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You Are Rich! (Congratulations!)

Sometime back, I read a blurb on Andrew Tobias’ website titled as above, I added the congratulations. The article linked to Global Rich List a site that allows you to enter your income and see where you stand, ranked against everyone else on the planet. What I found so shocking is that the median income of the world is $850. Per year. The allowance I give my 9 year old ($9/wk) is an income greater than 16.8% of the world’s population.

On the other side, you have household US income data that show median household income at $48,201, which if plugged into the Global Rich List put you in the top 99%. This is worth repeating. Half the people in this country live better than 99% of the rest of the world.

Next time I look at this data, I’ll discuss “why do we feel so poor?”


  • JAL September 25, 2007, 12:02 pm


    That’s a very thought provoking post.

    Earlier this year I went on a cruise to the Caribbean with my wife and some friends. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you already know that for the days you’re aboard the ship, it’s probably the closest you’ll ever come to living like royalty. The service and pampering by a predominantly third world staff, the plentiful amounts of delicious food, the waste, and the overall obesity of the ship’s guests, stand in stark contrast to life in the back-streets at the ports of call the ship visits.

    While on the cruise, my friend and I couldn’t help but contemplate how incredibly lucky we are to have all the opportunities we have by birthright, and how by mere chance we otherwise could have been born into a life of poverty with little possibility of escape. We actually felt guilty about participating in the lavish excesses around us on the ship, all the while knowing the circumstances where most of the crew come from (we talked to several).

    So why do we feel so poor in this country?

    Because we (as a society) are hopelessly spoiled. I won’t waste your time giving examples. One simply need look around for an endless supply.

    Compared to third world standards, we live like royalty each and every day in this country. I’m eternally grateful for it… for I know how unfair life is and how different it could have been.


  • Lillie February 17, 2010, 2:19 pm

    It is interesting that on a cruise ship you do get to have a different side of life that would make you feel like royalty; however, in stark comparison when the ship stops and you get a view of the natives, reality sinks in. On a different note, on the home front, it’s sad to see people who are living on the streets and are gradually and eventually wasting away. It only takes one visit to feed the poor and homeless to get a quick reality check. In comparison, we are rich.

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