Saturday, July 30, 2011

There's gold in them thar (over the) hills

I couldn't just retweet @Dmacc502's mention of this Miami Herald article Reverse mortgage scam targeted seniors - I had to take some time to shout out that it's only going to get worse.

Big Target

The baby boomer generation is well-documented as the wealthiest generation in American history. It is simply a function of human nature and supply and demand that, where there is so much money, there will also be a proliferation of those motivated to try to get their hands on their own ill-gotten pieces of it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The growing gap of income inequality


Search for terms such as "income inequality" or "wealth gap" will turn up some interesting reading. One series of articles I've actually read is by Timothy Noah for Slate called The United States of Inequality: Introducing The Great Divergence. There's good reason this topic is blipping more radars these days.

A block of quotes from Mr. Noah's introduction quickly puts things in perspective:
  • In 1915, University of Wisconsin statistician Willford King published The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States;
  • he was troubled to find that the richest 1 percent possessed approximately 15 percent of the nation's income (it was likely closer to 18 percent);
  • modern income tax was created in part to ostensibly prevent disparities in wealth turn the United Sates into a European-style aristocracy;
  • there had never been a time when class warfare seemed more imminent;
  • that was when the richest 1 percent accounted for approximately 18 percent of the nation's income. Today, the richest 1 percent account for 24 percent of the nation's income.
How did this happen? Thus begins Mr. Noah's examination of a host of possible factors. It's a fascinating and recommended read which arrives at the unambiguous conclusion: this is a problem that needs to be fixed.