The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.Not really breaking news, but he includes several helpful links to recent studies demonstrating the emotional toll of striving to achieve the hyper-riches of the Bushes next door, through higher divorce rates and forced moves to hunt down the more lucrative positions.
Tag Archives | American Dream
This is the moment the Statue of Liberty was hit by lightning — and caught on camera by a photographer who waited two hours in a storm-hit New York City. New Yorker Jay Fine apparently waited more than 40 years for the shot before braving the storm last month in Manhattan's Battery Park City. The 58-year-old photographer caught the incredible snap — but it was a rather arduous process capturing the perfect picture. He said: 'I had been watching weather reports so I knew a storm was coming and it just seemed like a great opportunity. 'I was ready and waiting and took 81 shots before finally getting this one. 'I was shocked when I realised what had happened. 'It was pure luck really, a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's the first photograph of its kind I have ever seen.'
Lance Freeman writes on Escape From America Magazine:
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Americans, I have some bad news for you:
You have the worst quality of life in the developed world — by a wide margin.
If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.
I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home. I have lived all around the world, in wealthy countries and poor ones, and there is only one country I would never consider living in again: The United States of America. The mere thought of it fills me with dread.
Consider this, you are the only people in the developed world without a single-payer health system.
Mark Whitehouse encourages people to think it’s “okay” to default on their mortgages. In the Wall Street Journal of all places!
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PALMDALE, Calif. — Schoolteacher Shana Richey misses the playroom she decorated with Glamour Girl decals for her daughters. Fireman Jay Fernandez misses the custom putting green he installed in his backyard.
But ever since they quit paying their mortgages and walked away from their homes, they’ve discovered that giving up on the American dream has its benefits.
Both now live on the 3100 block of Club Rancho Drive in Palmdale, where a terrible housing market lets them rent luxurious homes — one with a pool for the kids, the other with a golf-course view — for a fraction of their former monthly payments.
“It’s just a better life. It really is,” says Ms. Richey. Before defaulting on her mortgage, she owed about $230,000 more than the home was worth.
People’s increasing willingness to abandon their own piece of America illustrates a paradoxical change wrought by the housing bust: Even as it tarnishes the near-sacred image of home ownership, it might be clearing the way for an economic recovery.