The stock market and the top 10% / by kevin murray

The stock market goes up and it goes down.  So too, there are several television stations that are dedicated to nothing more than stock markets, international or domestic, which in the biggest scheme of things, is mostly of interest to those that actually own stocks.  While, it is true, because of pensions, 401Ks, and mutual funds, that stocks or their equivalency are actually owned by a fairly wide swath of Americans, the bulk of such monetary ownership, pretty much matches the wealth of America, which means, that such wealth is at the very top echelon.  In particular, as reported by  "the richest 10% of households controlled 84% of the total value of these stocks in 2016,” as stated in a recent paper by NYU economist Edward N. Wolff.


This means, or implies, that for mainstream America and those that have even less assets and income than that, the stock market really doesn't matter much to them, because they have no direct investment in it.  However, when it comes to the economy, money, and jobs, it would be a mistake to not recognize that stock market rises and stock market crashes, most definitely has a significant effect upon people, and is especially of real relevancy when the market crashes and burns, such as during the Great Depression, when unemployment went up to 24.9%, or the Great Recession of 2008-09 when unemployment went up to 10%. 


This signifies that when the very rich are getting their tails burned by a persistently falling stock market, that mainstream America will not be far behind in suffering the ill effects of lower or even negative economic growth, leading to layoffs and reductions in job promotion, wages, hours work, and opportunities; for when the rich are licking their wounds, they aren't going to be expanding their businesses, or investing more money into the corporate world, but rather they will be net equity sellers and investing a lot less of their money into equities, making it a foregone conclusion that corporate businesses will have to cut expenses to accommodate this material change.


This indicates that when the rich turn tail and run, it matters; simply because of the fact that so much of America's wealth is in the hands of the very rich, so that when an economic tumble comes, the rich will not hesitate too long in taking their money back from their erstwhile investments, and simply sit on it instead, because they have enough wealth already, that they need not recklessly risk it and thereby they do not.  


This is the inherent danger of the unequal distribution of wealth, for wealth that isn't invested into the economic engine of growth for America, or is mal-invested, leads to unemployment, and the inevitable recession or even depression.  The stock market is a fair reflection of the confidence that the top 10% have in America, and when that confidence is breached, it's the other 90%, that is, those that have little or no say on the matter, that essentially suffers the brunt of the damages, and it is these people that stand in line at the soup kitchens.