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Being at the bottom of that top 10% will get you a fairly nice house in a fairly nice neighborhood, -- good schools, no violent crime, maybe even an actual yard if you're in a city, etc

I think it's very common for people in developed countries to fail to realize exactly how rich that lifestyle you describe is, compared to the vast majority of humankind.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:13:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't remember where I saw it (probably someone here will), but there was a tool someone once posted where you put in your yearly salary, and you got back at what percentile you are in the world's wealth. As I recall, most all (if not all) of us here at ET fall in the top 99 percentile...which was prety shocking to me, as I have only been able to work part time the last 2.5 years. So "poor" in the West, is fairly well off in much of the East and South...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:18:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that shouldn't be shocking.  We've had quite a head start, after all.  Now the folks in South and East Asia are starting to catch up.  It's similar to Europe's sprint back in line with the US after the devastation of WWII, except that, in our day, the process will be slower (far more people, less initial human capital).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:25:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The phrase "We've had quite a head start, after all" bears deconstructing.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:38:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:44:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's "we"? When did the "start" happen? Where does the "head start" come from?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We" being the industrialized -- "developed" is probably a better description given the increasingly-post-industrial nature of our economies these days -- countries.  The start begins with the industrial revolution, meaning that Britain, for example, had a few hundred years' head start on China in development.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what happened before the industrial revolution?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:15:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was no economic history before that?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:18:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but we know what economic history was before that.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:21:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that has no influence on the "head start".

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:23:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Riches begin with theft. About 5000 years ago it started.
by bil on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 12:55:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the modern times, I would bet on the Renaissance with the "free" money of South America...!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 05:03:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not exactly a win-lose zero-sum game, but until we stop spending insanely on armaments and troop support and SUVs and plastotrash, we'll be zero sum on wages and living standards.

Don't worry about yourself. If you have access to a computer, either yours or a rental, you'll come out OK, so it's all right to fight for equality.

Every Chines and Indian isn't going to have a Mercedes, or even a Daihatsu, but transit will be better, basic food affordable, water drinkable, doctors accessible, and the Internet universal. Travel will be slow and expensive, housing basic, clothing simple.

No big problems. No need for military service, except in UN peacekeeping forces.

And so on. I figure a real income worldwide at about five to eight thousand Euros, family of four, with universal free basic health care, housing, internet, and so on.

I think it can work. Carbon consumption and pollution way down.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably almost everyone in the US has an income that is significant from a global perspective. That doesn't stop real third world poverty from affecting the US. The comparison is flawed at some level.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:29:33 AM EST
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Oh, no doubt about it.  But you could say the same thing about people earning $30k/year.  A person in that income bracket is more likely than not to own his/her own home (think about 55-60% of people at that level typically do in the states), own a car, have a computer with the internet, etc -- almost infinitely wealthier than the working-class guy in China.  I'm just trying to say that we tend to, I think, overestimate what being in the top 10% means at times.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:21:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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