A Bit of Perspective

The 1%-ers, the Evil Rich.  How much does it take, really, to become of member of the world-wide crowd of really rich folks, or how much would have to be given up to leave that group?  Jade Scipioni, of FOXBusiness, offered some information from Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2018 Global Wealth Report last week.

  • the global top 1% requires a net worth of US$871,320
  • the global top 10% requires a net worth of US$93,170
  • the global top 50% requires a net worth of US$4,210

On the other hand, the Federal Poverty Guideline income for a family of four for the US in 2018 is US$25,100, and the median household income in the US is US$62,175 as of last June (income is just one component of net worth, which also includes the value of possessions).  The median net worth in the US is in the neighborhood of US$84,500 for a middle-aged, 50-ish person.  (An aside: that middle-age for an American compares to a life expectancy—total lifetime—of an Angolan of 52 years, 51 years for a Chadian, 50 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 53 years in Mali….)

There does seem to be something to this capitalism business.  A free market is both a first and an absolutely necessary step in seeing to our least.

None of this means we shouldn’t care about our own poor, rich though they are in the world.  They live in our neck of the woods, not the world at large.  The responsibility for seeing to the least among us is ours, first—they are our neighbors—and our government’s only last.  It’s useful to keep in mind, though, that we’re not as bad or as bad off as we’re often made out to be.

The full report can be read here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *