Total American household net worth fell by $4 trillion at the end of 2018, sparking fears that the economy may be headed to a downturn.
Listen up, Wall Street!
These things damage the country’s net worth:
Oceans rising to destroy coastal areas
Extreme climate shifts
Decreased education expenditures
Excessive investment in overseas military activity
Highest incarceration rate among developed countries
Government funds being misdirected (lost)
Wall Street in general will see all these things as a huge win.
In a nutshell, whatever America looses, they gain.
Air pollution? Increased market value for breathing apparatuses and medical companies with patents for anything related to respiratory illness.
Water pollution? Invest in companies selling bottled water or companies sitting on aquifers, lakes etc.
I could keep going, but you get the idea.
So the graph in this story tells us that the value of stocks went down by $4.6 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year while every thing else went up by $0.8 trillion. Of course the price of stocks has gone up by 10% in the first quarter of 2019 so there’s really no information in this story except that the stock market is pretty volatile and the Fed wants to insult our intelligence by not even adjusting the figures for inflation. Don’t show me total wealth data that doesn’t show how that is distributed.
If the Fed wants to report interesting data relevant to typical Americans - at least show us inflation adjusted median income and median wealth of households and individuals over time. Show us graphs illustrating how the median wealth of households is affected by student debt, medical costs, state/local minimum wage laws, and income inequality. That’s the kind of stuff that can inform, rather than obfuscate, public policy.
Or the federal government/MIC has stolen another four and a half trillion dollars and has chosen this as one of the ways to hide it.