robb9591 saidI think the main point is our earning ability vers most all the world. China and India along have about 1.3 billion with a "b" living on nearly no money....We in the developed parts of the world do live a blessed life as far as disposable income is concerned
This is all true, but measurements like this don't take into account cost of living. No one in their right mind would argue that comparing the cost of living in the average US city is the same as the cost of living in the average Chinese city is and is an apples to apples comparison.
Even within the US, making $100,000 in rural areas puts you in the top percentile. But make $100,000 while living in Manhattan and you're probably not feeling so rich.
The cost of living in the US is commensurate with the high incomes. And likewise, the cost of living in poorer countries is commensurate with the incomes there.
A better guide to cost of living is to consider what percentage of monthly income goes toward housing, food, and clothing expenditures.
No that's not exactly true. The cost of living for basic necessities might be lower, but the difference is in luxury items.
In the west we consider it fairly normal to go on vacation at least once a year, have a car, have hobbies, eat out every once in a while.
In those countries with lower cost of living, that's not the case. I saw some numbers the other day on TV (CBC) about at what annual income people start purchasing certain luxury items. Apparently, people start eating meat at $1200 annually, and start buying cars at $6000 annually.
If your argument were true, there would be a HUGE imbalance in the world economy, and all of us would have moved to China a long time ago.
Well, my argument is true and I'm not sure I follow your logic.
To clarify my position, arguments about global wealth distribution tend to focus heavily on disparity of incomes without taking into account disparity of cost of living, as if the person making $1000 a year in Myanmar still has to pay the same rent and food costs of a person in the U.S. That's obviously not the case.
If a person makes $50,000 a year living in Cambodia, they're probably the richest person in their village. That's because the cost of everything is a fraction of what it is in western nations. But a person making $50,000 a year in the U.S. is around average and not at all rich due to commensurately more expensive costs for everything.
So to make the implication (as many people do) that western nations deprive people in poorer countries of wealth because they make a much higher income is to deny the disparity in cost of living.
Compare the two using an index that takes into account cost of living as I suggested previously and suddenly there is not as great a difference between the western person and the person in Cambodia.