John A. Weeks III
It would be just as interesting to figure the cost of government injoetaxpayer said:This may be going off topic, forgive me, but to this point, there is a
web site http://www.globalrichlist.com/ which tells you where you stand
on a worldwide scale. $48000 is median in the US, right? On a world
scale it's the top 1%. Half the world's population lives on less than
$850/yr. This may not be relevant to how we plan our finances here, but
it does offer one an interesting perspective.
each of these places, and the cost to wake up in the morning. For
example, if I went down to city hall and proped up two sheets of
plywood and tied a sheet of corrugated steel to the top to build a
typical 3rd world house, I'd be arrested in short order and hauled
off to jail. Dittos if I went to use the gutter as a bathroom.
Just to wake up in the morning, in the US, I have to have running
water, hot water, electricity to make the water, I have to pay a
sewer connection fee, pay for expensive plumbing, I have to have
walls and roofs that meet exoitc building codes, and I have to
pay taxes on each of these items, plus pay a general property
tax just for occupying a spot on the planet. It probably costs
me $750 a month just to wake up, and kick in another $750 because
I choose to live in a nice house.
Then there is food. I live in a condo, so no garden, and I live
in a city where farm animals are not allowed. It isn't legal to
collect firewood, and there is no cattle dung within walking
distance. That forces me to buy corporate food, and use electric
appliances to heat it up. Yet more costs, and more taxes on the
power, plus I have to pay to have the trash hauled away.
There is a river between my city and where I work. All the
bridges are freeway bridges and do not allow people to walk
or use scooters. Public transit mostly goes to the downtowns,
and goes nowhere near the industrial district where I work.
As a result, if I want that income, I have to have a car, pay
taxes on the car, buy fuel, pay all kinds of fuel taxes,
license fees, and more environmental fees on the repairs.
When I do get my pay check, more than 50% is deducted for taxes,
medicare, welfare, social security, union dues, and all kinds
of silly fees. I max out my retirement, so what starts as a
nice paycheck ends up being a drib or a drab of money.
Bottom line after all this rambling is that comparing median
incomes is bogus. Net profit is what counts. If I spend all
my money on modern living, and put nothing away, I am far worse
off than a 3rd world goat hearder who lives a semi-nomadic life,
but is able to feed their family and increase the size of their
heard by a few goats each year. And if our goat hearder gets
health care as a human right, and I cannot afford health coverage,
then tell me who is better off in the long run?
John A. Weeks III 612-720-2854 (e-mail address removed)
Newave Communications http://www.johnweeks.com
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