It’s becoming clear to me how hard it is to put yourself in the shoes of someone for whom being an hour late to work could lead to life-wrecking consequences, or that when I see someone pissed because the bus ate their $1.75, it may be because they won’t be having lunch now. I think its hard to think that way, but it’s absolutely essential that people learn to do so, because the gap continues to widen and the middle continues to thin.
The wealth distribution of a population is measured by the “Gini” coefficient, and this factor is growing in America. Classes are becoming increasingly disparate and this is a bad thing for our country. Nations with higher Gini indices typically have much higher crime rates (Brazil being the classic example).
I don’t know what the exact point is, but at a certain point a person’s salary has nothing to do with their standard of living. How much better off is the guy who makes 1mil a year compared to the poor schmuck punching in for 500k? I don’t know much about economics, but I’ve gathered a healthy economy is not judged by how much money is in the system, but by how well it flows. Like blood, it can’t all go to one place or the body dies. These rapidly inflating salaries on the high end are serving as tourniquets on our nation’s economic health.
Our expectations from life tend to stay just one step ahead of our income, no matter what we earn: nobody but Dick Cheney and 50 cent actually believes that he is rich.