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Why Do We Feel So Poor?

A few Weeks back I wrote “You are Rich!” because according to the data presented at Global Rich List, you are likely in the top 99% of the world’s annual income. Now comes the question, why do we feel so poor? One of the anecdotes in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book “The Black Swan“, offers the story of a man making a good living, $250K+, who buys a house in a nice neighborhood, as large a house as he can afford on this income. Much to his chagrin, he quickly realizes that his neighbors, who have lived there a while, make more money than he does, and have a lesser mortgage. They own boats he cannot afford and keep their wives in clothes and jewelry he cannot afford. In the US, his income puts him in the top 1.5% of wage earners, but he has managed to find himself in such a surrounding that his wife is embarrassed that he is a failure.
For others, the Joneses next door are not richer, but are living off credit, and are as they say ranchers who are “all hat and no cattle.” I won’t presume to offer any moral to this observation, but to leave it as one of my random thoughts. Enjoy the weekend.

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