[ti:The Wealth Effect: Big Spending Draws Attention as Poor Struggle] [by:蜗蜗牛小游戏网 www.liandama.cn] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问www.liandama.cn [00:00.01]Former Pink Floyd musician David Gilmour sold his guitar collection last month for $21.5 million at an auction to raise money for needy organizations. [00:16.95]The collection included his well-known "Black Strat" Fender Stratocaster. [00:25.84]It was sold for nearly $4 million to the owner of a U.S. National Football League team. [00:36.29]The sale set a musical instrument record. [00:40.98]It came just a few weeks after the company Sotheby's sold "Meules," a painting by Claude Monet, [00:50.24]for $110 million: a record price for an Impressionist painting. [00:58.51]And it is not just instruments and paintings that are being bought by rich people around the world. [01:08.63]The longest U.S. economic expansion in history has brought news of big spending. [01:16.90]It also has raised concerns about the distance between the rich and everyone else. [01:24.59]For some people, the high price of some goods is a sign of too much wealth. [01:32.20]The bank UBS says the number of billionaires in the United States has increased from 267 in 2008 to 607 in 2018. [01:51.40]"The rich have gotten richer and they've gotten richer faster," said John Mathews. [01:58.53]He is the head of Private Wealth Management and Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management. [02:08.70]But there are signs of problems at lower-income levels. [02:14.53]Information from the U.S. central bank suggests that, by 2016, the richest 20 percent of Americans held 88 percent of the country's wealth. [02:30.18]The federal government says that more than 39 million people need to use food assistance programs. [02:39.38]That is not as many as the high of over 47 million in 2013. [02:47.34]But still, it is up 40 percent from 2008. [02:53.68]At the same time, the country's population has only grown about eight percent. [03:00.95]The U.S. economy has expanded a record-setting 121 months. [03:08.91]That means the economy has been growing continuously for over ten years. [03:15.95]And it has been more than 10 years since the financial crisis of 2007-2008. [03:25.63]At that time, some people worried about the future of the financial system and even of capitalism. [03:34.83]As a result, the U.S. government moved quickly to calm markets and lower interest rates after the U.S. housing market collapsed. [03:46.44]But many people are concerned that efforts at that time did little to deal with income and wealth inequality. [03:56.93]Now some worry that high costs and overspending could lead to another kind of financial crisis. [04:06.22]The term, the wealth effect, is sometimes used to describe how people spend more freely when they have a lot of money. [04:17.27]The examples of higher prices or values are big and small. [04:24.24]The cost of a dinner at the French Laundry, a popular California restaurant, is up 35% to $325 per person. [04:39.40]The U.S. stock market has gone up more than 200 percent in the last 10 years. [04:47.76]Investor Ken Griffin set a record in January when he bought a home for $238 million near New York's Central Park. [05:02.53]The website StreetEasy.com says rents in New York have risen two times faster than pay from 2010-2017. [05:16.83]This can make it hard for lower-income people to find a place to live. [05:23.70]U.S. home prices are higher than they were during the financial crisis. [05:29.71]The group, Coalition for the Homeless, says the number of people sleeping in shelters is 70% higher than it was 10 years ago. [05:41.88]"The housing opportunity for them is not getting any better," said Carolyn Valli. [05:49.42]She is CEO at Central Berkshire Habitat For Humanity, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. [05:58.90]The organization builds houses for the poor. [06:03.36]She said high healthcare costs and a lack of large employers mean fewer jobs in some areas. [06:13.32]Food and housing costs remain high. [06:18.03]Some economic policymakers worry that the gains made by low-income people in the last 10 years will be lost. [06:28.78]Employment, however, remains strong. [06:32.57]The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the most recent unemployment rate at 3.6 percent for May. [06:42.06]That is one of the lowest rates of unemployment in U.S. history. [06:47.80]Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said recently: "Many people who in the past struggled to stay in the workforce are now getting an opportunity." [07:00.76]He added it was important to keep the economic expansion going. [07:07.58]I'm Susan Shand. 更多听力请访问www.liandama.cn