Income inequality

“Income inequality” is one of the catch phrases for the Democratic party (just like “Islamic terrorism” is for the Republicans).  The terms get their respective bases fired up.  ‘The 98%’ or ‘the 99%’  is another popular term.  This morning I saw something from a place called “The Other 98%”.  And I’m not getting political today.

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A few of the yachts in Sausalito.

When they speak terms like income inequality and the 99%, they’re comparing Americans.  They’re comparing the richest Americans to the rest of America.  They’re not only comparing the rich to the poorest among us, but they’re comparing the people who can afford yachts to people who can only afford four wheelers or bass boats.  In other words, the 98-99% aren’t just the people who are living in shelters or on the streets, they are also including people who make $35,000 to $100,000 a year.  Without dwelling on these numbers and losing you, let me get to my point.

If we expand our statistics to cover everyone in the world, you and I are no longer in the 98-99%, but we suddenly find ourselves in the 1-2%.  If you are reading this, you are rich by the world’s standards.  You have been educated enough that you can read.  You have an electronic device in order to be able to view my blog.  50% of the world’s population lives on $2 or less a day, most can’t read, and hardly any have electronic devices.  This past April our mission team walked paths in Haiti and listened to a mother tell of her hungry kids who had not eaten the day before.  And she was thrilled to get a small bag of rice and beans.  They have no safety net.  There is no government assistance.  People in other parts of the world literally starve to death. There is nobody starving to death in America.

The streets of Haiti

The streets of Haiti

And if the poor of the world had the ability, they would start a group called “The True 98%”, and they’d be talking about you and I as the 1 or 2 percenters.  They’d be talking about our televisions, our cars, and our vacations.  They’d be talking about Olive Garden and CiCi’s Pizza.  They’d be talking about you and me living lifestyles that they could only dream about.  And if they had the ability, they would insist that the United Nations take some of your money and my money and give it to them so they would be able to feed their children.  After all, it’s not fair that 1-2% of the people have all the wealth.

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