Monday, November 17, 2014

You Think You Have Problems?

Times are tough for the average rich folks.

The wealthy now have a wealth gap of their own, as economic gains become more highly concentrated at the very top. As the top one-hundredth of the 1 percent pulls away from the rest of that group, the superrich are leaving the merely very rich behind. That has created two markets in the upper reaches of the economy: one for the haves and one for the have-mores.

Whether the product is yachts, diamonds, art, wine or even handbags, the strongest growth and biggest profits are now coming from billionaires and nine-figure millionaires, rather than mere millionaires.

“The very wealthy are often the ones pulling the trigger right now, and they have a very big trigger,” said Jim Taylor, a wealth specialist and managing partner of YouGov, the marketing research and survey firm.

Of course, the lesser 1 percenters are still doing just fine. But a closer look at the divergence at the very top rungs of the ladder offers a more detailed view of the drivers of inequality today. And the divide is reshaping the luxury end of the consumer economy.

Certainly there is some assistance we can render these folks.  Maybe if we relieved them of some of their burden by sharing it, perhaps, with others?

Required theatrical footnote from Fiddler on the Roof:

Perchik: Money is the world’s curse.

Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.

Amen.