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You'd have to convince the 20% (or whatever it is according to polls) of Americans who believe they are or will eventually be among the top 1% that they're deluded.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 at 06:40:16 AM EST
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I'm back.

"You'd have to convince the 20%.."

Unfortunately, it's not just the 20% who think they are or soon will be in the top 1%.  Probably at least another 20% think their kids will be, and another 20% think that everyone should have the opportunity to be in that top 1%.  They seem not to realize that as the very rich get much richer, there is less opportunity for the middling to even make it to the top 2% or 3%.

Spreading awareness of how difficult it is to become very wealthy starting from very little would help. As would an awareness of how the income level rises asymptoticly if plotted in 0.1% increments over that last 1%.  

An interesting article in Barron's a couple of months ago talked about what it really means to be wealthy.  According to the author, net worths of $2-3million weren't really considered wealthy.  If I recall correctly, it wasn't until one got to around $10 million net worth that one ceased to have to worry about catastrophic illness devastating one's wealth and were assured of being able to leave your heirs with the security of a trust.  I think it was around $20 million that enabled one to forgo commercial jet travel in favor of private or charter service.  This is so far from anything relevant to my personal situation....

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 4th, 2008 at 06:19:52 PM EST
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