The Middle Class is Losing Share Post-Covid

Jan 18, 2023 | Finconomics 101, No Bull Economics

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A strong middle class is critical to a healthy economy as this cohort spends a larger portion of their income (relative to the rich) on goods & services that drive growth. 

Key Points

The good news is that total net worth post-covid has been increasing across all income demos, from the richest to the poorest (at least through the beginning of 2022 when the most recent data is available).

Total Net Worth Graph
Total Net Worth Graph

All the same, the chart below reveals a near mirror image of wealth share gains/losses between the top 1% and the middle class (the 50th to 90th percentile). In other words, there is a tug-of-war between the super-wealthy and middle America, with the middle class losing its share post-covid. This trend is sub-optimal because it is middle-class fueled consumer spending which drives economic growth more so than the super wealthy who are likely to collect art when they should be making investments to grow the pie larger for everyone else (see previous post here).    

Share of Total Net Worth Graph
Share of Total Net Worth Graph
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Noblesse Oblige for the Masses

A healthy society is marked both by a reasonable distribution of wealth along with an investment focus on productive assets that can help all of society. An unhealthy society is marked by a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few who are focused on preserving their ability to purchase self-indulgent pleasures.

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Record Inflation Plunges Consumer Confidence

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