The Federal Reserve Crunches Numbers on the McCallisters From ‘Home Alone’
According to the Federal Reserve, the top 1 percent of households in America own more than 12 times the wealth of the bottom 50 percent. Also according to the Federal Reserve, the famous McCallister home that once served as Omaha Beach to aspiring wealth liberators Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern belongs in that top percentile. Anyone who has ever seen the class-struggle classic Home Alone knows that the McCallisters are comfortably among the bourgeoisie — between the Parisian vacation, the massive Georgian Colonial they call home and the kids’ open contempt toward their manual-laboring neighbor, the family flaunted their affluence with all the wanton carelessness they brought to a head count on the way to the airport. Why wouldn’t the Wet “Bandits” target the McCallisters for some surprise wealth redistribution?
In an article titled, “Just How Rich Were the McCallisters in ‘Home Alone’?” The New York Times enlisted the services of some distinguished economists to assess the McCallisters’ income level, and they came to the obvious conclusion that the family belongs in the highest tax bracket. According to Max Gillet, Cindy Hull and Thomas Walstrum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the McCallisters would have to have an annual income of at least $665,000 to afford their estimated $2.4 million home. Even with all that capital, Kevin still felt entitled to pull what little wealth the lower class had straight from their teeth.
Those above figures represent what the economists featured in the article estimate the income and home value would be for residents in a similar house in Winnetka, Illinois, the wealthy suburb where the actual home used in Home Alone still stands. The dollar amounts are adjusted to what the house would be worth in 2022, and the calculations were made based on the assumption that the family would spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
As for how Peter and Kate McCallister amassed their wealth, neither Home Alone nor Home Alone 2 establish the couple’s occupations, but in the films’ novelizations, author Todd Strasser corroborated the fan theory that Kate was a fashion designer based on the house’s unusual number of spare mannequins with which an abandoned child could simulate a lively party. “I don’t know how much the McCallisters made,” Strasser told The Times, “But it sure did a lot for my bank account.”
Something tells me that, if Kevin knew that his rampage would one day put money in the pocket of a working person, he wouldn’t have asked Santa Claus for his family back — he’d wish for licensing rights.