Friday, May 06, 2005
On this day:

Demonizing the Wealthy

Townhall: Only in America by Walter E. Williams
According to Drs. Thomas Stanley and William Danko's research published in their book "The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy," 80 percent of today's American millionaires are first-generation rich. Drs. Stanley and Danko listed other characteristics of these 8.2 million millionaire households. Fewer than 20 percent inherited 10 percent or more of their wealth. More than half never received as much as a dollar in inheritance. Fewer than 25 percent received "an act of kindness" from a relative greater than $10,000, and 91 percent never received, as a gift, as much as $1 from the ownership of a family business. Being first-generation rich is not new for Americans. Drs. Stanley and Danko say, "More than 100 years ago the same was true. In The American Economy, Stanley Lebergott reviews a study conducted in 1892 of the 4,047 American millionaires. He reports that 84 percent were nouveau riche, having reached the top without the benefit of inherited wealth."