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A neat tool allows you to finally answer the questions: How rich are you?:

Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out.

The poverty line for a family of four in the United States is $20,000, which makes that family's rank 669,642,941, richer than all but 11.6 percet of people on the planet. The median American household had an income of $43,318 in 2005, which yields a faux-accurate ranking of 132,730,435. Of course, to find out your rank and get the html code for a cool box like mine, you'll have to take a little nagging:

$8 could buy you 15 organic apples OR 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras to grow and sell fruit at their local market.

$30 could buy you an ER DVD Boxset OR a First Aid kit for a village in Haiti.

$73 could buy you a new mobile phone OR a new mobile health clinic to care for AIDS orphans in Uganda.

$2400 could buy you a second generation High Definition TV OR schooling for an entire generation of school children in an Angolan village.

Still, an interesting look at relative poverty statistics.

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  1. With 300,000,000 Americans, shouldn’t the median income leave you with 150,000,000 people who are more wealthy than you, just in the U.S.?

  2. Just ship the HDTV to the Angolan village, and those kids won’t *want* an education.

  3. individual or family income? i think thats the problem.

  4. I think the the answer is that the statistic sited is the median household income – not individual income.

  5. I see pigwiggle beat me to the response to kebko’s question. I should remember to refresh before submitting. 🙂

  6. $10 can buy you a dime bag of your favorite drug OR can purchase a plow for the impoverished coca farmers of Columbia.

  7. Does this account for purchasing-power parity?

  8. Something is wrong with the program. I kept adding zeroes, but the highest I could get was top 107,000 or so. Going from $185,000 to $200,000 took me from top 0.11% to top 0.01%; going to $250,000 took me to top 0.001% – not likely.

  9. On a related note… the Dems aren’t even in power yet, and they are already talking about raising taxes on “the rich”. And keep one thing in mind… the Dems never, ever clearly explain where the line is between “the rich” and the middle class.

  10. Class envy. Along with the race card, and trying to get something for nothing, the holy trinity of Democratic policy.

  11. “$30 could buy you an ER DVD Boxset OR a First Aid kit for a village in Haiti.”

    Aww – nice white mans’ guilt. I dunno, maybe I bought that DVD because I already have a First Aid kit.

  12. You need to reconfigure the comparisons list a bit. It should be more like:

    $30 dollars gets you an ER DVD set or spending money for a local despot.

    $2500 gets you an HD set or spending money for a local despot.

    and so on.

  13. Whoo-hoo! I’m rich! Rich! RICH AS CROESUS!

    I am going to build a money bin so that I can swim around in my money like Scrooge McDuck!

    Also: I’m getting a monacle.

  14. wow, i feel richer already. i’m going to buy a cady bar.

  15. $73 could buy you a mobile phone or help pay the tuition at an elite European prep school of the son or daughter of a corrupt African elite who steals it from the world do gooder fund you donate it to.

  16. I’m a real estate developer. Because of depreciation and section 1031 rules that defer the gain on “swapped” property, my annual “income” is pretty much zero. That makes me like the six billionth richest person in the world. Please send all your donations directly to me. I’ll have my butler pick them up at the gate. 🙂

  17. I need to spend all of my money ASAP — you know, so that the Democrats don’t think I’m rich and raise my taxes.

    Also – the Haitians need much more than a first aid kit, so I’m getting that DVD. No use putting a band-aid on cancer.

  18. lets keep the money comparison godness going with a little of this:

    http://www.mises.org/story/2356

    “Let’s put this in everyday terms. Suppose these estimates represent the changes in the prices of goods such as hamburgers, cars, and housing. According to these numbers, a hamburger that cost 60? in 1959 would have cost $4 in 2005. If the money supply had been fixed, however, that hamburger would only cost 12? today. Similarly, a $20,000 car in 2005 would have cost slightly less than $3,000 in 1959. Again, without the monetary effect on prices, that car would only cost $600 today. The price of a $45,000 house in 1959 would have increased to $300,000 in 2005. With a fixed money supply, that house would cost $9,000 today.”

    Imagine making $20,000 in 1959 dollars, back when they didn’t screw with the money supply very much. Imagine how much money you could swim in then. Or, conversely, imagine how many angolan schools you could buy then.

    Of course this isn’t totally accurate, but it makes a good point anyway.

  19. If I remember correctly, the purchasing power disparity is why Kwais wanted to pack up all the US welfare recipients and send them to Mexico. The more he thought about the idea, the more he liked it. I wonder if that is why K. M-W blogged this (kinda useless) information.

  20. Quit with the buyer’s remorse comments. We knew we were going to get a very nonlibertarian Congress. The point is, it was a gamble that, having abandoned conservatism and gotten their heads handed to them, the Republicans would turn their backs on the appalling antics of the past 6 years.

    What’s the Democrat Congress going to do, anyhow? Take away the right to habeus corpus and expand government spending by billions of dollars while making us less safe in the long term?

  21. JB,

    The Congress has not suspended habious. There are habious hearings going on every day in this country. Cry me a fucking river for Padia or KSM. If you actively make war on the country by pretending to be a civilian, you loose you are no longer a criminal but something lower. If there is a beef to be had with the Republican Congress or Bush regarding habias it is the fact that KSM hasn’t been hanged with his body dumped at sea so his corpse won’t foul any country’s soil.

  22. Do you think Mexico would welcome these 10 million gringos, even with their “fat” welfare checks? Would they be expected to learn English? Just asking.

  23. One other thing, even if they have suspended habias, Jesus at least we are not England. I can’t beleive this.

    Parents could be forced to go to special classes to learn to sing their children nursery rhymes, a minister said. Those who fail to read stories or sing to their youngsters threaten their children’s future and the state must put them right, Children’s Minister Beverley Hughes said. Their children’s well-being is at risk ‘unless we act’, she declared. And Mrs Hughes said the state would train a new ‘parenting workforce’ to ensure parents who fail to do their duty with nursery rhymes are found and ‘supported’…Mrs Hughes has established a national curriculum to set down how babies are taught to speak in childcare from the age of three months. Her efforts have gone alongside a push by other ministers to determine exactly how parents treat their children down to how they should brush their teeth. Tony Blair has backed the idea of ‘fasbos’ – efforts to identify and correct the lives of children who are likely to fail even before they are born – and new laws to compel parents to attend parenting classes are on the way. This autumn is likely to see an extension of parenting orders that can force parents to attend parenting classes so that they can be used on the say so of local councils against parents. For the first time, parenting orders are likely to be directed against parents whose children have committed no criminal offence. The threat of action against parents who fail to sing nursery rhymes was unveiled by Mrs Hughes as she gave the first details of Mr Blair’s ‘national parenting academy’, a body that will train teachers, psychologists and social workers to intervene in the lives of families and become the ‘parenting workforce’.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23374380-details/The+nursery+rhyme+police+-+

  24. Do you think Mexico would welcome these 10 million gringos, even with their “fat” welfare checks? Would they be expected to learn English? Just asking.

    I can’t speak to the details of Kwaises’ horrendous plan, but I think the idea is that highly paid government contractors could be dispatched to dictate whatever terms the executive branch of the US government felt were optimal.

  25. The Mexican elites would have a stroke at the thought of these gringos coming down. They might demand things like a clean police department or a decent government. They would never allow it no matter how rich it made them and if they did, the gringos would be speaking Spanish. I don’t think the criminal trials much less the notices of zoning hearings would be in English.

  26. Beyond a certain point, the real issue with poverty is not so much the amount of stuff you have but whether or not you are able to participate and function in your society.

  27. I think another problem (besides the, you know, gross injustice) is that the private sector in Mexico would find a way to segregate these people out, at least as consumers, and make them pay US ghetto style prices.

    Language would be one way. One price for the English speakers, and another for Spanish.

  28. John, if you can’t even spell Habeas, I’m not going to address the rest of your point except to call it ridiculous. (That said, your link about the English is simply horrific, and you’re totally right that we’re still better off here).

  29. The problem with the Democrats tax raising proposals is that they always talk about how they’re going to raise taxes on the rich, yet nobody thinks they are rich. All those people go along with the tax scheme.

    Per capita income in this country is $21,587. Per capita income in most suburban counties is usually $30,000 and above. People who are living middle class lifestyles in cities are probably making a lot more than that. If you are middle class and living around a large city, you are probably rich.

    I calculated my taxes in 2000 on my 2006 income. My taxes would have been about double in 2000 of what they will be in 2006. I don’t even reach the average income levels. I did another scenario where I gave my wife and I the salary I was offered five years ago out of college. Of course my taxes shoot through the roof (relatively) but we’re also hit with a marriage penalty of about 1.4% our total income.

    One major problem is that Democrats’ tax schemes tend to look at married couples as a single entity. Get two moderate incomes together and you suddenly have a rich family. The best thing that Bush has done in his term is probably correcting this, although I’d prefer taxing people individually — government has no business in marriage, and Bush’s scheme gives out more marriage bonuses for single-earner households.

  30. SF,

    Don’t make statements that aren’t true. The last president to suspend habeas was Lincoln. People say this shit without any idea what they are saying and it becomes myth and myth becomes accepted fact. Saying that someone actively waging war against the country is not entitled to the same protections we give to criminals is NOT SUSPENDING habeas. No country in the history of the world has ever been expected to treat terrorists the same way they treat criminals. You might not like it, but that doesn’t change what it is.

  31. Saying that someone actively waging war against the country is not entitled to the same protections we give to criminals is NOT SUSPENDING habeas.

    No, but saying that he doesn’t have the right to have a court inquire into the legality of his detention IS suspending habeas.

  32. Seamus nails it.

  33. When income tax was first enacted, about 1 percent of the population had to pay it. Now, virtualy everbody who has a job pays payroll taxes. Now it’s Padillo and KSM. Next up narcotics trafickers and pedophiles. Followed by drunk drivers and abortionists. Late child support is terorising the childeren.

  34. The problem with the Democrats tax raising proposals is that they always talk about how they’re going to raise taxes on the rich, yet nobody thinks they are rich. All those people go along with the tax scheme.

    Probably because most of those people aren’t rich. Most are middle / upper middle class.

    I think a good indication of “rich” or not would be where your household income ranks.

    My understanding is that the wealthiest 1 percent of households are the ones with incomes higher than $315,000 annually. These also tend to be the people who have benefited most from the economy as of late. In 2004 for example, they “have copped 53 percent of all the year’s income gains”. In contrast, “Median incomes for households with people of working age (65 or less) fell last year for the fifth year in a row. Adjusted for inflation, these families are bringing in $3,000 less, the Economic Policy Institute reports”

    Source here

    If the Dems raised the tax rate slightly on these people, I don’t think the middle / upper middle class would suffer at all. They would be taxing those who have been benefitting the most at a higher rate then the other 99% of households.

  35. If the Dems raised the tax rate slightly on these people, I don’t think the middle / upper middle class would suffer at all.

    Sure they would. As investment capital is diverted to government from the investing class (which is exactly what taxing the top 1% amounts to), everybody is hurt.

  36. I put in $0, and it put me in the top 44% What BS!

  37. Damn! I’m only # 59,306,718!

  38. Sure they would. As investment capital is diverted to government from the investing class (which is exactly what taxing the top 1% amounts to), everybody is hurt.

    I don’t know exactly what kind of “investing” you are talking about, but if you mean investing as in stocks and such, then again the majority of stocks owned are by that same 1% and they reap the majority of the profits…so again..the “damage” is minimized to those who are already doing better than everyone else below them.

    And sorry, I just don’t buy that middle and lower classes are going to get hurt if the top 1% have a little less to invest — how exactly is “everyone” hurt by a miniscule reduction in speculatory investing.

  39. “Beyond a certain point, the real issue with poverty is not so much the amount of stuff you have but whether or not you are able to participate and function in your society.”

    No, the real issue with poverty is that it is a choice.

  40. “No, but saying that he doesn’t have the right to have a court inquire into the legality of his detention IS suspending habeas.”

    But that’s not happening.

  41. Fuck the poor.

  42. Damn! I’m only # 59,306,718!

    Me too! But that puts us within the top 1% !!!

    I would like to buy a couple of Vietnamese slavegirls* and a tuxedo. What are you going to go with your dough?

    *Oh, calm down — it’ll be the easiest gig of their lives. A couple weeks ago my friend had a birthday and we had to go to a strip club. I spent my final lapdance of the evening, for which I paid $30, giving a stripper a back rub. I am still getting the hang of this “exploiting” stuff.

  43. “What are you going to go with your dough?”

    You mean, after taxes, the mortgage, the property taxes, the power, the phone, the cable, the car payment, the car insurance, the house insurance, gas, food, clothing, & medical, etc?

    Probably splurge on a donut at Tim Horton’s, if I save my dimes for a couple of weeks.

  44. And sorry, I just don’t buy that middle and lower classes are going to get hurt if the top 1% have a little less to invest — how exactly is “everyone” hurt by a miniscule reduction in speculatory investing.

    Sort of true. But somehow I doubt Democratic tax increases will be either “little” or limited to the top 1%.

  45. The message stays the same until you move below $100. So I put in $200 for my annual income and was told that I am the 5,742,857,143rd richest person in the world (top 95.71%!), followed by a lecture on how I could spend $2400 on a TV or buy schooling for Angolan school children.

  46. But somehow I doubt Democratic tax increases will be either “little” or limited to the top 1%.

    A lot like the recent Republican tax increases, then. (Or are you one of those strange people that think debts don’t have to be repaid?)

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