Do You Have $5? You May Have More Wealth Than the Bottom 25% of Americans Combined

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.

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