Monday, March 14, 2005
So it turns out that I'm quite wealthy. Not because of any recent windfall, just because I'm a middle-class citizen of a country that is really rich, compared to other countries. Think of it this way: if your annual income is $1,000, you're solidly in the top 50% of people in the world. Personally, I'm in the top 1% of wealth, with only about 40 million people richer than me worldwide (compared to about six billion who are poorer).
Go check your own position at the Global Rich List (via 3 quarks daily). The idea, of course, is to guilt you into giving more money to charity. I'm a strong believer in donating to charity, but am remarkably guilt-free about being well-off myself. (We won't get into other things I feel guilty about, like the final exam I gave to my GR class.)
Of course, maybe we could actually do something about it. Jeffrey Sachs thinks we could end extreme poverty worldwide for a mere $150 billion per year. As Daniel Drezner says, this is something we should be talking about more. (He also says that academics can be bloggers, which is good to hear. There does, however, seem to be some risk of alienating your senior colleagues.)