Monday, June 25, 2007

How rich are we?

There is a great disparity in the distribution of the world's resources. In fact, the richest 20% of the world’s population has 89% of the world’s wealth. But that's just Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, right? I'm "middle class" and am not one of the rich who "hoards wealth."

Check out the website You can go there and type in your annual income and find out how it compares to the rest of the world. A few caveats are in order, though. First, the website's data is from 1999, so it's a bit dated (but the most current I could find). Second, there's really no way to accurately determine what percentile anybody's annual income is, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, I think it help gives a picture of how rich we really are relative to the rest of the world. For example, if your income in 1999 was $47,500, you were in the top 1% of the world! That's staggering to me. Because we Americans are surrounded by extreme wealth, it's easy for us to forget how the rest of the world lives.

Hmmmm....what should I do once I understand how wealthy I am?

- David


Sarah said...

I think it was Jessica who suggested on Sunday that we buy only things we need and not things we want. I feel it is good if we surround ourselves with stories/pictures of poverty or actual poor people so that we are not so inclined to throw our money away on unneccessary things but to constantly be reminded to give it to people who can benefit from it. My struggle is often finding the best way to give money away. I think giving to non-profit orgs is great, especially because I can trust that the money is going to a program that will make a change. However, I want to give on a more personal level even if it means that I may not relieve that person from poverty. I want to feel free of any fears of giving money away.

Brandon Scott said...

I am so glad you guys are doing this blog...It's really convicting and encouraging. Love you guys!

casnlynn said...

Hi, I am a friend of Sam Barrington’s and attend Living Stones Church. I saw your comment on his blog, plus link to this one. I have been interested in simple living for years, though not always an ardent follower. Been trying to sort it all out and begin steps to live lighter and simpler on the planet. Unfortunately for some reason, I find more support among the sort of “granola, tree hugger” not necessarily Christian type people.

Seems like greed and over consumption of the earth resources are not considered unspiritual or even bad manners among Christians.

Ok, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to say if you would like to get money to an actual person and be able to see the impact you can make on their life then you should look at

It is a micro finance organization.

Curt Lynn