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I'd like to know what the rich spend their money on. Yachts, mansions in different countries, diamonds, $10,000 shower curtains....
If that's where the money goes, then no wonder tens of thousands of ordinary stores and restaurants went out of business--leading to tens of thousands of ordinary people having no jobs.

Wall Street isn't lending to small businesses and they aren't creating jobs--they're taking the money and paying themselves huge salaries and bonuses instead. Personally, it sounds like a recipe for revolution to me.

Alexander Carpenter

Just fine distinction, perhaps pedantic, but perhaps of value: America HAS an economy dominated by the rich (a plutonomy), but America IS a a country with a government dominated by the rich (a plutocracy).

"Dominated" is an intentional understatement in both cases, for in both cases the rich enjoy almost complete hegemony over the poorer classes, to the point of effectively owning them — as George Carlin pointed out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

Chris in Chicago

Like Thomas Jefferson said "Democracy creates wealth and wealth
and wealth destroys democracy"


Professor Domhoff is fascinating. I'll be visiting youngest daughter, who is a grad student at UCSC, next month to feed her gruel after wisdom teeth extraction. Maybe I'll try to sneak into a class! He says Santa Cruz is the "leftmost" city in the US...maybe I should never have left.

Anyway, I would be curious to see reactions to the Brian Lehrer show today, which compared the American and Canadian economies. It almost sounds like the Empire didn't HAVE to Decline...


Ear Relevant

It would be GREAT if the rich would start spending some of their fortunes on higher wages for the rest of us!

With all the anti-labor sentiment in the US, even among blue collar voters, I'm not holding my breath on that one...

Tony Weddle

What proportion of their INCOME do the wealthy spend? If it's less than 100% why doesn't Bernanke get on at them to do better?

[BTW, Dave, you missed another link today, for your new link style. Still don't know why you changed it.]

Brian M

Why rob banks? .... That's where the money is.

Why do the rich represent such a big percentage of spending? ... That's where the money is.

You can only spend it if ya' got it.


Perhaps what's more surprising is that the bottom 80% manage to make up 40% of spending. I wonder how much of that is mostly housing, transportation, and food.

The problem is not just income distribution, which is pretty bad, but asset distribution - capital. If your income is low but you have assets, you can survive off those (literally, if use it for subsistence farming) or use them to generate income (renting rooms in a house you own, for example). The asset distribution in America is even more warped than income distribution, if I remember correctly.


Just WHO are these 2%-ers? They are like ghosts in the machine.



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