|Rich or Poor?|
On the North American Rich-O-Meter I am at the bottom, with 94% of people having incomes higher than my own. I am semi-retired, so my income is low, but even if I include total expenses for the year, I find that 78% of the population is still richer than I am.
I am at the bottom of the rich scale when compared to my neighbours. Some people might find this rather distressing, but I rather like it. Check out the North American Rich-O-Meter here.
If you checked your ranking, and didn't like what you saw, fear not. Another income meter may change that - the Global Rich List is certain to make you feel better. Or not. Either way, it is a pretty sobering comparison.
Using my modest annual family income, the same number that put me at the poverty level in North America, tells a very different story globally. The global rich-o-meter calculates that I am in the top 14% of global income earners, and among the richest people in the world. Calculating my position on the rich list using total annual spending puts me into the top 12% globally.
In comparison, to join the top 12% of earners in North America, I would need over 10 times the annual income. See the Global Rich List here.
So am I living in poverty, or am I rich? It is all relative, and when it comes down to it, it is my perception of my experience that determines how I feel about it. One's ranking on the rich scale has little to do with happiness, which depends on many things other than money.
Income, personal wealth, and material possessions mean very little when it comes right down to it. This lesson is taught to us over and over and over by very wealthy individuals that tragically struggle to find happiness, in spite of being able to afford virtually anything they want.
Happiness is what is truly important in the end, but there are obvious issues of inequality that threaten everyone's happiness if left unaddressed. We ignore them at our peril.
DID YOU KNOW..?
Three billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women. - from Global Rich List