The Rich Really Are Different From You and Me

THE RICH REALLY ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND ME….Compare and contrast. From Forbes last week:

After two years of declining values, the rich finally got richer. On this, Forbes’ 21st annual edition of The Forbes 400, the aggregate net worth of the nation’s wealthiest 400 citizens leapt 10% in the past year, to $955 billion.

From the census bureau today:

The nation’s official poverty rate rose from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.1 percent in 2002 and median household money income declined 1.1 percent in real terms from 2001 to $42,409 in 2002, according to reports released today by the U.S. Census Bureau

Obviously the Bush tax cuts have kicked in for some people, but not for others. I guess it takes a while for the trickle down effects to trickle.

But how long? Well, for full-time male workers, how about never? The chart below from the full census report shows median earnings over the past few decades, and while women have made significant gains, men haven’t moved an inch for 30 years. So if you’re one of the many working class households where daddy goes off to work and mommy stays home with the kids ? i.e., the traditional sort of household that Republicans like George Bush claim to care so much about ? your income hasn’t changed one dollar in 30 years.

And the hyper rich? According to Forbes, “Adjusted for inflation, the average net worth of The Forbes 400 has increased 423% since 1982.” Sweet.