I read a really interesting article today on Yahoo. It is titled “Six Waltons Have More Wealth Than The Bottom 30% of Americans”. You can find the full article here.
Naturally (if you aren’t one of the 6 Waltons) the headline elicits a response from most people of something like “that is so unfair, how can just 6 people have more money than 75 million people! (Assuming the population of the US is 250 million).
If I then asked you the question “if someone had a net worth higher than the bottom 25% of all Americans combined, would you consider them wealthy?”, how do you think you would answer? Really I think it is a no-brainer – I’m pretty sure that just about everyone would say ‘hell yeah!’
Well guess what, according to the article 25% of all Americans have more debts than they have assets. That is, they have a negative net worth. So if you just had $5 in your pocket but no debts, then you have a higher net worth than the bottom 25% of all Americans combined. If that is you, do you feel wealthy? Ha, bet you don’t. So when the article states that the 6 Waltons have more wealth than the bottom 30% of all Americans, then it doesn’t look so amazing right?
Related to the discussion of wealth, recently I’ve also seen a couple of things regarding the bigger picture, that of what type of system is suitable for humanity and how do we get there? I ask that question as I always thought that the current system is really not ideal (i.e. we have so many resources yet so many people are living unhappy), and I read a study that confirmed that actually most people agree. I guess it is also related to the current situation with the occupy Wall Street movement. You can read about the study at this blog, now I haven’t been able to verify that the study was actually done so it could be bogus, but assuming it is correct basically the results were that a bunch of Americans were shown different pie charts showing distribution of wealth, and overwhelmingly everyone went for the “socialist” system. Intrinsically people believe in fairness.
I also saw a really interesting short video about our education system, and how it is extremely irrelevant for today’s society. I never knew that our current system of public education was invented way back about 1850. If you get a chance I highly recommend watching it. You can see it here.