Score another victory for capitalism.
Bloomberg reports that the number of wealthy individuals in the U.S. reached a new high last year.
According to a survey from the Spectrem Group, approximately 10.2 million households had a net worth between $1 million and $5 million. This makes up roughly the same population size as countries like Portugal or Sweden. These new figures represent 2.5 percent increases from 2017.
However, Spectrem Group President George Walper did concede that the pace of growth for the amount of wealthy households in the U.S. slowed due to “weakening global economic growth and a contentious U.S. political environment.”
The number of “ultra-high net worth” households — households with assets between $5 million and $25 million — grew by 3.7 percent to about 1.4 million. At the same time, households with assets greater than $25 million increased by 0.6 percent to 173,000. Although growth has slowed, the number of Americans in the highest wealth brackets has more than doubled since the Great Recession started.
Indeed, the U.S. has work to do when it comes to fully de-regulating its economy. That being said, its maintenance of a nominally capitalist system has worked wonders for it. Even with how much the U.S. government has grown over the past century, the U.S.’s adherence to private property has made it the most economically powerful society in human history.
Sadly, many people take this for granted and even want to discard this system. Thomas Sowell said it best, “One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.” The rise of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the embodiment of this sad trend and will continue if the virtues of capitalism do not become reinforced in the general culture.
If we want more people to ascend the ranks of the wealthy, we should get burdensome laws and the regulatory maze of bureaucracy completely out of the way. From there, the capitalist system will allow people to thrive and build unprecedented amounts of wealth.