I grew up in a time when a millionaire was about as a rich as a person could be. And there weren’t many millionaires. Today, millionaires are hardly wealthy. Here’s a then/now chart from an article on millionaires in Wikipedia:
Depending on how it is calculated, a million US dollars in 1900 is equivalent to 2006 US dollars of 
- $24,766,584.77 using the Consumer price index,
- $21,224,697.05 using the GDP deflator,
- $114,128,571.43 using the unskilled wage,
- $162,813,054.25 using the nominal GDP per capita,
- $641,531,874.47 using the relative share of GDP,
Thus one would need to have a little over twenty million dollars today to have the purchasing power of a US millionaire in 1900, or more than a hundred million dollars to have the same impact on the US economy.
Okay, but how many of “us” are really rich today? Here’s a look at the current division of wealth in our country from Mashable.com
But wait. How does this apply to rural communities? Well, I did a quick check of the US Census data from 2010 for St. Lawrence County and found that of the almost 42,000 households in the county, the mean annual income is about $54,000 and the median is about $43,400. Another way of looking at this data: more than half of these households (about 27,000) earn under $50,000–and about 12,000 of these households earn less than $25,000.
So, what does this mean: for our society, for our economy and political lives? This growing imbalance in the division of our national wealth…does it matter?