Make no mistake – I would prefer to have a small share of that income that the wealthy possess. I’m not even greedy.. I’d be satisfied with an extra $50,000 a year on top of what I make. What difference could that possibly make to the 1% who control the majority of cash-flow in the world?
For me, it would be life-changing. I could take my family on luxurious vacations a couple times a year. I could get my kids the very best education possible, let them indulge in all the educational opportunities and sports they desire and I’d still have enough to really make my investment portfolio grow in such a way that retirement would allow me to spend the rest of my years doing anything I wanted.
Hell, I could even lay down some new carpet in my home and finally finish out the basement like I’ve always wanted to.
Thomas Piketty has written a new best-seller that is quite eye-opening when it comes to Americans acquiring wealth beyond what they already have. In a book entitled, “Capital in the 21st Century“, Piketty takes a hard look at 15 years worth of data and he proves that our current system is setup in such a way as to make the rich richer and the rest of us, a bit poorer.
Forget trickle-down economics. Piketty provides verifiable evidence that the only opportunity Americans have for increased wealth are times that follow major economic recessions. We’re talking about world wars or events that vastly affect our distribution systems of wealth and/or resources.
The explanation is rather simple. Gross Domestic Products (GDP) will never see gains as quickly as capital investments. The total value of all goods and services simply can’t measure up. If economic growth is slow, stocks are your best option and without a few million to invest in the stock market, you aren’t likely to ever grab a bigger piece of the pie.
Capitalism sounds like a great system from the outside and frankly, I’m not sure that I would prefer anything else. At least I have the chance to get ahead, although Piketty warns that few will ever have the opportunity. He explores what Capitalism has become – a system of better serving the rich as inequality works in favor of those who already have money while it takes even more money away from the middle class and poor.
Indeed, the time has come for a new system that allows everyone the opportunity to make more money but so long as we live in a society where the rich have the greatest influence on governing our economy, don’t expect anything to change soon. Frugality will always be a means to an end for most Americans.
Grab a copy of “Capital in the 21st Century” today and educate yourself. It’s a great read.