By many measures, Americans should be feeling flush.
The Federal Reserve reports that total household wealth in America hit an all-time high in the first quarter, to $70.4 trillion. That's even higher than $66.8 trillion in the roaring days of 2007—and nearly 50 percent higher than the down-and-out recession trough of $54.1 trillion in 2009.
The stock market, despite some recent slippage, is still close to all-time highs, filling up pension plans and stock-based pay. And housing prices are up double digits in many part of the country, adding trillions of dollars to the wealth of home-owning Americans.
Hooray, we're rich again!
Part of the reason Americans aren't feeling all that wealth has to do with inflation and population growth. According to Moody's Analytics, that $70 trillion is still more than 10 percent below the 2007 peak when adjusted for inflation.
And that peak wealth in 2013 is spread over more Americans than in 2000.Average household wealth was $539,500 at the end of last year—37 percent below where it was in 2007, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Another reason Americans aren't feeling the wealth is the fundamental difference between income and assets. Unemployment remains stubbornly high at 7.6 percent and broader income growth remains weak. Wealth is one thing. But income—"what's in your wallet"—is another.