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The Great American Wealth Creation Machine

Let’s put politics aside for a moment and marvel at the most spectacular period of wealth creation in the history of civilization. Yesterday the Dow-Jones eclipsed 40,000, before dipping back down slightly under that high water mark.

Now, to put this milestone in perspective: in the Summer of 1982 – a little over 40 years ago – the Dow briefly fell below 800. Since then it has grown 50-fold. (Even accounting for inflation real stockholder wealth rose by 10 times its value four decades ago.)

If the next 40 years are as bullish as the last 40 years, the stock market will be closing in at Dow 2 million.  No other developed country/region — not Japan, nor Europe — has come anywhere close to that performance. Japan’s stock market has been virtually flat for the past 40 years. This stock boom has created vast new wealth for most families — thanks in part to programs 401k retirement plans — well more than 100 million Americans have shared in these massive gains.

The tragedy is that 100% of American workers haven’t shared in this wealth – which would have been the case if we had let workers put their payroll tax dollars into personally-owned index funds.

Liberals like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren complain daily about the concentration of wealth, but the single easiest step to democratize the wealth is through private Social Security accounts. Shame on them for not allowing that.

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