Thursday, January 5, 2012

US Top 1% Versus World Top 1%

It's rarely mentioned how wealthy the US is.  We like to think we're similar to everyone else, but that ignores some numeric realities.  For example, the reality of what being in the top 1% means.

To be in the top 1% in the US, in 2011, you needed to earn $368,238.

However, to be in the top 1% in the world, in 2011 you needed to earn $34,000 after taxes. That's about $50,000, (not counting benefits)

The point being that about 50% of the people in the top 1% in the world live in the US.  If we make the numbers a little more specific, there are about 60 million people in the world in the top 1%.  About 29 million of those people live in the US.

What this points up is where the middle class really lives (Hint, it's definitely in the US).  As globalization and technology change the global playing field, the middle class in the US will almost certainly decline.  Everyone cannot be in the top 1%.

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