Wealth isn't a finite element made to be shared. Wealth is created and that is what Americans were good at. Did Bill Gates enrich the world or did he steal from it. Same for the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, and many more.<quoted text>
Huh? That is your take-away arent you some sort of engineer? No wait, you must be a rightwing-economist-hack ;-/
Think of the American economy as a large apartment block. A century ago or even 30 years ago it was the object of envy. But in the last generation its character has started to change. The penthouses at the top keep getting larger and more luxurious. The apartments in the middle are feeling more and more squeezed and a bit shabby, the basement has flooded altogether. To round it off, the only working elevator goes straight to the top. It is otherwise known as the great Middle Class Squeeze! The middle classs wealth has fallen by close to 40 percent as a result of the financial crisis, and is now at the same level as it was 20 years ago. The middle class, that great engine of the ever-expanding American economy is out of cash its all gone to the top.
While the Rich have gotten richer, the Middle Class has a far better life than Kings and Queens of 100 years ago. I don't envy the Rich. If they all went out tomorrow and bought themselves 787s so much the better for me.
We are not out of cash. As Roosevelt said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Europe is in flux, predictions of another downturn, all are contributing to the fear.
BTW--the Rich are scared too.