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Wealth and Affluence

The Poverty Rate Remained Flat Last Year

by Luke Landes

In 2011, the percentage of Americans living in poverty declined from 15.1 percent to 15.0 percent according to the census figures released within the last few days. According to the Census Bureau, this is not a statistically significant change, meaning the number of Americans in poverty, 46.2 million, is roughly the same as in 2010. […]

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You Can’t Take It With You

by Luke Landes
Beach

According to a recent study by the National Bureau for Economic Research, 46.1 percent of retirees die with a net worth of less than $10,000. There are two ways to achieve this outcome. The first is for those with a comfortable level of wealth in retirement. Wealth does an individual no good after he or […]

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Should Rich Families Leave Their Wealth to Their Children?

by Luke Landes
Cash

One of the great promises of the United States of America is economic mobility. In the Land of Opportunity, in theory, you can design your life’s economic fate. Immigrants from Europe looked forward to leaving economic and religious oppression in their past, as they came to the land that is or would become the United […]

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Family Net Worth Down Significantly After Recession

by Luke Landes
Family Net Worth

The Federal Reserve’s survey of family finances in 2010, released recently, provides a picture of how devastating the recession has been to families’ financial conditions. Family income and net worth both declined from 2007 to 2010 across all slices of demographics, but the decline in net worth was much sharper. The Federal Reserve’s report on […]

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One Million Dollars Isn’t What It Used to Be

by Luke Landes
Scrooge McDuck

There was a time the word “millionaire” carried cachet. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used in French in the early eighteenth century and in English nearly a century later. Regardless of your station in French society in 1719, you would recognize a net worth of one million livres being notable. […]

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Get to Work If You Want to Be Rich

by Luke Landes
Movie marquee

How much time do you spend in front of the television, socializing with friends, or watching movies? I freely admit that I spend too much time watching television. There are certain television programs that entertain me, and particularly during stressful times in my life, I need some type of outlet that makes me laugh, raising […]

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The Rich and the Rest of Us

by Luke Landes
Cornel West and Tavis Smiley

Dr. Cornel West is a Princeton University professor and author. Tavis Smiley is a television and radio talk show host and author as well. The two have known each other for a long time, and last year they toured the country to hear from citizens and talk about the issue of poverty in America. After […]

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Most Wealthy Individuals Earned, Not Inherited, Their Wealth

by Luke Landes

When I first read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, it didn’t inspire me. It’s not that I disagreed with the authors, but I found the book uninteresting. It was one of the first financial books I read after beginning Consumerism Commentary, and it came highly recommended from readers here and […]

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Millennials Want to Be Rich More Than Anything

by Luke Landes
Dollar

Since 1966, the Higher Education Research Institute has been conducting a study of first-year college students to determine personal goals and values. This collection of data has offered research a chance to see how priorities change over the years, and there are striking generational differences in the results. Recent research at San Diego State University […]

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How Rich Are the Presidential Candidates?

by Luke Landes
Mitt Romney

When politicians are campaigning, some try to reinforce the idea that they are similar to most Americans. Candidates for President of the United States try to avoid being labeled as elitist, because some sort of connection and kinship with their constituency is important for winning the favor of voters who aren’t already entrenched with a […]

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