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Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Where's the Money

    One had to keep in mind this book was written before the crash. In discussing this in a book club I found the critical comments on how the rich spent rather hypocritical. I find the majority of Americans spend the same % on "things" if analyzed. Would the average spend the same if we had the same.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008


    Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank has written a useful book on the new rich. He points to the huge gap between the rich and the rest of us. The richest 1% in the USA have 33% of the country¿s wealth, more than the poorest 90% and the incomes of the richest 10% are growing by more than 10% a year. Yet median incomes for US households have fallen for five years running and median families make $3000 a year less than they did in 2000. How do the rich do this? The global pension, insurance and mutual funds have $46 trillion, wealth produced by the 95% who work. The CEOs, bankers and hedge-fund owners - the money managers - steal from this global river of cash. Governments help the rich to rob us. Bush¿s tax cuts gave 80% of the tax savings to the richest 10%, 20% to the richest 0.1%. The result? Our savings, housing and pension funds vanish, so David Blunkett tells us that we have to work till we drop. Education, health and industry vanish too. But the rich get richer. In 2005, Hurricane Wilma wrecked Fort Lauderdale a month after Hurricane Katrina wrecked New Orleans ¿ yet the town still held the 46th International Boat Show and shifted its funds from the newly homeless have-nots to the have-yachts. When Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page bought themselves a Boeing 767 wide-body airliner, Page said that it would let them ¿take large numbers of people to places such as Africa. I think that can only be good for the world.¿ Frank shares this folly. He ends by writing, ¿If we accept that the rich aren¿t the cause of the current inequities, but merely the lucky beneficiaries, we can also hope that they will use their wealth to help target society¿s deepest problems.¿ He then refers to Andrew Carnegie¿s 100-year-old dream of `reconciliation between rich and poor, a reign of harmony¿. Why hasn¿t this happened? Maybe it¿s because we think that `the rich aren¿t the cause of the current inequities¿, because we still hope that `they will use their wealth to help target society¿s deepest problems¿.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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