When the Middle Class Lost Its Wealth


Naked Capitalism has the article When the Middle Class Lost Its Wealth.

Middle-class households prominently own houses, while the top-10% predominantly own shares and business equity. This gives rise to a race between the housing market and the stock market in shaping the wealth distribution. Housing booms lead to wealth gains for leveraged middle-class households and tend to decrease wealth inequality. Stock market booms primarily boost the wealth at the top of the wealth distribution. Asset price changes can therefore lead to major changes in the wealth distribution. Over extended periods in postwar American history, such portfolio valuation effects have been key drivers of shifts in the U.S. distribution of wealth.

he more I think of this, the more I realize that this should come as no surprise.

As I saw people prior to 2007 refinancing their houses to take out the equity in cash, the more I warned that home equity should not be used as a piggy bank to make up for lack of income gains in the economy.

In 2006, we retired and returned to Massachusetts from Oregon. I could see the end of the real estate boom coming, We decided that we’d better harvest our Oregon real estate gains and move back to Massachusetts while we could still afford to do it. It has taken 12 years for our Massachusetts house to barely regain the value it had in 2006. Meanwhile, the stock market has been very kind to us,

The recent Trump tax cuts to the wealthy went mostly into raising stock market prices, and nothing else.

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