Republicans have been fond of posing the question: Are you better off than you were four years ago? For some the answer is no. They’ve lost their jobs and haven’t found a replacement that compares well—or even at all—with their former earning power. Others have lost their homes. Millions have struggled and are still struggling.
But not everyone. Some have done well these past four years and not just the uber-rich. CNBC reports that a study just out from non-partisan London-based WealthInsight, a wealth-research and data firm, reveals that between January 1, 2009 and the end of 2011, the latest period in which data has been analyzed, the number of American millionaires rose from about 4 million to 5.1 million. If you do the math, that comes out to more than 1,000 millionaires a day added under the Obama administration. Their definition of a millionaire is a person with a total net worth of $1 million or more, excluding their primary residence.
The study found that those who rose in the ranks to achieve millionaire status came from both red and blue states and were based mainly in the retail, tech and finance sectors.
It is true that there are fewer millionaires today than there were at the peak in 2007, when 5.27 million Americans had a net worth of $1 million or more, but given the severe downturn in the economy that took place at the end of 2008, it is quite an achievement…and that achievement can be placed firmly at the feet of President Obama.
“It’s true that Obama has been good for millionaires, at least in absolute terms,” said Andrew Amoils, analyst at WealthInsight. “He certainly hasn’t been bad for millionaires.”
Amoils also noted that the financial bailouts were of particular benefit to the finance sector, which comprises the largest number of millionaires. The recovery of the stock market was an additional boon to would-be millionaires.
WealthInsight projects that if the markets continue to gain strength, it’s likely that more millionaires will be created in 2012 and by 2016, there will be more than 6 million in that rarified class, with combined fortunes that will increase 25 percent over the same time frame.
Given all we’ve heard over this past election season about how Obama doesn’t “understand” business, it’s good to see that statement put to rest. Not only does the president understand business, he also understands that there is more to governing a country than just making money. There are people to think of and policies to put in place and when a balance between the two is achieved, great things can happen. Great things have happened and, if this president is given the opportunity to finish what he started, we will all be feeling a lot better off four years from now.
Your vote counts. If you haven’t already, vote for your best interest.