Where Do We Go From Here? Personal Finance in the 21st Century

Personal Finance in the 21st Century

Where Do We Go From Here? Personal Finance in the 21st Century, We are coming to the end of the first decade of the new millennium. In the first few years of the new century, we have witnessed some of the greatest accumulations of wealth of all time.

But as time went on, the real estate market as well as the stock market showed themselves to be the Emperor with no clothes. As companies went from having pension plans where retirees would know how much they would get when they retired to defined contribution plans where the employees took on the market risk, what seemed to be a great idea suddenly has become an albatross, a sign of evil and foreboding of bad times ahead.

No matter what index you look at, the markets have all dropped beyond anyone's worse expectation. But what is worse is the effect that a loss of 28, 35 or 40% means to people who have no other liquid asset base.

The top 1% of the wealthy in America control 33% of all the privately held wealth in the country. The next 19% which consists of professional, managerial and small business owners control 51% of the wealth. That leaves the remaining 80 percent of American workers to share a paltry 16% of the wealth of the nation's economy. That means that salaried and wage employees, while making up the largest portion of the American workforce, have very little control of their own destiny.

It does not matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent, what I am about to say applies equally to all the members of your affiliated party. Most of them are going to bust hell wide open. Most of the legislators in both houses of congress are there to get paid. If not while in office, then after.

It is little wonder that ordinary American's have little say in what happens in the world. There is no lobby for Ordinary Folk. There are no Senator's who are going to go to work to push for legislation that benefits Average Jane and Joe.

But there comes a price for having wealth. The more you have, the more you want. Back in the 60's, reporter asked him how much money is enough. John D. replied, "Just a little bit more."

A New York survey of those making over $ 200,000 per year showed that while they were much better off than most American's, they felt more aware of their relative lack of wealth as compared to those earning more than they. In other words, they had more anxiety due to not earning millions per year than those who earned under $ 100,000 per year

Rather than placing emphasis on an honest day's wage for an honest day's work, and the reality that each person's vocation, no matter how trivial or mundane, had worth in and of itself, we find that those who lead a corporation by elimination of the workforce are the most highly compensated, rather than those whose effort allows the product to be brought to market.

With President Obama working to get his Health Care package passed, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Then again, the law of unintended consequences may take hold and cause a return to the declines of 2009. But there is still much work left to be done, not just by those in power, but by ordinary folk like you and me.

Finance UMUM
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