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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/13/19

Do You Know Your Wealth Number?

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Message Arshad M Khan

There are numbers for everything these days, and as President Trump makes clear often enough his favorite number is 1.


But then on the wealth number categories, he really would not want to be assigned a 1 -- such a low number signals poverty. He doesn't quite make a 10, but he can join his kind, like Silvio Berlusconi with similar passions, at number 9.


Yes, each one of us has been assigned a number, even the residents of Congo or Burundi, among the poorest in the world, who on average are 2. There are 1.5 billion people in their bracket in which the lowest are a negative 2 and possess a net worth of 10 cents; the highest have $100. Subsistence farmers mostly with a life of toil and hardship and a net worth that can quickly turn negative with a change of luck or the weather -- the sad losers by heritage in a world where Mr. Trump is a winner according to himself, a son of a multimillionaire.


The next category with a net worth of $1000 is the median American renter -- sound familiar to the young? Indeed college graduates are worse off when loans encumber them to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars unless they went to an elite school -- then it can be a $100,000 plus. Across the world, each country presenting its own unique problems, the category encompasses 1.7 billion people.


If you have $10,000 -- you hit category 4 and can apparently afford a new car. Comprising 1.3 billion people in the world, it includes the median American family headed by someone with no college education.


You want to go higher? Next are those with a net worth of $100,000. At number 5, these folks can afford a mortgage. Isn't that just great ... now they are owned by the bank. And if they happen to buy a house at the crest of a real estate boom, they will soon have a mortgage larger than the worth of the house. Oops! It's back down to minus 2. Just like the board game 'Snakes and Ladders', you just landed on a a snake head. There are 436 million people in category 5, and excluding children, we have now covered almost 5 billion people, that is almost (but not quite) everyone.


Category 6 is one million plus dollars, including Boris Johnson of the UK. It consists of 40 million people and generally the worst snobs. As Karl Marx sat brooding in the British Museum Library, the bourgeoisie were the focus of his ire in a magnum opus that caused much worry for them mostly in the twentieth century. No doubt he also meant the categories 7 through 11 remaining in this compilation.


Ten million dollars is the floor for category 7 which houses 1.7 million people globally. 'Houses' is the right word for these people go in for multiple houses.


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Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
 
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