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Inter-generational wealth distribution

from Girol Karacaoglu and RWER issue no.92

The growing disparity across generations, in their access to material sources of wellbeing such as income and wealth (including housing), has been well documented (Ingraham 2019, Wolf 2018). Figure 2 provides an example referring to the growing disparity of wealth across generations in the USA (Ingraham 2019).

As Ingraham explains, “baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – collectively owned 21 percent of the nation’s wealth by the time their generation hit a median age of 35 in 1990. Generation X (born from 1965 to 1980) came of age during the era of wage stagnation and growing inequality ushered in by the 1970s and ’80s.

When the typical Gen Xer reached 35 in 2008, his or her share of the nation’s wealth was just 9 percent, less than half that of boomers at a comparable point in life. Millennials haven’t hit the 35 mark yet – that won’t happen until about 2023 – but their financial situation is relatively dire. They own just 3.2 percent of the nation’s wealth. To catch up to Gen Xers, they’d need  to triple their wealth in just four years. To reach boomers, their net worth would need a sevenfold jump.”

In terms of sources of future wellbeing, there are emerging concerns on a much wider front than simply material sources: “Looking forward, there is no room for complacency. As storm clouds gather on the horizon, mainly from environmental and social challenges, all OECD countries need to take action if they are to maintain today’s well-being for future generations.  read more

  1. July 3, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Using the language of the marketeers as illustrated in this article may also be part of the problem. I see the paradox.

    The term human capital to refer to people is an example of this bad terminology. Ursula Franklin wrote about this in her article Canada under an Occupation: The Army of Marketeers. It may or may not be the most apt of metaphors.


  2. Craig
    July 3, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Debt deflation resulting from the current monetary and financial paradigm of Debt Only is causing financial and economic instability for everyone. Gen Xers and Millennials are simply the latest and most afflicted by that monopolistic paradigm gone on too long.


    All markets are manipulated. The tax code is a perfect example. Furthermore, both Free Market enthusiasts and dedicated socialists have mistaken the current rigged, alternately goosed and smothered financial chaos for a free market. Free markets can only exist where there is at least ALWAYS enough money in the hands of the individual to enable the economy to actually be free flowing, and where inflation is no longer a problem.

    New policy from my book Wisdomics-Gracenomics: The Policies of the New Monetary Paradigm:

    Any commercial agent receiving funds from the government will be subject to a rigorous cost accounting analysis of their “books” for accounting control fraud. They are entitled to make any corporate cost savings resulting from the monetary and taxation policies of the new monetary paradigm as additional profits and as increased individual purchasing power, but If they raise their prices despite overall savings they will lose their retail sale rebate privileges for 3 months and any second attempt to inflate and so de-stabilize the new paradigm will result in permanent loss of their rebate privilege.

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