2010: Not So Bad for the Rich or Government Executives

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Unemployment and bankruptcies broke records in 2010, but the wealthy and some government executives seemed to do quite well and aren't too worried about their fiscal future.

The president may have recently extended the Bush tax cuts for the next two years, but the average American’s pocketbook didn’t fare so well in 2010.

The national unemployment rate is higher than it’s been all millennium – averaging 9.6 percent as the year wraps up – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And bankruptcy filings are at a five-year high, according to the U.S. Courts. More than 1.5 million people filed between September 2009 and October 2010.

And speaking of bankruptcy, entire American cities reached the verge in 2010. All year long, headlines warned us that cities from Miami to New York to San Diego aren’t too big to fail.

But American millionaires and billionaires must know something that the average Joe doesn’t – because most of them now live in some of the country’s most financially troubled states. Stacy recently explained why these same states include many of the worst places you can retire. But a new survey by the aptly named Wealth-X wealth management firm shows that more than 65 percent of the United States’ ultra-high net worth individuals all live in the following 11 states…

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Texas
  4. Illinois
  5. Florida
  6. Michigan
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Ohio
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Connecticut
  11. New Jersey

But the super rich aren’t alone: Government employees don’t feel threatened by the lingering recession either, according to a recent survey by GovernmentExecutive.com.

Despite President Obama’s Nov. 29 proposal of a pay freeze for civilian workers in 2011 and 2012, the survey found that one-third of federal managers expect their salaries to increase during the next two years.

“Workers still will be eligible for certain increases despite the across-the-board freeze,” the survey of more than 1,500 federal executives revealed. “Thirty-eight percent said it is somewhat or very likely they will receive a pay boost in the next two years through promotions, quality step increases or within-grade increases.”

So, what should the average Joe take away from the fiscal failures of 2010?

If you can’t relocate to a broke state or find a job with the government, it might be time to add getting richer to your New Year’s resolutions for 2011.

Stacy Johnson

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