And I ated them [via 24/7 Wall Street]:
The number of millionaire households in the world dropped from 11 million in 2007 to 9 million last year, a fall of almost 18%, according to The Boston Consulting Group. The figure was worse in North America where the drop was 22%.
There have been a number of articles of late in which the writer wrings his hands and bewails the fate of the rich people.
Here’s my thing and with no disrespect meant to people who happen to be in an different income bracket just because it’s different. If you were a millionaire in, say, 2007, and you are no longer a millionaire now, there’s still a hell of a lot of air between “I’m no longer a millionaire,” and “Holy God, how am I going to eat today?”
There are three things I can think of that would cause a millionaire to become an ex-millionaire, only one of which might cause anyone to give much of a flaming fuck:
1. You lost a dollar and now you’re only a 999,999aire, but you’ll be all right as soon as you check between the sofa cushions. Get outta here.
2. You were incredibly fucking stupid with your money because it never occurred to you the party would ever end. Die in a fire.
3. Some bastard like Bernie Madoff scammed the hell out of you. If you lost all of your money because you really didn’t know any better, I feel bad for you. But in many cases you belong in category 2. Piss off.
I excluded legal defense fees for criminal/civil cases because really, fuck the robber barons.
A secondary problem with these articles crops up when the writer (sensing that his audience might be thinking they could save a little money if they used the article as toilet paper) attempts to make the audience care by tying their fate to that of the millionaire:
The rich seem to have joined the middle class on the metaphorical bread line [except as a broad statement applied to millionaires or even people defined as rich this is total bullshit -ed.], which is not good news for developed economies that are counting on consumer spending to help drive GDP growth rebounds.
Wait. First we had to keep various mismanaged corporations afloat because they produced jobs. Now we have to worry about sundry Trustafarians* because they buy shit?
I have a tiny violin going cheap.