Monday, October 24, 2011

What Does It Mean to be the 99%?

The most important fact is that $27,000 is the median income -- which means half make more, and half make less -- and that is TOTAL income, and not all the games the unions play telling us that their BEGINNING salaries are only $35,000 (those with seniority get twice as much for doing the same job) -- not to mention the $20,000+ they receive in addition for medical insurance, pensions, nonworking compensation -- to which they confuse the matter further, by pointing out that the median HOUSEHOLD income is $49,000, which means that there may be two or more workers in that household -- or that they adjust for inflation as though only themselves are subject to it -- rather than everyone equally -- which should make that consideration moot.

So once we get past all these attempts to deceive and manipulate, $27,000 is the standard of living at which most people have as much as most other people have -- despite the protests of the government workers that they deserve more than everybody else because they've sacrificed themselves by not being the richest -- and so we should pay them as much as the top 1%.

Once people have as much as most others, they can be considered to be doing quite well -- as they are in the upper 50%, and not comparing themselves to the top 1% because that is not meaningful -- to the average person, just as it would be unfair for the average student to be compared to the top 1% in IQ or student achievement, or world-class athletes for that matter. Many of the rich, or 1% in anything, did not get there only because of greed and ambition but because of exceptional circumstances beyond their own control -- such as being gifted, or born into a rich family.

But once people have the median income, what largely differentiates people, is not more money, but their individual ability to spend/invest it well, and make the most of what they have -- which requires the ability to discriminate the essential and significant.


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