Thursday, September 11, 2008

Myth Alert! "I am a Poor American"

I am sure there will be many who disagree with me. This assertion that I make is as unpopular as my infamous "air conditioning is a luxury... not a necessity" statement.

The "poor" in the United States are not poor. The very idea is insulting. The wealthy here who consider themselves poor are only poor relative to the even more wealthy people around them. The vast majority of the poor in this country are far richer, live better, and live longer than the majority of the people on the planet. We play games with geographical boarders in order to make us the victims. Lets look over the facts for a few moments.

The average household wealth per adult world wide is $2,200.

If you have $61,000 in household total assets (not just your wage... everything you've got), you are among the top 10% richest people on earth.

Contrast that with the average wealth in the United States: $144,000 per person. The average American has $141,800 more in treasure than most of the rest of the world. Most Americans, blinded by their sheltered lifestyle, do not understand this.

It is even more extreme than you might think: More than 50% of the world lives on less than $2 per day. That is abject poverty even among American panhandlers.

...and the "cost of living" comparison is pure sophistry. The reason why the American cost of living is so high is because we have so many luxuries that we classify as necessities. If you remove all of the things that are available to the vast majority of Americans, the cost to live in the United States drops drastically. Our life is expensive because we throw obscene amounts of money at things that we don't need.

These are just a few things to think about when working on the budget and when confronted with money trouble. Once you have visited a ghetto in a foreign country, you understand how ludicrous the idea of the American poor is. When you learn that you are among the world's filthy rich, you have no choice but to change your world view and gear down your lifestyle.

So lets set down some ground rules:

If you can afford a worldwide communication device that you can carry with you, you are rich.

If you can afford to make the air in your house whatever temperature you want, you are rich.

If you can eat whatever you want whenever you want, you are rich.

If you own a device that does all of your walking for you and allows you to travel hundreds of miles with ease, you are rich.

Sorry to burst your bubble... you are not poor.

To over 3 Billion people on earth, you are Bill Gates. Use the vast wealth that God has given you wisely. At the very least, try to remain humble, grateful, and a little more patient.

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