For First Time, Most Members of Congress Are Millionaires


#1

268 of the 534 current members had a net worth of at least $1 million in 2012, up from 257 members (48%) the previous year. It’s the first time in history that millionaires are in the majority.Newser


#2

What I’d like to also know is how many of them were millionaries before they got elected.

I’ve read that just their investment portfolios suddenly start doing oddly well once they get in office.


#3

The United Oligarchy of America


#4

At least Congress is making out OK.:rolleyes:


#5

I assure you, all of the DC Metro area is doing fantastic.

They really don’t care about the rest of you guys.


#6

Frankly, I’m thunderstruck the number is that low. I don’t live in a particularly wealthy part of the country, but millionaires are as thick as fleas. A millionaire nowadays isn’t a particularly wealthy person.


#7

I’ve heard it stated that why would anyone want to spend millions for a job that pays $100K


#8

Not a big surprise, seeing as members of the Congress tend to come from highly successful, educated positions. When they’re doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and decorated veterans it isn’t a huge surprise.


#9

Because they’re spending someone else’s millions? Fame? Power?


#10

Legalized insider trading, graft, and access to throwing around billions (that you can take advantage of yourself), plus access to a further network for all that and it makes it worth the investment.


#11

When one realizes how much taxpayer money it takes to induce a person or entity to contribute a much smaller sum to someone’s political campaign, one is tempted to think it would be cheaper if directly stealing from the treasury was legalized.


#12

The Congressional check kiting scandal was basically that.


#13

Mainly because it is not their own money that they are spending.


#14

So it must be true that they spend most of their time in fundraising.


#15

“Democrats, with a median net worth of $1.04 million, are richer than Republicans, at $1 million.” - From the OP article


#16

Well, he isn’t particularly a poor one either. How thick are the poor in your area?


#17

It doesn’t matter whether the Congressperson is Republican or Democrat or an Independent. When a great number of the people who make the laws of a society are wealthier and more powerful than the majority of the people, then that society is in danger. One need only look at the history of Central and South America to see what happens to society when the poor have no voice.


#18

The median net worth for the US is only around $60,000 -almost 20 times less than congress.


#19

Depends on what you mean by “poor”, and depends on where, exactly. Lots of people who many would classify as “poor” by a strictly income standard, live pretty well, for all kinds of reasons; primarily relating to their thrift, ready availability of employment, low cost of living, and self-sufficiency. Taking that into consideration, very few are truly “poor”.

On the other hand, there are pockets where conditions are like those in “Winter’s Bone” (which was set in this part of the country) in which criminality, drugs and dependency have taken their toll. Even so, the worst of it doesn’t compare with urban slums.

But no matter where you live, I think the number of millionaires in any locale would be surprisingly higher than the expectations of most. The million dollars of today is nowhere near what a million dollars was when i was a kid. But one has to realize that the assets of most millionaires are in their homes, businesses or farms. That million isn’t sitting in some bank somewhere, it’s in land, facilities, equipment, value of a business, etc.

But that isn’t totally so. The ones with a million in liquid assets are usually those who made a middle class living for years and years, lived below their means the whole time, and saved and invested the difference. One can almost not fail to become a millionaire by the time one is old if one does that. I’ll admit, though, that around here people don’t have to spend up to a standard to live in a decent neighborhood or live up to social expectations.

Finally, I’ll add this. A lot of it is modestly intergenerational, which is more possible where there is a reasonable possibility of gaining “sweat equity” and people stay put. If, say, one’s grandfather had forty acres free and clear, and one’s parents added another hundred to it, it’s not terribly difficult for the individual to acquire more land, cattle, etc. But he has to work at it and stick around to do it. If every generation moves off, the assets get sold early, the money gets spent, and everybody starts over. Almost everybody who lives here is from here, and his family has been here a long time. We tend to think of “inherited wealth” in terms of large fortunes, but a lot of people inherit smallish assets on which they can build if they are determined to do that.

Most asset value is actually created by a reasonable degree of effort combined with the passage of time.


#20

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