Americans Are Richer Than Ever. In Aggregate Anyway

Looking to explain the befuddling resilience of the US consumer? Look no further than the vaunted "wealth effect." Household net worth in the US jumped nearly $5.5 trillion in Q2, Fed data released on Friday showed. Total household net worth now sits at a record $154.3 trillion. Last quarter's increase was the largest in two years. As the simple figure above shows, stocks and property drove the gain, which shouldn't surprise anyone. Equities melted up last quarter, and home prices recovered

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4 thoughts on “Americans Are Richer Than Ever. In Aggregate Anyway

  1. That huge rise in property values is creating absolute consternation in Jackson County, MO (contains KC). This year’s property valuations have skyrocketed as much as 400% or more for some, shocking nearly everyone into near revolt. The county is taking immense flak for hiring what many say is a less than competent company to make the valuations. Our esteemed Governor, unsure what this all means for his precious GOP, has promised to “look into it (apologies to Dave Barry).” 95% of the population has no idea how the property tax system works and how it is managed, and most importantly, that values are only important for deciding what proportion of the total tax bill each individual pays, rather than fixing the total tax itself. All these new high prices are jacking up values and causing major shifts in the burden on any given citizen. (Spoiler alert: Even though I am the first owner of a relatively new house in a developing neighborhood, my taxes were down last year and will be down again this year. (Just lucky, I guess) Realtors will tell me that my house is worth 60% more than what I paid new but subtracting major additions and a couple major repairs, it is actually worth around 40% above my basis, reflecting a monster return of 2.7% a year. Hubba, hubba. My insurances costs are sure up, more than doubled. (Mortgage doesn’t matter, I paid cash.) In the end flying prices, high rates and rising property taxes are hurting millions and will continue to do so for a good while.

    1. In many states, the legislators push down providing essential services to county and local governments. Often justified by the old favorite “those folks are close to the need so they know best how to cover it with lower waste than if we fund it.” (For instance, unless it has changed in the last five years, Texas dumps responsibility for spending on flood control on the counties with little state-wide coordination.)

      Never mentioned is, as Mr. Lucy’s comments shows, is just how hard it is for those “close to the voters” county governments to raise the revenues needed to fund those mandates. So they don’t.

  2. ā€œ My insurances costs are sure up, more than doubled. ā€ Ah, music to my ears – sorry, lightheartedly referring back to recent discussion of insurance names.

  3. I went to a selectboard meeting in a small Vermont (800 pop) town last week. 3 hours of : where do you get $30k for a used dumpster compactor for the transfer station? where do you get $40k to buy a few hours of county sheriff patrol time? but we do have a space force and a trillion for the us military’s global footprint and troops still in syria. u$a u$s

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