Everyone Gets the Rich-Poor Gap Wrong


.     On the rising gap between the rich and poor,  most people,  if not all, assume the problem is because the rich is getting richer.  People are often saddened by their status in society and conclude wrongly that the problem in society  is due to the rich.  The fallacy is due to wrong arguments and a wrong perspective of economic truths.


.    First fallacy is people generally think it is wrong for the rich to get richer.  It is like they don’t want the wealthy to earn much more (though that money is what the rich worked for).  Let us use the example of having a workmate, both of you equal in pay.  The option for higher pay is offered between the both of you, for the harder working person.  The other guy happened to be the harder working person.  So there has to be some acceptance on the part of the one not receiving the pay raise, that the other guy earned the bigger money.


.    Second problem is that people focus on the gap, instead of raising up the bottom level’s living standard.  Everybody should pitch in to make life a little easier for the poorest, the most helpless.  Food prices should be made as low as possible so the poor can save money easier.  Taxes should be very reasonable so as not to burden the poorest.  Everyone looks at how far they are from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.  Rather than that, our culture should look if the poorest are improving in their lives, nearing our comfort level.  How far the poor is from the middle class is a reflection of how we as a society lost connection with the most neglected among us. It is man’s nature to look to his interests first,  but aside from that we must transcend that, and consider the poor as well.


.     Third thing we get wrong is the issue of stewardship.  If you give a million dollars to a poor guy, and a million dollars to a wealthy guy,  there is a greater chance for the wealthy guy to be wealthier, than the poor guy to be wealthy.  Money is something that is attracted by who has more.  If you can be trusted with little things, more will be entrusted to you.  Most of us do not see that the rich being good stewards, will earn more, as they have been faithful with little.  So there is a lot of disdain, a lot of anger directed at the wealthy, because there is no admission from the poor man of his lack of ability and wisdom in growing his little earnings.


.     A last reason for getting the rich-poor gap wrong is we may be affected by jealousy/covetousness.  When we want something that is not ours (wealth of the CEOs, cars of the Arab royal family, our neighbor’s nice car, etc) we kind of lose perspective. We compare ourselves with people when we should not.  We desire something that we have not worked as hard, or as smart for.  When our emotions get the better of us, that we want more money just because others are so far off.  These thoughts we entertain rob us of joy in life.  We just need to be happy with what we earn, and make it grow, and be generous even.


.     Looking at the gap between the rich and the poor is an opportunity for us,  to see how unwell the least are doing.  This is our chance not to envy Hollywood actors, politicians, but rather realize that hey there are a lot of people suffering, and they need everyone’s help.  We must beat the callousness that comes from just looking after ourselves.  The real rich-poor gap is our distance from the poor,  and not how far we are from the wealthy.