In my last “one percent” post I discussed my decision to go without a television and the impact it had on my life. This post will deal more with the income side of things, which is what we typically think of when we hear about the one percent these days. There is a good chance that you and I fall into this one percent income group even if we have modest incomes, but remember, modest is relative.
If I were to compare my income against those of my countrymen I would fall in the top 50% of income earners, that’s not a bad place to be. However, comparing myself to only those in the U.S. seems a bit limiting, after all the total U.S. population only accounts for roughly 5% of the world population. We are more than just citizens of our individual countries, we are members of the human species and as such share a great deal of things in common with one another regardless of how different our clothes may look, our tongue may sound, the darkness of our skin or the God to which we pray . If we are going to make comparisons on experience it seems only fair to open our comparisons up to a larger sample size, like the whole planet instead of just 5% of it.
So how do I stack up compared to global standards? According to economist Branko Milanovic you only need an income of $34,000 to find yourself comfortably within the one percent of global earners. Think about it, out of seven billion people on this planet there is a good chance you are in the one percent of income earners; let that settle in the back of your mind for a moment. It’s always good to gain a little perspective…
There is a cool little website called Global Rich List that I think you should check out. Play around with it and enter your net income or net wealth and watch the info graphics it provides. I found out that my monthly income could pay 156 doctors in Pakistan for an entire month; WOW! It’s easy to forget how good we have it and gratitude is a way of reminding ourselves that in the grand scheme of things our lives are not bad and we have a great amount of potential to make other lives less bad as well.
Image Courtesy of: http://www.globalrichlist.com/