So I was on Alexa checking out the movers and shakers list. That’s where I discovered the Global Rich List and found that I’m the 377,126,437th richest person in the world! In a world where there are roughly 6 billion people, that’s not too shabby.
Now, I am grateful everyday of my life that I have a roof over my head and food on the table, so don’t get too riled up as I state the following…
The rich list fails to calculate in cost of living factors. I understand that I am substantially better off than most of the rest of the world. However, in most parts of the world, you can live off the land. Many tribes are raised in an atmosphere that teaches them to do so. Many people live without any concept of money (their “money” consists of trading labor, skills, etc. as opposed to using those labors and skills in exchange for a number in a bank account, which can then be traded for “things”).
It would be impossible, for example, for me to make $1.50 a day (as may happen in many sweatshops or farms around the globe) and support my family. It would be equally impossible for me to simply pick a plot of land and hand build me a home. The reasons are two fold:
- In America, land costs money
- I haven’t the foggiest idea how to build a house
Now, that being said, if you were to take cost of living into account, I still am substantially “richer” than most of the rest of the world… perhaps I’m still in the top 20%. I have a car, a house without a dirt floor, clean running water, heat to keep the house warm in the winter (without having to go out and chop wood) and and air conditioner to keep the house cool in the summer. I work in a nice office rather than a muddy field. And you know, I really am grateful for everything that I have.
And, just for fun, I punched in the annual income for a person working full-time at minimum wage ($5.15 per hour):
If you’re making minimum wage, you’re not too bad off! Hopefully you’re single and without kids, otherwise that would be tough.
In my last job, I made $8/hour. I am married with three kids, and my wife does not work. My rent was/is $750/mo. + gas and electricity, and I still donated about 15% of my gross income to charity every month. If you’re single and making minimum wage, you’re actually much better off than I was. Sure, you’d have to live with room mates (it’s pretty easy to get into a place for $250/mo. with roomies here in Utah), but it’s better than trying to raise a family of 5 on just 54% more (which is what $8/hr would be).
Anyway, I’m totally rambling off here. Have fun playing with the Rich List!