The Rich And The Middle Class

The top 1% richest hold almost half of the world's wealth.

Top 10 billionaires hold 13+ trillion dollars. The world has 2755 billionaires and 46+ million millionaires. India has 177 billionaires(3rd in world) and 7,59,000 millionaires(13th in world).

Just to put this into perspective, 1 million seconds is about 12 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years and 1 trillion seconds is about 32000 years.

To make it to the top 1% rich in India, one needs to have an annual income of about 55 lakhs.


The Rich And The Middle Class
The Rich And The Middle Class

Take it at national or at international level, the patterns are the same. There are huge inequalities in income and wealth. The gap between the richest and the poorest has been increasing steadily even during this pandemic. The rich who have inherited money have a head start and this little bit of slope makes up for a lot of Y-intercept. On similar lines, the poor keep getting poorer as the prices sky rocket and everything becomes unaffordable.

"Being poor now just leads to being more poor later. Can't pay to clean your teeth? Next year, pay for a root canal. Can't pay for a new mattress? Next year, pay for back surgery. Can't pay to get that lump checked out? Next year, pay for stage 3 cancer. Poverty charges interest." - Tay Zonday

It's the same patterns even in scams nationally or internationally. Smart and not necessarily ethical people realize that the system is not full proof, study the loopholes, take advantage of them to get rich. Once they are rich enough to be among the top players, they get so powerful that they can fund political parties, make the government their puppet, shape economic policies, financial regulations, real estate boom, change or pass laws to favor them. They grow so big that they get interconnected with every other rich and powerful entity. If they fall, they take down everyone with them and cause the entire market to collapse. But even when they fall, the worst that happens to them is their companies going bankrupt and average people losing money, assets and jobs. Even after such big scams destroying many peoples lives, they still get away without any criminal charges and they still walk away with all their personal wealth intact. What they do is an open secret - something which everyone including the government comes to accept as a common practice - illegal, but common. They always find a way to get away and they always get away. 

"Inside job" provides amazing research about the 2008 financial crisis and what lead to it. It's scary to see that the people who led the world to such global recession are still in power and are actively influencing our economy. Our world and our perceptions are all shaped by few rich and powerful people.

It's not just the wealth that is unequally distributed, but also the income. Wallstreet bonuses are notorious for being extremely high. Many CEOs take home high salaries even while they layoff many employees. 

Just like how stock prices can be inflated, false expert opinions and a person's worth can be inflated. The so called experts often give away false predictions and opinions in public to manipulate the market, while giving out a completely opposite opinion in private. Many people can bluff, con and manage everyone's perception about themselves so well, that they get regarded as experts.

The middle class and the poor are always at the other end of all this, stuck in bourgeois values : getting a stable job, saving up by cutting down on expenses, buying a house with all the savings and basically living life within limits set by the rich and by themselves. The annoying part is the rich claiming that money doesn't buy happiness, advising the general public to save up better and spend less. 

There really is no limit in this unfair world on how much a person can or should earn and how much wealth they can amass in their lifetime. Even with normal software jobs, there are high outlier salaries which we don't see on glassdoor. It's not just about what value you bring to the table, but also about what value do others believe you can add. 

While there are people generating income out of nothing, it would be really unfortunate if you undersell your skills and rush or hesitate to set a low value for your talent.



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