RE: Prosperity

From: Glenn Morton (glennmorton@entouch.net)
Date: Mon Jun 30 2003 - 21:17:58 EDT


BlankOne can play this game endlessly. Having worked China, the UK, and
having spent a fair amount of time in the norther deserts of Mexico doing
geological work, I have seen lifestyles from a variety of culture, rather
close up. My observation is that even the poor in the US are relatively
prosperous by world standards. In Scotland, the median income is 400 pounds
per week (~`$640/week. The Scottish Executive site says:

"The general income distribution in Great Britain is heavily skewed towards
lower incomes with four fifths of people having household incomes of less
than 400 per week" http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/ses2002/ses2-29.asp

Eyeballing the US median household income it appears to be around $60,000/
annum or $1150/wk. Thus, our families at median income are twice as rich
(with more buying power) than those similarly situated in the UK. Why do I
say they have more buying power? Because anything you buy over there costs
1 pound vs $1 over here. Thus, costs are around 50% higher on half the
income. The poor over there can't drive because of the high price of cars,
the high price of getting a license and the very high price ($4.50/gallon)
of petrol. During 80 mph blizzards in the winter you would see these people
WALKING or biking to work on slippery streets. Never the less, those people
seem to have relatively happy lives, they work to live and we live to work.
They have fewer things than the average American and most Americans would
turn their noses up at their old housing (I lived in a 112 year old house
and loved it.
I had fewer things, while I lived there and didn't really miss those
convenience items I lacked. We had to go to the grocery store more often
because the refrigerators were smaller.

In China
"In China average urban household income in 2001 is estimated at US$2,657,
whereas for India it is estimated at US$2,847 (although the median values
are significantly different with China at US$2,430 and India at US$1,005)."
http://www.marketnewzealand.com/home/index/0,1455,SectionID%253D4558%2526Con
tentID%253D4503,00.html

should our poor give away 50% of their income? One simply can't use the
relative view of those richer than me should give away 50% and those poorer
don't have to. There are parts of the world where even the Chinese appear
rich.

In the northern deserts of Mexico, I simply don't know how those people
make it.

 -----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]On
Behalf Of Debbie Mann
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 12:13 PM
To: Asa
Subject: Prosperity

  Those of you who condemn prosperity - just how prosperous are you? I see
professors and researchers. Personally, I consider prosperity to be having
all of ones needs and some of ones wants met. In this country, I would
consider an income in the mid to high five figures to be prosperous - which
is where I would suppose most of you are. Do you condemn your own way of
life? Do you give away half of your income?

  Debbie Mann, PE
  Debbie Mann Consulting
  (765)477-1776



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