What if the crisis in the United States was a “wealth recession”?

Times of crisis are “generally terrible for the poor, bad for the middle class and inconvenient for the rich”advance The Wall Street Journal. But in 2023, the year of a potential recession for the US economy, “it may be that it is the most fortunate who suffer the consequences”. The major American daily newspaper even coined the neologism for the occasion “wealth” – recession for the rich.

In support of this claim, the daily newspaper Wall Street emphasizes that the period after Covid-19 has been “easier financially” for the poorest households than in the years before the pandemic, thanks to state aid first and then to “a tight labor market”. According to the US central bank, the incomes of the segment of the population with the most modest means are higher by “42% in the third quarter [2022] compared to the end of 2019 and 17% compared to the end of 2021”. While the richest saw their income fall by 7.1% compared to the end of 2021 – “a consequence of the fall in the stock market”.

23,322 euros, the median salary at Facebook

There is also the wave of layoffs in tech companies, which affects “disproportionately higher income workers”. The median salary at Meta (Facebook’s parent company) was $295,785. [279 869 euros, soit 23 322 euros par mois] in 2021, “while the typical Twitter employee earned $232,626” [220 108 euros, soit 18 342 euros par mois]. And although these privileged employees can console themselves by counting on finding a job faster, “they will still have to tighten their belts”.

Finally, labor needs fuel “wealth”. Economists, whether they agree on recession prospects or not, agree that the labor market will not “seriously hit”. Which tells The Wall Street Journal : “The poorest Americans are therefore in a better position than usual to deal with a weak economy. Not only are their finances in relatively good shape, but they are less likely to suffer severe job losses.”

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