Support This Website! Shop Here!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Politics of Greed

Seen on the Web:

The "that guy has more than us" narrative is getting old. Stop adding up the wealth of the poor to "prove a point," because it's misleading. Here's why.
If you have a net worth of just $1, you have more wealth than 2,000,000,000 people COMBINED. How? Because "if you take the bottom 30% of the world’s population — the poorest 2 billion people in the world — their total aggregate net worth is not low, it’s not zero, it’s negative. To the tune of roughly half a trillion dollars. My niece, who just got her first 50 cents in pocket money, has more money than the poorest 2 billion people in the world combined."[1]
That same $1 makes you richer than 40% of Americans,[2] who combined have a net of $0. Between 20%-25% of Americans have negative net worth,[3] while the 2nd quintile's meager net worth offset the 1st's negative worth to a balance of $0.
Now consider this: of the global poorest decile (bottom 10%), Americans make up 10% of that, while less than 1% of the poorest are from China [4, Page 12, Figure 7], a country where the majority of the people could only dream of being as well off as the poorest Americans. That's right, 10% of Americans are worth less than a poor person from China! How could that be? Because while the poor in China have next to nothing, over 20% of Americans have LESS than nothing.
Why is that? Think about this: a typical 18 year old kid who is working for minimum wage at McDonald's has more wealth than a typical 27 year old doctor. Because that doctor is fresh out of medical school, with an average of $170,000 in student loans. Before his first paycheck, car payment, or rent, that doctor has a net worth of negative $170,000 [5]. Who would you rather be, a min-wage fast-food worker with $0 net worth, or a young doctor with negative net worth?
Point is, adding up the wealth of a large number of poor people for comparison is misleading. They should just come out and say it: "I'm jealous that someone else has more than me."
You know what they say about people living in glass houses. Yes, those 62 people live in really huge glass houses, but you live in one too. By you, I mean someone privileged enough to have access to a computer and/or mobile device to access Facebook. Because as you point to that 1-percenter, saying "that's excessive," 2,000,000,000 people in the world could do the same to you.

No comments: