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John Lounsbury
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John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25... More
My company:
John B Lounsbury CFP
My blog:
Global Economic Intersection
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  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9966) | Send Message
     
    John,
    Some interesting comments by David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's budget director, on 60 minutes this evening.

     

    The one that we found most striking was:
    " in 1985 the top 5% of americans had a net worth of $8 trillion, whereas today that same top 5% has a net worth of $40 trillion".

     

    That's a 500% increase in 25 years. By way of comparison, US GDP in 1985 was about $4.3 trillion and now it is about $14.5 trillion. An increase of about 337%.

     

    If the above are true, then there is little doubt that the rich have gotten proportionally much richer over the last 25 years in the US.

     

    Another interesting commentary was by Bill Gates Sr & Jr weighing in on the potential new millionaires state income tax in Washington state, which currently now has no state tax. Gates was in favor of the tax whereas the vast majority of high income earning individuals and business were adamantly opposed and using the usual tactics such as funding the anti-campaign and threating to move their business.

     

    Guess the bottom line is the same as always ... nobody wants to pay for "government services", but it seems they all still want them anyway.
    31 Oct 2010, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • John Lounsbury
    , contributor
    Comments (3980) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » untrusting investor - - -

     

    I am trying to track down something that David Stockman (and Bruce Bartlett also) has written and get permission to post it (them) on Global Economic Intersection. There are rational voices out there but they need to be found and publicized.

     

    I saw the 60 Minutes piece and wondered if the significance of the pieces they ran would really sink in a rational way to many viewers. I am becoming cynical about the logical powers of the average citizen.

     

    BTW, we have a terrific Great Debate© going up at GEI in approximately 24 hours between a Goldman Sachs research paper and another research piece from Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Policy Research. Topic is: Can Austerity Produce Recovery from The Great Recession?

     

    I think one argument is stronger than the other, but it is a debate between two exceptionally thorough pieces of research. These are two rather long papers but I hope you will take the time to go through both of them.
    1 Nov 2010, 12:01 AM Reply Like
  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9966) | Send Message
     
    John,
    OK, thanks for the information. Am interested and will certainly try to take a look.

     

    Unfortunately, just not very optimistic about the US moving to deal with the major structural issues facing it. It's just the way the system has evolved over many decades. Am of the opinion that a real third party, with predominately outsiders is truly the only hope. Baring that it will take the US really hitting rock bottom before "forced changes" become the only option then. Unfortunately that will mean even more and deeper distress for a very large segment of americans.
    1 Nov 2010, 01:25 AM Reply Like
  • John Lounsbury
    , contributor
    Comments (3980) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » untrusting investor - - -

     

    And unfortunately many will not understand why it has happened and there is high risk that they will not have wise reactions. There I am being a cynic again.
    1 Nov 2010, 01:31 AM Reply Like
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