Sunday, October 09, 2011

Rich As Fuck


Is this true? Is the income of the bottom 99% of US citizens in the top 1% of world income? Short answer: maybe. From the World Bank, World Development Indicators dataset, in 2009 per capita US income was $45,989, compared to a world average of $8,599. Plugging this into the Global Rich List income comparison tool tell us that the average American falls into the top 1.43% of humanity, suggesting that the 99 Percent graphic’s claim is just off. However, there are a lot of problems with this comparison. For example, the average US income provided by the World Bank is given in GDP per capita. This is problematic for a few reasons. First, it includes the income of the top 1%, which we’re not interested in and in the US is high enough to significantly skew this figure. Similarly, GDP per capita is an averaged measure — while this is often the best income measure economists can get, it doesn’t account for inequality.

Any way you slice it, if you're the "average American", you're wealthy in global terms. If you're in the top 5% of Americans.. well.. you're just stinking rich.

As I like to say.. wealth is relative, and we really don't feel "rich". Even people way better off than us don't feel rich. I don't feel like I can go into a store and buy anything I want just because I might have some desire for it.

People tend to create their own problems that exist independent of wealth, and so money becomes irrelevant. Steve Jobs had a fuck-ton of money and he's still dead, and I'm still typing on the blog editor. Being alive is the most important thing.

At least until Jesus v2.0, The Rapture. Then we're all well and truly fucked.

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