The super-rich must be the loneliest, most miserable people on the planet. They are in a class by themselves…separated from the masses by nearly US$32 trillion.
That’s the difference between what the top 1% of Americans own and the wealth of the bottom 50%.
And the 1% knows something the rest of humanity doesn’t: Even a billion dollars won’t make you happy.
Easy come, easy go
But getting big money fast is still a thrill.
Think of all the young people who were suddenly enriched after Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin in 2009. Crypto hustlers and speculators saw their ‘wealth’ increase from nothing to US$2.5 trillion.
Of course, it can be breathtaking on the other side, too.
At one point this week, crypto investors were on their way to losing US$1 trillion.
Easy come. Easy go.
Here at the Diary, what interests us is not how much or how little money a person has, but how it comes and goes.
Whether a man earns $5 or five million hardly matters. If he earned it from an honest, win-win deal, he should be proud of it. A bricklayer…or auto salesman…or even a lawyer…can hold his head up. He earns his money.
But what about the man who just got a stimmy cheque that he neither earned, deserved, nor needed?
Somewhere deep down, he must know the whole thing is a scam.
That is the problem with most rich people, too. They’ve gained trillions in filthy lucre. And now, they pretend that they earned it.
But a few know the truth — it was stimmy money!
Over the last 12 months, almost all the world’s economies were partly shut down…GDP growth turned negative…sales were off (in leisure and hospitality industries, they practically disappeared)…profits fell…and millions of people were prevented from working.
Yet, in this same plague year, billionaires gained some US$8 trillion in a 12-month period (up until April of this year).
How was that possible?
Did they add US$8 trillion worth of products and services? Did they invent whole new industries? Did they find ways to increase the happiness of their fellow humans by US$8 trillion?
No, of course not.
What really happened?
It was stimmy in the morning, stimmy in the evening, and stimmy at suppertime…
Central banks increased the money supply, worldwide, by US$9 trillion.
And the super-rich copped 88 cents of each dollar.
Let’s just look at the last 20 years.
When the 21st century began, the top 1% of Americans owned about US$12.5 trillion in assets. The bottom 50% owned about US$3.5 trillion.
Today, the top 1% has assets worth nearly US$39.5 trillion — more than three times as much as in 2000. And the bottom half has about US$7.5 trillion — just over double what it had 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, US GDP — a very rough approximation of the goods and services being traded — doubled in those two decades. It went from about US$10 trillion in 2000 to US$22 trillion today.
So, the top 1% saw its wealth increase by more than twice as much as GDP…and by nearly seven times as much as the lower 50% of the population.
That new wealth can be seen in the market averages.
The Dow, for example, ended 1999 at a bubble high of 11,497. Now, it is about three times higher…while the aforementioned output of real wealth — GDP — only doubled.
And we can see where this new ‘wealth’ — both in the Dow and in the pockets of the top 1% — came from.
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet (the monetary foundation of the dollar system) stood at only US$600 billion at the end of the 1990s. Now it is over US$7.8 trillion.
In an honest economy, wealth is earned before it is spent.
In a dishonest economy, wealth is never earned at all. It comes from scamming the public.
And here, we back up to look at the basics so we can understand it all better.
The real goal of government is to protect the people who control it — their property, their status, and their power. An elite always controls the government…and naturally tries to use it to gain more power and money for itself.
In this regard, the stimmy program is the most elegant flimflam ever devised.
No new taxes to annoy the voters. No heavy borrowing to drive up interest rates.
Instead, the feds ‘print’ the money and transfer it to the most privileged parts of the society — Wall Street, Washington, the rich, big business, the well-educated, the education/health/military complex, the cronies, and the well-connected get trillions…
…all while claiming to be helping the little guy by ‘saving jobs’, ‘stimulating’ the economy, and ‘making sure it has the liquidity it needs’.
And surprise, surprise! Most of the money ends up with…are you ready for this?…the elite themselves!
And now, wouldn’t you know it, they have another problem to solve — inequality.
Thanks to all the stimmy, the top 1% now owns 31% of the nation’s wealth. The top 10% have 70%. Something must be done, say the elite, to level it out.
And wouldn’t you know it again…they’ll address the problem as they do all the problems they create — by bringing in their big bulldozer…and pushing more money and power…over to themselves!
More to come…
For The Rum Rebellion
PS: The Rum Rebellion is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the Australian Economy. Learn all about it here.