The Federal Reserve has reported that household net worth plunged $11.2 trillion in 2008. In this Atlantic article, Rob Atkinson argues that American wealth did not decline, rather all that changed was this: The prices at which American asset owners can sell their assets fell by $11.2 trillion. But the prices that buyers have to pay for those assets also fell by $11.2 trillion. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. So let’s stop talking about wealth loss, and let’s get to work creating the kind of world we can be proud to pass on to our children.
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