Friday, September 30, 2011

A Simple Picture of America

Rather than show the faces of 312 million people, here is a statistical distillation that captures what I consider to be the most profound fact about America:

Click to Enlarge

So much money in so few hands... no wonder the economy is slowly grinding to a halt. The vast majority have so little. They are watching their wages stagnate, many are unemployed, many have lost their homes, many are in poverty and they just don't have money to consume so their part of the economy keeps shrinking. Meanwhile, the few have so much and it keeps growing larger and they can't spend it all. A person can only spend so much, so these people end up sitting on bigger and bigger piles of gold and goodies. But when they spend such a tiny fraction of what they have the economy shuts down. The US is strangling itself because the bottom 90% have so little to spend and the top 1% have so much but after you've bought your 4th "500 foot yacht", you just don't have the urge to buy a half dozen more yachts. You can only sail on one at a time.

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