We are the 1 Percent
Recently I was made aware of a video that cleverly illustrates the distribution of wealth in America. You can watch it below.
If you are unable to see the video, you can click here to watch it at YouTube.
We are the 99 Percent, Right?
The main point of the video is to graphically show you what it means for the top 1% of people in the United States to possess most of the wealth. The information is rather startling.
It is a video about economic and social disparity. In fact, it tells us that the top 1% have more wealth than the bottom 90% combined. It is a video to help us pause and reconsider our priorities in America.
And of course the premise is that most of us are not the top 1%. Most of the wealth is not possessed by us. The rest of us are the 99%. And in case you didn’t know, this is where the term “We are the 99 percent” comes from.
I wouldn’t, and can’t, argue with what the video is pointing out. Within our own country there is disparity. Some of our problems could improve if this were to change.
When faced with these statistics, it is hard not to ask, why do the top 1% need so much? What do they do with it? Why don’t they give more? Why don’t they reach out more?
But the video leaves one important bit of information out.
We are the 1 Percent
Comparison can be a dangerous thing because how you feel depends on what you are comparing yourself to. The video compares us to each other. And as we look around, we see many who have so much more. And it doesn’t feel fair. It doesn’t seem right.
But what happens if we compared ourselves not to other Americans, but to the entire world?
Go to globalrishlist.com and enter your annual income into their calculator. Before you do, I’ll let you know that if you make more than $32,000 a year, then you are one of the 1% incomes earners in the world. And of course that means 99% of people in the world make less money than you.
That’s all it takes to be the 1 percent. I know $32,000 a year doesn’t sound like much, but to the other 6.9 billion people in the world, it sounds like a fortune. It sounds like riches. It sounds unbelievable.
Sure, if we compare ourselves to other Americans, we are the 99 percent. And that’s an easy number for us to hide behind.
But if we compare ourselves to most people in the world, we are filthy stinking rich.
And I bet these others, if they saw a video showing how much we have, they would start asking the same questions. Why do the top 1% need so much? What do they do with it? Why don’t they give more? Why don’t they reach out more?
What Would a Love Distribution Chart Look Like?
Another important issue the video doesn’t tell you is that life isn’t about money.
Yes, money is very important. It makes the world go round. We need it. Money is how we eat. Money is how we pay for healthcare. Money is how we buy clothes. It’s how things get done.
But most of us are stingy with something that is even more important to share than money. Most of us hold back our love.
We hold back when we could do more. We give expecting something in return. Too often, instead of giving, we take. We keep our love to ourselves.
Perhaps if we were to become more charitable with our love, we wouldn’t have to be talking so much about what we do with our money.
What is your take on the video? Do you consider yourself the 99 percent or the 1 percent?
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