11 Things the Wealthiest Americans Can Buy for the U.S.

July 07, 2011

11 Things the Wealthiest Americans Can Buy for the U.S. (that most families can't afford for themselves!).

Download a PDF of "11 Things" (PDF)

Contact comms@faireconomy.org to order high quality printed copies of our infographics.


Some very enlightening

Some very enlightening perspective . . .


Everyone who buys into this argument should look into whether or not China needs more people.

Communism has never done so well since they adopted more capitalist means. Funny that.

Feel free to move there if you need more communism in your life.


This graphic/article doesn't put forth any "arguments" that one could "buy into." This isn't an argument at all, you can look this information up easily. Forbes puts out the wealthies 400 americans every year, so the total of their wealth is greater than or equal to the total rent paid in this country for three years, and so on. There's no argument, it's simply a list of interesting (or disturbing, depending on your point of view) facts.


Yeah... and the USA has never done so well since they adopted more socialist means...


I'm assuming that this means they could buy all 11 things at once and not one item would use up all "their" money, correct?  Please clarify because if just 400 household are holding this much of our wealth then it is seriously time for class warfare; redistribution back to all of u.s. who they have siphoned it from. 

The resources(wealth) of the planet belong to all people more or less equally...

Owning pieces of paper(stocks) but not contributing(work) is one messed up system(of wealth redistribution to the already rich).  They buy up the stocks and syphon off the profits, the profits should go to the workers.  How does onwing little insignificant pieces of paper entitle you to somebody's hard work?  FUBAR! 

What amazes me..Is that these idiots are only being asked for 5%

But they are willing to gamble it all to avoid paying even that much more....So sad...Blinded by greed

no, i think they could buy

no, i think they could buy any one, but not all at once. i get this from the fact there are about 150 million u.s. workers. multiply that by $10,000 and you have $1.5 trillion.

Trilion, billion, million

1 000 000 - million

1 000 000 000 - billion

1 000 000 000 000 - trilion

150 000 000 * 10 000 = 1 500 000 000 000

Living wage?

Where did that $10,000 come from. Is that the estimate of what it takes to run the average American family? That doesn't even cover the rent for most people living in a modest 1 BR apartment.

That is the bonus the graphic

That is the bonus the graphic says could be given to each worker in the US.

OR or AND?

The graphic should make it clear that it's "OR" and not "AND." Without making it clear, you are leaving it open for massive misunderstanding.


When people buy stocks and then sell them at a profit it does not affect the workers of the certain company. The only thing that going public allows is to give the company extra capital to expand the business.

Wrong Again

    There are quite a few ways that workers can be effected by the companies stock prices. On eof the most brutal is when company stock is the sole mode of retirement payouts. With mandatory retirements at a certain birthday if the stock is down on the day of retirement the worker can suffer loss of his entire pension. The value of stocks is related to the number of shares in circulation.

     Also when raises are due for review if the stock is down the excuse not to give raises is at hand. By selling more stock the company can push down the share values.

Nope, you're wrong(er)

Workers can be *affected*...... Also, workers should know to diversify their retirement savings. They should have never put all of their eggs in one basket.... thats just stupid.

Even more wrong...

"thats just stupid" should be "that's just stupid"... As though that mattered in the least.

Even more wrong fail

When someone attacks grammar that'ts admitting a loss.

You fail

Great logic! BTW "That'ts" is not a word and you're missing a comma.

On the contrary. When someone

On the contrary. When someone attacks grammar as a way of counteracting your argument ("You spelled this wrong, so you don't know what you are talking about") is an ad hominem, and that is as good as admitting a loss, but attacking grammar in itself isn't.

The worst thing about attacking grammar ...

... is that you have to be very careful to make sure that you don't have any errors yourself. As it turns out, I'm afraid you did err. Even though the quotation you cite was not the beginning of a sentence in its original context, you started your sentence with the quotation so the first word must be capitalized. 

I'm afraid your grade is: Fail.

it's not "wrong" or "right."

Shame that's how the 1% operates, by encouraging the average american to invest in things that they don't have time to stay on top of. Or to not save at all, which is also how the top 1% operates, as they own all the companies that we work for and pay them the money we just earned from them for our food and lifestyle. Modern slavery.


You don't need to have a lot of time to stay on top of the market. It is a fact that over time the stock market as a whole tends to trend upward. Consequently, if you diversify and pick solid stocks, it is most likely that you will make some money over time. And the second part of your argument doesn't really make much sense. I am pretty sure, however, whatever you are talking about is not like modern slavery.

Two possibilities

Either the stock market is only going up at the rate of inflation, or it's usury against everyone who ever had to work for someone else.

Don't pretend work is a choice, either. People work because they don't have any savings yet, and a range of social institutions (education, markets, anti-union laws) are stacked against people ever getting any savings.

The combination of the two is an effective form of compulsion; slaves at least could run away, and even had a chance of getting out.

Your an Idiot

Your an idiot : )

The company only uses capital from the shareholder?

What about profit revenue for shareholderS? 


AKA communism.  equal distribution of wealth simply isn't possible because companies need the entitled higher class's private money in order to survive and pay the salaries of every single professional in the country.  Yes, capitalism is a system wherein people are not at all equally funded, but these richer people are needed, so that the poorer ones can work.  It was a very eye-opening piece of info, though, and explains a lot.  Though it astonishes me even more that all of this still won't pay off the national debt.  Quite amazing.  :)

We Don't NEED a Wealthy Class

"these richer people are needed, so that the poorer ones can wor."

Nonsense!  This only makes sense if you believe that people born into money also enherit superior intelligence along with their fortune.  Ever hear of nonprofit organizations?  How about worker-owner cooperatives?  Do you feel you are reasonably intelligent and able to make decisions, or do you think of yourself as a mindless worker bee who can't think for himself?  How would you possibly know what to do with yourself without someone to tell you what to do?!   It is absolutely ridiculous to assert that nobody would be able to have a job, that nothing would get done, or that nobody would go into business or work together without the pressense of a super wealthy class of powerful and entitled pricks to order people around. If you're into book-reading, I suggest you look for a book called Horizontalism.  It's about worker managed factories in Argentina.

The only way that a society

The only way that a society can progress is through a redistribution of wealth. Albeit not something as displayed by this web page, but otherwise the concentration of wealth will retard a society. In the American system (my system) money remains at the top and will continue to accumulate at the detriment of most everyone else in society. To believe otherwise is to blatantly contradict economic analysis and (on a more controversial level) believe the brainwash rhetoric that those in power would have you believe. 

Say something.

You define progress here in a

You define progress here in a very limited, Western-centric, way. Progress is not just about wealth in terms of money or technology. There are many societies that are advanced in different ways than the Western world that do not have wealth in the way we do, and are more or less egalitarian. In many ways they are more successful than Western societies. Your insistence that not having a class system and a wealthy class that suppresses the less fortunate only shows that you need to read a book or two on anthropological analysis of societies.


*inherit, enherit is an obsolete form of the word and detracts from the eloquence of your argument.

lol capitalism

Comunity is kinda our natural environment... I amaze myself at how much distorted reality we have been able to producce.... so, tribal sociaties don't produce a nickle? Perhaps... they do not produce commodities you consider valuable... but they however produce value for their own comunity. No... this is not communism, this is comunitary social behaviour (everyone works for the hive).

The bees :(

Worker bees aren't mindless.  And they are all female.

Actually, no, you don't

Actually, no, you don't _need_ to have a super-wealthy class to pay people's salaries. To begin with, they really aren't.

I don't think you need to resort to communism to have better control over the distribution of wealth and resources. Most first-world countries have rules in place that still allow some people to be extremely wealthy, but ensure that they don't use their workers like complete chattel - for instance by putting caps on CEO income that are tied to the wages of the lowest-paid employees.

That never stopped anyone from being fired.

Capitalism is unable to avoid a crisis. So, actually, the argument prior to this is fundamentally flawed.

Redistribution? Really??

C'mon people..... Are we REALLY talking about redistribution here? I mean, those 400 households didn't get that money by sitting on their asses waiting for something to happen. If you want to change your life, get up, get motivated, and invent some shit! Find out how hard it is to become successful as a business owner - then come back and talk about wanting our government to redistribute the wealth. That's a 100% UN-American ideal. If you're such a fan of socialism, I say take your ass to Venezuela, become a #, and get back to me in a year and let me know how you like it. When ANY government has the power to take wealth away (ie, THEFT), power does NOT return to the people. Do some research. Learn your history....!

Blame the poor

You are still caught in the fantasy of the American Dream. If only they worked harder.  All those rich people WORKED for everything they have...these are fantasies. The reality is that when the chasm grows this wide, it becomes apparent that the THEFT is of natural resources, which belong to the people and ILLEGAL practices like pollution, monopolies, fraud, gouging, etc siphon money out of the economy. 

A successful business owner only needs to fill a need he doesn't create a need to fill...we are all getting down to our natural needs. Find out how hard it is to feed yourself when none of those rich people have work for you. Then come back and tell me how great it is to be an American who doesnt' think that things should be more equal.   YOU are UN-American. 

So ignorant

Invent some shit? Like the guy that invented an engine that ran on water and was found murdered in his workshop? Those aren't just wealthy people that worked hard and became successful. Those people ARE the government. They have the lobbyists and they make the backroom deals that lead this country to the state it's in. Many of those people profit off of the hardships of the masses. Look at the military industrial complex or Big Pharm... They don't give a shit about you. They don't care about your health, the enviroment or your life. And those are the richest, and therefor the most powerful people on the planet. Sounds like redistrubution would do us some good. You can only take so much from a man before he takes it back!


Yes I'm sorry but I don't really think the top 400 richest people have worked all that hard for their money, at least no harder than some low-wage person who is balancing three jobs just to pay the bills does. Don't get me wrong, some have worked hard, example Bill Gates, but not all. Most high-class people have had connections to get them where they are, but that isn't hard work. That's luck. 


You REALLY believe they got all that capital through hard work? Education? That the government is the only thing that steals? REALLY? It is obvious what is going on here--just look past your programming.

I agree.  People who earn

I agree.  People who earn their wealth, earned it.  Even if they give it to their kids.  Why would anyone lust after someone else's hard work. 


Have you heard about interest rates? Is like a multiplying machine... with the bonus that you might be sitting waiting for money to be multiplied.

Not all socialist countries are evil

Might I recommend Sweden instead of Venezuela?  Guaranteed health care, 3-week mandatory paid vacations a year, 5-year paid maternity leave, 3-year paid paternity leave, and that's just a start.  Americans would never go for it though, because their taxes are correspondingly higher, and applied equally across the board.  The bottom 1% as well as the top 1% and everybody else contribute the same percentage of their income.  You get what you pay for, though.

Redistibution? Really??

Yes, really you idiot. It's people like you that tell us we can strive and work hard to get the "american dream." First of all the "american dream" is a farce made up by the rich to keep the rest of us working away hoping to have a share of the wealth but they'll never share so we should kill them and take it. :)


You've got problems buddy.


It's theory. Meant to show how much money the top 1% hold.  Just like the ones they use for the "Obama's" stimulus package(parentheses because that's how the right-wing reports it, even though Bush pushed through and Obama HAD NO CHOICE to extend it because if he didn't the republicans would have his head on a platter for "going against Bush and fucking up the economy")with a guy holding a wheelbarrow with a million dollar bills, then a warehouse full of dollar bills to show you what a trillion dollars looks like.  They don't literally mean they are going to put a trillion dollars into a fucking warehouse to fix the economy.  Get a grip. 

Why should these families who

Why should these families who have are lucky enough to earn money like this have to pay off your morgatges. If you want even distribution of the worlds wealth then i'm afraid that that is communism, something which America went to war against. Remember Vietnam. These bits of paper you are talking about are things that a family have aquired over generations. These families were once lke you and they saved up and invested their money wisely into stocks which have turned out to be worth something. Why should every family in america get a car, a car is not essential and neither is half the stuff on that list 


Shure.... if only I had the control over money creation... that would in fact make me a GURU of investment :] plus, if I knew Goldman Sachs would have the best year ever in his History... next crisis I know: I'll bet on that bank to win some bucks....

Don't they train the Treasure Secretaries?

They don't have to, it's only

They don't have to, it's only an example of what that aggregate wealth can purchase. But if you honestly believe that high a level of wealth is acquired simply through hard work, frugality and prudent investing then you are just the kind of right-winger the GOP hopes to see at the polls in 2012. Ignorant, woefully misinformed, clearly unaware the American Dream is dead and still clinging to antiquated Cold War fantasies.

Most countries in Europe such as Germany and Sweden and also other industrialized nations such as Canada and Australia have a form of socialist (please stop using the worn "communist", you sound like a fossil) government and people in those nations overall report and are found to have a much higher quality of life than we do in the USA.

I'm with you buddy...

You are so right! But while were at it why should only us Americans have SO much more.... We didn't earn it. I think YOU and me should right now only take one and a half the global Avg income which would be $39 a day then send the rest of our pay check to the UN for distribution. WAKE UP ASSHOLE I only make $12 an hr but that is mine I earned it, and I will continue WORKING for a better life, not steal from anyone! Americans used to have pride and morals, what happened? Honestly why or how do you think it is ok to take anything you have not EARNED? I'm only 24 and I dont have much but what I do have is MINE and I plan to continue working so I can add to my pile and hopefully give some to my kids. Maybe you should try that instead of stealing from and hating people who have more "little pieces of paper" than you. Really try it, you might feel like a man providing for you and/or your family instead of a self loathing "hater" who thinks WAR ie killing people for their possessions is a good idea.


Well said.

Some perspective

Most people in the world live on less than $1 a day.