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Pew: $ Gap Between Young/Old Widest Ever

From a tear-stained Associated Press:

US wealth gap between young and old is widest ever

By HOPE YEN – Associated Press
November 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt.

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.

While people typically accumulate assets as they age, this wealth gap is now more than double what it was in 2005 and nearly five times the 10-to-1 disparity a quarter-century ago, after adjusting for inflation.

We find the timing of this report suspicious. It sounds like something written by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. We also find it hard to believe.

The recession has decimated the value of most people’s 401Ks and their other stock holdings. More importantly the housing crisis has destroyed the value of most people’s largest asset, their homes.

But the Obama campaign administration is doing everything it can to whip up class and inter-generational warfare, which they think will help get Obama re-elected.

The analysis reflects the impact of the economic downturn, which has hit young adults particularly hard. More are pursuing college or advanced degrees, taking on debt as they wait for the job market to recover. Others are struggling to pay mortgage costs on homes now worth less than when they were bought in the housing boom.

The report, coming out before the Nov. 23 deadline for a special congressional committee to propose $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years, casts a spotlight on a government safety net that has buoyed older Americans on Social Security and Medicare amid wider cuts to education and other programs, including cash assistance for poor families.

In case there was any doubt that this report is meant to parrot the complaints of the ‘Occupation Army’ and to help the Obama administration tax the rich take from the old.

"It makes us wonder whether the extraordinary amount of resources we spend on retirees and their health care should be at least partially reallocated to those who are hurting worse than them," said Harry Holzer, a labor economist and public policy professor at Georgetown University who called the magnitude of the wealth gap "striking."

Yes, let’s cut the Social Security and Medicare that people who have paid into all their lives. And give that money to people who have paid nothing.

For the record, Harry Holzer is the founder and co-director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. Holzer is also an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, a Senior Affiliate of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, a National Fellow of the Program on Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University, and a Research Affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin. He is also member of the World Economic Forum Global Diversity Council.

So you know he is completely objective about such things.

The median net worth of households headed by someone 65 or older was $170,494. That is 42 percent more than in 1984, when the Census Bureau first began measuring wealth broken down by age. The median net worth for the younger-age households was $3,662, down by 68 percent from a quarter-century ago, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center.

Net worth includes the value of a person’s home, possessions and savings accumulated over the years, including stocks, bank accounts, real estate, cars, boats or other property, minus any debt such as mortgages, college loans and credit card bills. Older Americans tend to hold more net worth because they are more likely to have paid off their mortgages and built up more savings from salary, stocks and other investments over time.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that these home values and stock values have not be adjusted to reflect the realities of today’s economics.

The median is the midpoint, and thus refers to a typical household.

What ignorance. Using ‘median’ worth instead of ‘average’ means a few super rich can make the median net worth of households headed by someone 65 or older skyrocket. While the average net worth is much lower.

The 47-to-1 wealth gap between old and young is believed by demographers to be the highest ever, even predating government records.

They believe this just on a hunch. There is no evidence to support this, of course.

In all, 37 percent of younger-age households have a net worth of zero or less, nearly double the share in 1984. But among households headed by a person 65 or older, the percentage in that category has been largely unchanged at 8 percent

Again, who really believes this, after the record foreclosures and stock losses of the last four years?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 7th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Pew: $ Gap Between Young/Old Widest Ever”

  1. Papa Louie says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the young deserve to have a lower net worth as long as they continue to support Obama.

  2. parentofed says:

    Say, I wonder if these were some of the great minds that ‘analyzed the census data’ and exaggerated the number of same-sex families by more than 2/3? Link here:http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/sep/28/census-errs-on-gay-households/
    It certainly wasn’t widely reported, especially after all the MSM pronouncements of a ‘changing America’ and ‘changing values.’

    And did you ever see so many red flags as Harry’s various job titles? Except for the word ‘peace’ I think he’s got nearly every PC, government -subsidized, academic-dictated base covered.

    • River0 says:

      Translation: “Old people just like your mean parents have stolen all the wealth and are sucking you dry. Tea Partiers and conservatives are keeping you from your entitlements and must be dealt with. Have you heard of euthanasia? The ‘good death’?

      “With ObamaScare there are panels of experts who can take care of the situation, freeing up all the stagnant assets of selfish old geezers…”

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Pew – every time I see PEW quoted, I am compelled to remind readers how Pew exists …. by wayof corrupting the fortune J Howard Pew dedicated to ….

    …. well, read for yourself.

    Consider the case of J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil. During his lifetime, he was a tireless champion of free markets and individualism. In 1957, he created the J. Howard Pew Freedom Trust, with instructions that it use its funds to “acquaint the American people” with “the evils of bureaucracy,” “the values of the free market,” and “the paralyzing effects of government controls on lives and activities of people,” to “inform our people of the struggle, persecution, hardship, sacrifice and death by which freedom of the individual was won” and to educate them about how “Socialism, Welfare statism [and] Fascism . . . are but devices by which government seizes the ownership or control of the tools of production.” In accordance with those wishes, the Freedom Trust funded mostly libertarian and conservative activities, as long as its board consisted of Pew family members and friends. But as the family members and friends died off, they were replaced by others who gradually reoriented its spending, first toward mainstream activities, then gradually toward the very activities that the trust had been set up to oppose.

    … so, every time I see the word Pew, I know I am in for corruption, lies and Marxist spin.

    You know it, too, but now you know why.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Wow, now there was a man beyond his time (edit: or perhaps, a product of it?) No wonder his legacy had to be conquered by the Regressives.

  4. parentofed says:

    Oh Steve you already had a link to the same sex census debacle, didn’t you?

  5. proreason says:

    “We find the timing of this report suspicious. It sounds like something written by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. We also find it hard to believe.

    The recession has decimated the value of most people’s 401Ks and their other stock holdings. More importantly the housing crisis has destroyed the value of most people’s largest asset, their homes.”

    Exactly.

    The account is probably a complete pack of lies, but consider for a moment that it isn’t. If it has some truth, the truth probably has to do with student loans. There certainly hasn’t been a generation that was more raped by the educational system than this one. Net Worth? Yeh, like negative net worth for anybody under 28 who fell for the pied piper and racked up tens of thousands of dollars of loans to become a xyxologist or even worse a “studies” scholar.

    Whose fault was that? Hint: either the idiot xyxologists themselves or the the marxists for creating the scam in the first place. Meanwhile the net worth of seniors was savaged to the tune of 50%+ after actually WORKING for 40 years and now they are getting kicked in the balls because 26 year-old child lemmings still want to suck at mommies teat.

    Give me a break.

    • ezra says:

      “And you can bet your bottom dollar that these home values and stock values have not be adjusted to reflect the realities of today’s economics.”

      “The account is probably a complete pack of lies, but consider for a moment that it isn’t.”

      FWIW: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/11/07/the-rising-age-gap-in-economic-well-being/

    • tranquil.night says:

      “Differences in age are just one of the reasons why the insinuations about income and wealth that are thrown around in the media and in politics are often remote from reality.

      While the rhetoric is about people, the statistics are almost invariably about abstract income brackets.

      It is easier and cheaper to collect statistics about income brackets than it is to follow actual flesh and blood people as they move massively from one income bracket to another over the years.

      More important, statistical studies that follow particular individuals over the years often reach diametrically opposite conclusions from the conclusions reached by statistical studies that follow income brackets over the years.”

      – Dr. Thomas Sowell “Numbers Game” http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=47394

      Here in America we concern ourselves with income mobility and equality of opportunity for every individual. Those obssessed with the false premises of income inequality can find and join up with plenty of nations where the government agrees: Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, North Korea, et al.

      Also, see GBJ’s post above for the history of Pew Reasearch & Polling.

  6. Anonymoose says:

    A net worth of $170,000 at 64 with 15 years to go on life isn’t much. That’s either a small house or a 401K and an apartment. Also, if those kids take that $3,600 in net worth and add $3,600 onto it each year—look where they’ll be in 40 years? Seriously, it adds up; figure in interest and they’re almost as “well off” as the seniors.

    • proreason says:

      A fixed payment lifetime annuity for 170K for a male age 64 pays top end 1050 a month.

      That ain’t wealth…that’s a subsistance existance.

      The whole inane discussion ignores the fact that young people have a lifetime of earning potential ahead of them. Old people have to live on what they have saved.

      http://www.immediateannuities.com/

    • tranquil.night says:

      It’s so unfair that the elderly were born before me. I’m going to Zuccotti to protest how we distribute ages in this country. I figure at 25 if I can get the State to declare I’m 35, I can go to the bank and find $401k waiting for me.


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