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New Country – Richistan July 5, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Books, Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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The Wealth Report – WSJ.com : Why Richistan? Why Now?
The wealthy weren’t just getting wealthier — they were forming their own virtual country. They were wealthier than most nations, with the top 1% controlling $17 trillion in wealth. And they were increasingly building a self-contained world, with its own health-care system (concierge doctors), travel system (private jets, destination clubs) and language. (”Who’s your household manager?”) They had created their own breakaway republic — one I called Richistan.blogs_wealth_chart.gif

As the chart over there on the right shows, never before have so many Americans become so rich so quickly. The number of millionaire households at every level ($1 million, $10 million, $100 million) has more than doubled over the past decade. And there are no signs that the wealth explosion will slow.

The real story behind all this wealth, however, isn’t in the numbers. It’s in the people, and how they’re changing the culture and character of wealth in America. Richistan is largely about a country in flux — one in which Old Money is being shoved aside by self-made entrepreneurs, philanthropy is changing from passive check-writing to “high-engagement philanthropy,” and the progressive new rich are changing the politics of wealth. Most of all, Richistan is about the entertaining way that today’s rich are making, spending, donating and living with their wealth. (Like the guy in my book who has a house staff of 105 people.)

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