Intermezzo: Not even half of the top 1% own 2 homes!!! Are they existentialists?

A few months ago I blogged about the patheticness of the demonstrators in the OWP, which not surprisingly has now completely fizzled.

The best thing about the protests was the attention they brought to the top 1%.

Income disparity is a huge problem and eventually it is going to lead to social unrest, particularly because it will only get worse as the stock market continues to rise (fed by the FED; pun intended) and the average individual refuses to invest.

In my rare private appearances, however, I have argued that the problem today is that everyone is a raging materialist and to this extent the wall street protestors are no different from the wealthy. These protestors just want what the wealthy have, i.e. redistribution.

I have also wondered to what extent the 1% in America are materialists at all. Sure they have to approve in some capacity their absurd salaries, but these numbers are so high for them that they must surely be meaningless. Does anyone care whether they have a few million more or less when they have a billion?!?!

Today's article in the NYT confirmed to some extent exactly what I was wondering. It looks at the top 1 % by net worth rather than income. The disparity is even greater, but the numbers suggest that a substantial group of them are really not materialists at all. They have on average 8.4 million dollars, but 50% of them do not own a second home. To me that is remarkable. What are they doing with the money? Probably nothing more than reinvesting it in the stock market, letting it appreciate with the printing press of the FED and planning to die. After all, the time for buying a second home could hardly be better for them. But no, they just aren't interested. To them, it's just a game. And the game is pointless. The money is pointless. It's just the end result of doing something, anything, since there's nothing better to do. This probably doesn't make them existentialists, but I'm not sure we can call them materialists either.


Measuring the Top 1% by Wealth, Not Income
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