American Millionaire Culture
Many people think of Brangelina, Gene Simmons, the heiress Paris Hilton when they think of American wealth. However, these are not the typical millionaires of our culture they only represent a small portion of American wealth. The top five percent of the wealthy own over fifty percent of all the wealth; two-thirds of these families have gotten there by hard work and practicing old fashion values.
Main stream America often associates living the high life with being affluent. However, often times this is just an illusion of what wealth is. Time and time again high income earners spend a majority of their income on a lavish life style and end up with little to no net worth. It is difficult to obtain financial independence even with a high income when excessive consumption is a way of life. Not only are many American’s household’s living pay check to pay check but forty three percent of American families spend more than they earn each year. Consumer debt is on the rise. The national average savings rate for American households is actually in the negative. The statistic of the amount of debt held by the average American household is startling not only for the families but for the nation as a whole.
Within societies that have marked status positions, different status groups are marked by a particular lifestyle, including goods owned, leisure activities and linguistic styles, (Miller, 2007., p. 244). It is unfortunate that we live in a society that our worth is often times calculated by our material possessions. Many self made millionaires in our country are working and saving for financial independence and not the more fashionable alternative of burning up their money on material goods and services.
The majority of self made millionaires are frugal, hard working entrepreneurs that didn’t inherit a dime for them to begin their ventures. Only twenty percent of affluent Americans inherited a portion of their wealth. In my research of...