Monday, October 08, 2007

How Rich Are You?


Here's a great website, especially good when you are feeling down about money (or lack of money).


See where you are on the Global Rich List...


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You know that phrase, "The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer?" According to a new University of Michigan study, it's true: Over the last 20 years, the net worth of the top two percentile of American families nearly doubled, from $1,071,000 in 1984 to $2,100,500 in 2005. But the poorest quarter of American families lost ground over the same period, with their 2005 net worth below their 1984 net worth (the poorest ten percent actually had a negative net worth--more debt than assets).


Yet USA Today just reported this year, in a top 25 trends story, that luxury is now mainstream. "Enjoying fancy perks no longer takes Bill Gates' fortune. Average Joes enjoy $4 cups of Joe at Starbucks, guzzle bottled water, feast on Godiva chocolates, drag suitcases on wheels, sit on heated car seats and let GPS systems guide them."

So what's the deal here? A tiny fraction of people are rich, but we can all afford gourmet chocolates? The real wealth gap is between all of us in the U.S., rich and poor, and the vast majority of the world. If you were an individual living at or below the poverty line, defined in the U.S. in 2006 as $10,294, you'd still be in the top 13 percent of income levels around the world. If you've ever lived in or traveled in a poor country, you know firsthand how superfluous all of our things and luxuries back home seem when you're overseas staring in the face of a child who only gets one meal a day or a single mom living in a rattrap and supporting a family on less than $5 a day. Of course we have to consider cost of living and other socioeconomic factors, but it's still a good reminder every once in awhile that, even if we're not exactly raking in the millions, we're still comparatively pretty well off. No more complaining about the rich: we are the rich.


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****And always remember, money is just *one* thing to consider when determining how rich you are. Don't forget about health, good friends, happiness, arts.


Top 5 Things that Make Me Feel Rich (in no particular order)--


1) Hot hot showers

2) Being able to buy books

3) Having friends I can call

4) A warm house with family

5) The occasional Perrier with a lemon twist

3 comments:

Karen J. Weyant said...

Hi Kelli,

Thanks for the welcome; I added your link to my page, so I hope you don't mind! Your book is on my list of poetry books I have to read, but I put myself on a poetry book budget; otherwise, I would be broke!

Karen

Valerie Loveland said...

Great links, Kelli!

poet with a day job said...

your list is a good one - very close to what mine would be! Hot showers and buying books at the top!

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