Vaporized: Americans’ Wealth Collapses 40% Over Last Three Years
June 12th, 2012
…It might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago?
President Ronald Reagan
President Reagan may just as well be speaking to us today.
The answer, as it was in November of 1980, is a resounding NO.
The Great Recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.
The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.
The biggest drops occurred among middle-income Americans, whose wealth was inextricably linked to the housing market boom and bust.
It’s hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “We were in freefall.”