The pain of inequality among yacht buyers

In the spirit of holiday harmony and good will toward all, I say it's time for you working stiffs (and even those of you who've been badly stiffed and can't find work) to extend your hands in a gesture of solidarity with America's millionaires.

In the spirit of holiday harmony and good will toward all, I say it’s time for you working stiffs (and even those of you who’ve been badly stiffed and can’t find work) to extend your hands in a gesture of solidarity with America’s millionaires.

Why? Because we now share a common cause: Inequality. You don’t hear much about it, but millionaires are suffering a wealth gap, too, and it’s having a depressing impact on both their level of consumption and their psychological well-being. While it’s true that millionaires are still full members of the 1-percent club, that generalization overlooks the painful and personally-grating fact that mere millionaires today are ranked as “lesser 1- percenters.” They don’t dwell in the same zip-codes as the über-rich few, who comprise the uppermost one-hundredth of the 1-percenters, with wealth starting in the hundreds-of-millions of dollars and spiraling up into multiple-billions.

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No doubt you’ll be saddened to learn that this divide between The Haves and The Have It Alls is widening. For example, have you checked the yacht market recently? Sales of your 100-to-150-footers are down by as much as 50 percent from 2008 – just one indicator of the hidden suffering being endured by the merely rich.

In this same time period, however, yacht sales of your 300-footers, with prices above $200 million dollars, are at all time highs. As a New York Times wealth columnist noted, “For decades, a rising tide lifted all yachts. Now it is mainly lifting megayachts.”

Imagine how this makes people with only a few million dollars feel. So let’s reach out to comfort our downcast brothers and sisters. Tell them, “We’re all in this inequality fight together,” and invite them to come to the next rally in your area to raise America’s minimum wage above the poverty level.

“Another Widening Gap: The Haves vs. the Have-Mores,” The New York Times, November 16, 2014.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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