If you don’t already know how your income compares globally, you can find out. From the Global Rich List:

We are obsessed with wealth. But we gauge how rich we are by looking upwards at those who have more than us. This makes us feel poor.

We wanted to do something which would help people understand, in real terms, where they stand globally. And make us realise that in fact most of us (who are able to view this web page) are in the privileged minority.

Our current individual incomes place us in the top 11% of the world. Combined, we’re in the top 2%. Click here to compare yours.

Some might object, saying this doesn’t factor in local buying power. Perhaps, but given the degree of global economic disparity, does it really matter that $50k/year goes farther in Uganda than it does in the OC? Just think of all the matoke you could buy with that!

We will have some tough choices to make in the future regarding what we define as an “appropriate” living standard, especially in a country with increasing economy disparity. We’ll face choices we haven’t yet, I wonder how we’ll respond, what factors will weigh the most. Or if we’ll just get squeezed into the same mold as most Western foreigners living outside the West – living in luxury and affluence relative to the average Zhou. We have ideals, of course. But I expect they’ll be tested more than once.

There are a zillion factors to consider. It’s so complicated if you stop to think about it, though I have this nagging suspicion that it shouldn’t be.

3 thoughts on “Rich”

  1. Joel,

    Aren’t you glad I am becoming a geek in just such areas as this post? Economists have realized the problem that $50k in the OC and Uganda are not the same. So they created an incredibly complex math problem to solve this difference which is called Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) to solve this problem. What it has shown is that while there are differences between the spending power in various countries, the richest are still much richer than the poorest.

    I think I read the other day that the top 20% of rich people make 37x more than the poorest 20%.

  2. I don’t know what it would take to give us (Westerners) a proper perspective on just how much wealth we have in relation to everyone else.

    Houston, I don’t know. First the golf, then you shave the goatee, now the math geekery. What next? Milk in your tea with digestive biscuits? (Honestly, I shouldn’t be talking. I still get surprised that there’s no long hair when I see recent pictures. Maybe I’m living in the past or something, like Uncle Rico).

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