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News & Politics News & Politics

Compared to the Rest of the World Americans Are All the 1%

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM
  • 79 Replies

By Courtney Blair  

Compared to the Rest of the World Americans Are All the 1%

The Occupy Wall Street protesters may claim to represent the grievances of the 99%, but we should remember that when it comes to the global income distribution, we are the 1%. Domestic inequality may be on the rise, but so too is international inequality, with similar inherent power imbalances that benefit the wealthiest.

We are technically not all the 1%. United Nations researchers Davies et al. calculated in 2008 that the cutoff for the wealthiest 50% of the global income distribution was $2,138; for the top 10% and 1% the cutoffs were $61,000 and $510,000, all measured in 2000 U.S. dollars. Global wealth remains concentrated in a few hands in New York, London, Shanghai, and Dubai. But as Branco Milanovic shows in The Haves and the Have-Nots, the bottom 10% of the U.S. income distribution falls in the upper 30% of the global income distribution. When considered from this perspective, the prospects of the 99% are drastically improved.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty line for an individual in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., was $10,830 in 2010. Compared to global measures of GDP per capita for 2010, an individual at the poverty line in the United States has an income in between the average for Lithuania and Seychelles, ranked 49th and 50th. This may sound less than ideal for those of us accustomed to the lifestyle and conveniences of the first world. But put differently, someone at the poverty line in the United States is in the top 14% of the global income distribution.

With more than a billion people around the world now living on less than $1 per day, the Occupy protesters are living in better conditions than many of the global poor. People brought them Thanksgiving dinner. The Occupy Philly protesters are postponing a move to a new site until they can ascertain whether they will have access to water and electricity.

The U.S. represents 4.5% of global population but nearly 30% of its total GDP. The 99% may not control the wealth that is concentrated in the United States, but we all benefit from the outsized role the U.S. plays in global economic, financial, and trade policy. So while we consider what reforms are necessary to rebalance our domestic wealth, we should be mindful of the conditions of those who are truly at the bottom of the global income distribution. Or we may soon find ourselves face to face with the true 99%.

by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 4:36 PM
3 moms liked this

Most people in this country who fall into the poverty guidelines have absolutely no idea of what poverty actually is. Most who complain won't lift a finger to change what they perceive as abject misery and a gross lack of all that they 'want' won't even bother to address their needs. I'd love to see one of these people walk 10+ miles, sans shoes, sans cell phone, sans bottled water, carry their child over blistering hot sand to a clinic. I'd love to see them eat unsalted, unflavored gruel (either rice or wheat) as their single meal for a day (with their fingers!), and smile because they ate. I'd like to see them curl up on the floor of their one room shack and share a blanket with their husband and children and be grateful they had that blanket.

Sorry, but the 'poverty' in this country is mostly hyped up myth that the liberals have used to control people, and to gain votes to keep themselves in power. After decades of voting for democrats the poor are still poor ~ and still voting democrat. I simply don't understand that sort of mindset. I don't understand begging instead of doing. I don't understand the cycle of wishing, disappointment, and wishing again.

The only thing I can figure from the whole mess is that the greatest poverty in the US is in the minds of our people. The drive, determination, ambition, hard work, etc. that made this country rise to the top has been replaced with laziness. Lazy people will always be poor. Always. The longer people allow the government to control the education in this country, the more people will not even understand their laziness, hate those who aren't (because they actually make some money), and wallow in their misery which the government keeps promising to fix.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 4:52 PM
3 moms liked this

"Poor people" in the US have bigger homes than non-poor people in other countries, and a lot of the same possessions.

Quoting Farmlady09:

Most people in this country who fall into the poverty guidelines have absolutely no idea of what poverty actually is. Most who complain won't lift a finger to change what they perceive as abject misery and a gross lack of all that they 'want' won't even bother to address their needs. I'd love to see one of these people walk 10+ miles, sans shoes, sans cell phone, sans bottled water, carry their child over blistering hot sand to a clinic. I'd love to see them eat unsalted, unflavored gruel (either rice or wheat) as their single meal for a day (with their fingers!), and smile because they ate. I'd like to see them curl up on the floor of their one room shack and share a blanket with their husband and children and be grateful they had that blanket.

Sorry, but the 'poverty' in this country is mostly hyped up myth that the liberals have used to control people, and to gain votes to keep themselves in power. After decades of voting for democrats the poor are still poor ~ and still voting democrat. I simply don't understand that sort of mindset. I don't understand begging instead of doing. I don't understand the cycle of wishing, disappointment, and wishing again.

The only thing I can figure from the whole mess is that the greatest poverty in the US is in the minds of our people. The drive, determination, ambition, hard work, etc. that made this country rise to the top has been replaced with laziness. Lazy people will always be poor. Always. The longer people allow the government to control the education in this country, the more people will not even understand their laziness, hate those who aren't (because they actually make some money), and wallow in their misery which the government keeps promising to fix.


Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 5:03 PM
2 moms liked this

 Poor people in the US are going to remain poor until they learn to take care of their needs ahead of their wants. They will remain poor until they learn one of the oldest lessons which is how to be content with what you have rather than always wanting something else. Unless 'things' are replaced with 'necessities', those who are 'poor' will remain poor ~ regardless of HOW much they are given.

Quoting SallyMJ:

"Poor people" in the US have bigger homes than non-poor people in other countries, and a lot of the same possessions.

Quoting Farmlady09:

Most people in this country who fall into the poverty guidelines have absolutely no idea of what poverty actually is. Most who complain won't lift a finger to change what they perceive as abject misery and a gross lack of all that they 'want' won't even bother to address their needs. I'd love to see one of these people walk 10+ miles, sans shoes, sans cell phone, sans bottled water, carry their child over blistering hot sand to a clinic. I'd love to see them eat unsalted, unflavored gruel (either rice or wheat) as their single meal for a day (with their fingers!), and smile because they ate. I'd like to see them curl up on the floor of their one room shack and share a blanket with their husband and children and be grateful they had that blanket.

Sorry, but the 'poverty' in this country is mostly hyped up myth that the liberals have used to control people, and to gain votes to keep themselves in power. After decades of voting for democrats the poor are still poor ~ and still voting democrat. I simply don't understand that sort of mindset. I don't understand begging instead of doing. I don't understand the cycle of wishing, disappointment, and wishing again.

The only thing I can figure from the whole mess is that the greatest poverty in the US is in the minds of our people. The drive, determination, ambition, hard work, etc. that made this country rise to the top has been replaced with laziness. Lazy people will always be poor. Always. The longer people allow the government to control the education in this country, the more people will not even understand their laziness, hate those who aren't (because they actually make some money), and wallow in their misery which the government keeps promising to fix.


 

29again
by Gold Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:02 PM
2 moms liked this

WHOO-HOO!!  I'm in the top 14%!!  I'm freaking rich, I tell ya!  I'm RICH!

Of course, I'm rich, I have my own vehicle, with insurance, my own home, and everything in it!  No, I don't have a lot of $$ in the bank, I don't trust banks.  I don't have a ton of useless dust-collectors that serve no useful purpose to a person's daily life...  I have what I NEED for a fairly comfortable life, and not much more.  I have no use for more.  I can do for myself more effectively than I can buy it.  People in this country are gonna get a wake-up call to a nightmare before too long.  And it won't be just those dependent on the govt, either.

-Celestial-
by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM
Downtown dallas bridge dwellers might have something to say on that
Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:54 PM
2 moms liked this

One of the best ways to get out of and stay out of poverty is by having access to affordable, reliable birth control. It's true for the entire planet.

Yet, many on the "fiscally conservative" side of politics are anti-birth control-

Logic and reasoning fail.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:31 PM
2 moms liked this

Not arguing with you - If it's that important, they surely can pay for that before they buy an iPhone and a tablet, right?

So - getting back on topic - what do you think about the fact that the 99% of the US are actually the 1% of the world? 


Quoting Sisteract:

One of the best ways to get out of and stay out of poverty is by having access to affordable, reliable birth control. It's true for the entire planet.

Yet, many on the "fiscally conservative" side of politics are anti-birth control-

Logic and reasoning fail.


idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:59 PM
4 moms liked this

 Sorry but you make so many ridiculous generalizations, I don't even know where to start.

Yes.....third world poverty is a horror that most in this country will never have to experience.  That is a good thing.  That is the way it should be in a country that has the assets that the US has.  You are also ignoring the fact that there is a significant portion of the poor who truly have NOTHING.  Life can beat down the best intentioned, hardest working among us.  It isn't fair to judge through our own narrow personal life perspective.  The whole "well I did it so everyone else can too" mindset is simplistic and unfair.

Plenty of people feel entitled to stuff they didn't necessarily earn.  Like laziness, entitlement certainly isn't owned by poor folk.

Blamng the poor for being poor because they are lazy has no basis in reality.   An assumption that the wealthy are wealthy because they work harder is ludicrous.   Laziness is a human condition, not a socioeconomic one.   It crosses all races, classes, genders.....however you want to categorize people.  Some people are lazy, most work hard and some go the extra mile.  Compared to the majority of the world, our productivity and hours worked are towards the top of the list.  There is no level playing field and nothing that guarantees hard work will be able to rise one out of poverty.

Go ahead and hold onto your stereotype like so many do.  Nothing I can say will change it.  Yes....lazy people will always be impoverished, not materially but emotionally, intellectually, maybe even ethically but the people they hurt most, that they diminish most are themselves.   Frankly, more wealthy people I know fall into that category than poor because most poor people I know don't have time for this shit, they are too busy scrambling to try to keep food in their kids' bellies and a roof over their heads.

Quoting Farmlady09:

Most people in this country who fall into the poverty guidelines have absolutely no idea of what poverty actually is. Most who complain won't lift a finger to change what they perceive as abject misery and a gross lack of all that they 'want' won't even bother to address their needs. I'd love to see one of these people walk 10+ miles, sans shoes, sans cell phone, sans bottled water, carry their child over blistering hot sand to a clinic. I'd love to see them eat unsalted, unflavored gruel (either rice or wheat) as their single meal for a day (with their fingers!), and smile because they ate. I'd like to see them curl up on the floor of their one room shack and share a blanket with their husband and children and be grateful they had that blanket.

Sorry, but the 'poverty' in this country is mostly hyped up myth that the liberals have used to control people, and to gain votes to keep themselves in power. After decades of voting for democrats the poor are still poor ~ and still voting democrat. I simply don't understand that sort of mindset. I don't understand begging instead of doing. I don't understand the cycle of wishing, disappointment, and wishing again.

The only thing I can figure from the whole mess is that the greatest poverty in the US is in the minds of our people. The drive, determination, ambition, hard work, etc. that made this country rise to the top has been replaced with laziness. Lazy people will always be poor. Always. The longer people allow the government to control the education in this country, the more people will not even understand their laziness, hate those who aren't (because they actually make some money), and wallow in their misery which the government keeps promising to fix.

 

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 8:07 PM
2 moms liked this

I don't know what OP you read to write your comment, but it wasn't not this one.

It is amazing what the "poor" of America have. Other people would call them "rich." It depends on your perspective.

Who is blaming the poor for doing what they can? No one.

The whole point is that what we in the US call "poor" would be called "rich" in the rest of the world. The "99%" here are really the "1%" in the world.

Open your eyes. Look down from the skies and see. And be thankful for what you have.

Not at all saying we shouldn't help people worse off than ourselves. But look at how well off we really are in comparison. Since when we say we are the 99% vs. 1%, we are comparing ourselves with others... the source of envy... which goes against one of the Ten Commandments, and is the source of a whole lot of trouble.

Quoting idunno1234:

 Sorry but you make so many ridiculous generalizations, I don't even know where to start.

Yes.....third world poverty is a horror that most in this country will never have to experience.  That is a good thing.  That is the way it should be in a country that has the assets that the US has.  You are also ignoring the fact that there is a significant portion of the poor who truly have NOTHING.  Life can beat down the best intentioned, hardest working among us.  It isn't fair to judge through our own narrow personal life perspective.  The whole "well I did it so everyone else can too" mindset is simplistic and unfair.

Plenty of people feel entitled to stuff they didn't necessarily earn.  Like laziness, entitlement certainly isn't owned by poor folk.

Blamng the poor for being poor because they are lazy has no basis in reality.   An assumption that the wealthy are wealthy because they work harder is ludicrous.   Laziness is a human condition, not a socioeconomic one.   It crosses all races, classes, genders.....however you want to categorize people.  Some people are lazy, most work hard and some go the extra mile.  Compared to the majority of the world, our productivity and hours worked are towards the top of the list.  There is no level playing field and nothing that guarantees hard work will be able to rise one out of poverty.

Go ahead and hold onto your stereotype like so many do.  Nothing I can say will change it.  Yes....lazy people will always be impoverished, not materially but emotionally, intellectually, maybe even ethically but the people they hurt most, that they diminish most are themselves.   Frankly, more wealthy people I know fall into that category than poor because most poor people I know don't have time for this shit, they are too busy scrambling to try to keep food in their kids' bellies and a roof over their heads.

Quoting Farmlady09:

Most people in this country who fall into the poverty guidelines have absolutely no idea of what poverty actually is. Most who complain won't lift a finger to change what they perceive as abject misery and a gross lack of all that they 'want' won't even bother to address their needs. I'd love to see one of these people walk 10+ miles, sans shoes, sans cell phone, sans bottled water, carry their child over blistering hot sand to a clinic. I'd love to see them eat unsalted, unflavored gruel (either rice or wheat) as their single meal for a day (with their fingers!), and smile because they ate. I'd like to see them curl up on the floor of their one room shack and share a blanket with their husband and children and be grateful they had that blanket.

Sorry, but the 'poverty' in this country is mostly hyped up myth that the liberals have used to control people, and to gain votes to keep themselves in power. After decades of voting for democrats the poor are still poor ~ and still voting democrat. I simply don't understand that sort of mindset. I don't understand begging instead of doing. I don't understand the cycle of wishing, disappointment, and wishing again.

The only thing I can figure from the whole mess is that the greatest poverty in the US is in the minds of our people. The drive, determination, ambition, hard work, etc. that made this country rise to the top has been replaced with laziness. Lazy people will always be poor. Always. The longer people allow the government to control the education in this country, the more people will not even understand their laziness, hate those who aren't (because they actually make some money), and wallow in their misery which the government keeps promising to fix.



Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Jan. 14, 2014 at 8:30 PM

And???

The few who post here 24/7 are the ones infatuated with poor envy.

My daughter lives in a 2nd tier country,  and I visit often, so I have a different perspective than others. Of course many here have much by comparison...but let's not be unrealistic either. You have to compare red apple to red apple on each and every parameter to derive 100% accurate data. It's just not possible. I know really, really poor people who have cell phones and computers- that they have to go to an Internet cafe to use because they have only 1 electrical outlet (and no running water or indoor plumbing) in their home.


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