The economy has technically been in recovery for nearly four years, and yet many Life Inc. readers still feel like they are treading water, if that.
“We are falling further and further backwards down the ladder and are powerless to stop the fall,” one reader wrote this week.
The reader was responding to a post looking at how the wealthiest Americans generally saw their wealth increase between 2009 and 2011, in the two years after the Great Recession officially ended. Meanwhile, the remaining 93 percent of Americans generally saw their net worth decline slightly.
The Pew Research Center report was based on an analysis of Census data.
Nearly two-thirds of the approximately 22,000 readers who took our survey said they have not seen their net worth increase since 2009. Many were feeling frustrated with the growing gap between rich and poor.
“I'm falling more behind. It's hard reading about CEO pay gaining 300% while I live below the poverty line and work my a** off,” one reader lamented.
According to Pew’s report, one major reason the wealthy are doing better is because they tend to have more wealth concentrated in investments. The housing market, where many Americans have traditionally grown their prosperity, didn’t fare as well between 2009 and 2011.
Some readers said that while their investments are doing better, they still don’t feel like they are in a great financial position.
“401K has recovered and I've built some savings back up, but certainly don't feel like things are on the right track for those of us in the middle. The rich get richer, the poor get taken care of, and those of us working 50 hrs week pay for it all.”
Still, not everyone felt worse off. About one-third of the readers who voted in our survey said they feel like their net worth has increased since 2009.
“We didn't panic and sell in 2009; courage or foolishness? Don't know, but we have done well since,” one reader wrote.