Wealth inequality has erupted across the country over the last decade as the Federal Reserve’s policy of ramping asset prices to the moon has widely failed to distribute wealth evenly. If you want to figure out where all the money went on a geographical basis, Bloomberg has published a new report that shows the 200 wealthiest counties in the US.
It’s no secret by now that asset holders (those who own real estate, stocks, bonds, classic cars, wine, and fancy artwork) were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed’s unconventional money printing.
The homeownership rate has crashed to decade lows; at least half of Americans work in low wage jobs; most people don’t own stocks and bonds, and at least half of Americans have less than $500 in savings.
So the flow of wealth from the Fed’s aggressive easing policy went to the limited few, those who hold assets, we call the top 10%.
These millionaires and billionaires have been getting richer over the last decade, while the vast majority of Americans have been getting poorer.
To find where all the money went, Bloomberg analyzed per-capita income across all US counties and discovered the 200 wealthiest counties that saw the most significant jumps in per-capita income in the last decade.
Take, for example, the per-capita income for Teton County, Wyoming, is the top of the list, averaged $156k in 2008, jumped to $252k in 2018, a 40% increase in ten years.
Some of the most significant jumps in per-capita income were also seen in New York, New York; Pitkin, Colorado; Bristol Bay Borough, Arkansas; Marin, California; Summit, Utah; and San Francisco California.
Across America, total personal income increased in 3,019 counties, or 97% of the total, and decreased in just 2.9%, according to estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That includes wages, proprietors’ income, dividends, interest, rents, and government benefits by county residents.
Notably, on a per-capita income basis, which factors in the change in population, 2018 marks the largest share of counties with a positive increase since 1981, based on a Bloomberg analysis.