This week’s challenge is on the subject of wealth. Where I have worked recently, most of the conversations are typically about how shares are doing, which executive car they want to buy next, and… well, money, money, money. Which personally I find a little depressing as there is so much more to life than how big your bank balance is (and one main reason why I enjoy these photo/drawing challenges so much). But of course, that’s not to say I will never talk about these things – and so here we are.
Wealth (by all the references I have looked into) isn’t about how big your friend group is, or what life experiences you have gained – it is about the assets that one has. And in most cases, this is “anything of value” – i.e. stuff. This can be art, money, cars, minerals, land etc.
Reading an interesting Wikipedia article on this subject (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth) it also expanded to consider the concept of class (upper, middle and lower) – as behaviours in these groups are quite different, typically because of the amount of wealth each band might have. For Upper class, who will have the most wealth, it is about how to channel and use the wealth that one has to maintain and forge contacts that will enhance that wealth. For middle class, life is more about deciding how to spend the wealth that one has, rather than use the conceptual power that comes from that wealth. For the lower class, having the lowest of wealth, the focus is about obtaining wealth (but typically this is to cover expenses accrued).
I mention this because within only three bands there is always a situation when one considers someone else to be wealthy because they seem to have more assets than the other, without necessarily considering broader elements; two people could be earning the same amount of money, but one could be seen to be more wealthy because they aren’t married or have children (or indeed, don’t have the Mustang car!)
The two statements that I found in the article were these:
“The Credit Suisse Wealth Report (mid-2013) estimated that, once debts had been subtracted, an adult required just USD 4,000 in assets to be within the wealthiest 50% of world citizens. However, at least USD 75,000 was needed to reach the top 10%, and USD 753,000 to belong to the most wealthy 1%.
Tim Harford has asserted that a small child has greater wealth than the 2 billion poorest people in the world combined, since a small child has no debt.”
But as a final image for this challenge this week, I will post this quote. The quote itself has an interesting story itself, attributed to the native american tribe Cree, although actually its first recognised use were in presentations given by native americans giving speeches in 1972. This version, however, was used by Greenpeace on a banner in 1982:
Next week: Honesty