The Massive Wealth Transfer That No One’s Talking About

June 21, 2022 Updated: June 21, 2022

Commentary 

While inflation and skyrocketing rents have been grabbing the headlines, there’s a bigger story that’s going on. With the poor and the middle class being forced to pay more at the grocery store, the gas pump, and to their landlords, they’re lining the pockets of the wealthy. There is a huge wealth transfer occurring right now.

While you may dismiss this as business as usual, right now that business is on steroids. Let’s take a look at what’s happening, and what you can do to safeguard your money.

One of the major ways that wealth is being transferred from the working class is in the labor market. Over the past 20 years, large U.S. companies have been outsourcing jobs at a fast pace. Roughly 4.5 percent of American jobs are outsourced every year. In 2021, when the United States created a record 6.4 million new jobs that were based domestically, it also outsourced about 300,000 jobs to other countries.

While giant corporations can save money this way, paying overseas employees far less, the net result for Americans is increased unemployment.

Outsourcing is especially common in the IT sector. The technology know-how in India and China is comparable to that of the U.S. labor pool, but it’s a lot less expensive to hire workers overseas. India is especially appealing to U.S. employers. The country has been rapidly modernizing in the digital age. The entire population of India is 1.38 billion, and 500 million of those people are online. As a nation, India is likely to remain a competitive talent pool for American companies for years to come.

Meanwhile, Americans are paying a fortune just to fill up their car to get to work. As of this writing, gas prices hit a national average of $5 per gallon and are expected to only move higher, an increase of about $3.07 from a year ago. According to Moody’s analytics, the average U.S. household is spending $160 more per month on gas than a year ago.

While the war in Ukraine has upended operations for companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell Oil, who have exited operations in Russia, they have passed their financial losses onto the customer. In fact, now would be a great time to invest in oil. Shell’s net income rose from $5.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021 to $7.3 billion in the same period of 2022. British Petroleum posted its highest quarterly profit in the first quarter of 2022 at $6.2 billion, compared to $2.6 billion a year ago.

There are many conclusions to draw from this, but what jumps out to me is that when there’s an increase in the cost of doing business, it gets passed on to the customer.

With gas prices rising, it’s expensive to go anywhere.

Meanwhile, for renters, the cost of staying home and doing nothing has also gone up. Rents have soared in pretty much every market.

Places that never would have expected a huge influx of residents, like Boise, Idaho, have seen a massive influx of new residents and rent increases. The average rent in Boise is now $2,085 per month, an increase of 33 percent year over year. In Phoenix, Arizona, it’s the same story: rents have shot up about 30 percent in the past year. If you’re a rental property owner, this is great news. If you’re renting, this is another financial pressure.

We know that wealth is being transferred from the bottom to the top of the economic ladder, so you might be wondering what you can do to ensure that you’ll be able to maintain your own solvency.

As someone who grew up working class, I can tell you that the best possible way to hold on to your money is by investing in real estate. I have been investing in real estate for over 30 years, and I started with nothing. Today I own numerous multifamily rental properties, and the beauty of real estate is that it has always acted as a strong hedge against inflation.

The way this works is that the mortgage on the property has a fixed rate, while the longer you hold your property, the more you can charge your tenants.

For many, the money for a down payment may be out of reach. However, I would urge you to get creative and find a way to make it happen, whether it’s your primary residence or a rental property. One solution that’s been popular with younger homeowners is buying a home with a friend or friends. While it may not be ideal, I believe that this wealth transfer will continue.

One of the basic principles of my friend and mentor Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” is that the rich don’t work for their money. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for millions: that they’re working hard to stand still. If you’re one of the many who are just getting by, I hope this will spur you into action.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Ken McElroy
Ken McElroy has lived and breathed real estate his entire adult life. Together with his real estate investment company, MC Companies, Ken has transacted over $1 billion in real estate. Ken is passionate about sharing his formula for financial freedom through his podcast, YouTube channel, bestselling books, and public appearances.