General consensus is that the last lingering effects of the Great Recession are finally sputtering out. Let's check in with the various well-defined and immutable strata of society to see how each has fared since the investment banking sector intentionally crashed the secondary mortgage market in 2008.
How stands the flagging middle class, the ostensible backbone of the American economy? Since 2008 they have spent considerable time de-leveraging hundreds of billions in credit card debt and investing more than a trillion in their education. The middle class, or what's left of it, seems to be preparing diligently for the future.
Meanwhile, the 400 wealthiest Americans in the country are now worth more than $1,700,000,000,000, up more than $200,000,000,000 from a year ago. For reference, in 1982 when Forbes began counting, the threshold for being in the top 400 richest Americans was about $75,000,000, approximately one sixth of the threshold now ($1,100,000,000) after adjusting for inflation.
As for the bottom half of the country, the major national chains like Wal-Mart and Kohl's which cater to the lower classes have seen their profits fall considerably as the poorest Americans barely have enough money to buy food and clothing from the large multi-billion dollar retailers lately. As it stands, the assets of the bottom 50 million American households are less than the worth of the 400 richest Americans.
To recap: the poorest half of the country is barely surviving, the middle class is treading water, and the richest have seen their wealth increase by a proportion so obscene that the human brain is unable adequately comprehend it. Can't go wrong with that equation, let the good times roar!
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