5008649 Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

You're right, most households have lost a member or two from cancer, diabetes, suicide, gang violence, staged terrorists attacks, heroin overdose etc...

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:31 | 5008667 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Violent crime and drug abuse rates in the US are at historic lows, dude.  You wouldn't know it from media hysteria, of course.  Does anyone actually die from diabetes anymore?

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:36 | 5008674 Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

Dude....I hope just one more person dies from diabetes

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:35 | 5008796 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

Isn't formation is down as well due to the unaffordability of housing and lack of jobs/income?

Is the administration now counting every illegal alien minor that crosses the border 'unescorted' as a new 'household'?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 08:00 | 5009261 ThirdWheel
ThirdWheel's picture

Wrong. Drug overdose deaths are at 25 year highs. More than half are from prescription drugs. Criminals everywhere.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:01 | 5008719 snr-moment
snr-moment's picture

Great catch.  Call Julia, I think she's digging potatos.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:17 | 5008629 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

You guys do need to be careful about referencing your blockquotes -- the last blockquote is from a ZH article, not the NYT.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:18 | 5008630 km4
km4's picture

But there's 389,100 or 4.63% of New Yorkers that are millionaires !

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:19 | 5008631 atthelake
atthelake's picture

Lost decade? It will, probably, be a lost century.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:23 | 5008774 IllusionOfChoice
IllusionOfChoice's picture

For somebody it won't be.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:19 | 5008632 atthelake
atthelake's picture

Lost decade? It will, probably, be a lost century.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:39 | 5008681 honestann
honestann's picture

Humans are finished.

Humans... the lost species.

Destroyed by fundamental insanity.

Destroyed by unbounded dishonesty.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:51 | 5008696 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Oh, we'll muddle through it all honestann. Insane people, lying to each other, not comprehending the lie.

Its what we do best! ;-)

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 22:54 | 5008700 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Great comment nmewn. "Albeit" our paths cross on ocassion, I enjoy your comments.

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 23:27 | 5008782 honestann
honestann's picture

As long as technology is not too advanced, the species can survive the destruction involved in such behavior.  However, that time has ended.  A planet full of insane chimps with the kind of weapons and technologies being developed and deployed now... cannot last long.  And so, mankind is finished.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:14 | 5008864 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I know you're single Ann. The man that lands you is ?

  I'm handsome. Looks > eye of the beholder<

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 03:01 | 5008997 honestann
honestann's picture

Yes, singularly annoying!
And working on "the singularity".

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 22:54 | 5011383 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Single is good. Years ago a close friend described me as most likely to enjoy a solo round-trip to Mars.

Extroverts Don't Belong on Mars
A new study suggests their personalities are not meant for long, isolated voyages.

Extroverted friends are good for a lot of things—serving as deft and lively wingmen, spicing up book club, sparking interesting conversations at parties by wearing ostentatious leggings, etc.

One thing they may be less suited for: Long voyages to faraway planets.

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:18 | 5008875 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Biologically Invasive and Growing Mechanized Ape Culture -- BIG MAC

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 00:28 | 5008895 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Blue eyed and hard? Thew Female vagina gets pleasured 2-4"deep.  Rub the nub!

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