Economic Woes of the Nearly Rich


Liberals like to complain that the GOP tax cuts and economic policies have hurt working families and the poorest of our society, but we don’t often focus enough sympathy on other victims of higher gas prices and the general malaise of the economy: the nearly rich.

Abha Bhattari reports today that they are suffering as well:

Higher gasoline prices and interest rates — which raise the cost of credit-card debt — may be deterring consumers across all income groups, analysts said, but it’s the middle class and the “nearly rich” — those worth between $1 million and $5 million — who are cutting back on luxury goods and services.

“Instead of buying the $25,000 watch, they’re buying the $10,000 watch,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute.

“When you pay $3 for a gallon of gas, even if you have a lot of money, you suddenly say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I just filled my tank of gas and I got rid of 40 bucks. That’s incredible. That’s indecent,'” said Kurt Barnard, president of Barnard’s Retail Consulting Group.

“Those are things that precipitate the desire to hold on to your money and to go about spending it judiciously.”

I feel for them.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • The worst tragedy of all, and it wasn’t even mentioned here, are all the 2007 hummers that will be ordered without the premium chrome package! Oh the humanities!

    Seriosly though. the worst tragedy is that there is an entity called ‘The Luxury Institute’.

  • I can just imagine the chafing from those $10,000 watches. It must be almost unbearable–far worse than, say, going without healthcare or not being able to feed your family.

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