Economic gap
Knowledge is a curse. Having even a rudimentary understanding of anything is guaranteed to spoil any kind of fun and community you might have.

The current time is marked by collectivism of a particular sort. It is marked by a unity of resentment against one group or another. The ability to fall in and march to the orgy of rage is largely dependent on selective ignorance.

Even the smartest just don't want to 'go there' on something. More often than not, the 'there' they don't want to go to is basic economics. Not because they don't have the mind for math, economics isn't really about math anyway. Not because they can't find quality information, there's plenty of introductory books or youtube lectures available. Not because they don't consider it important, the most grandiose economic theories and plans are almost always espoused by people with the least education on the topic.

No. The reason people don't care to become educated is because they know education will spoil the enjoyment of everyone's secret vice: righteous anger.

There is a single piece of information, which can be found either directly or indirectly in any book on economics, or statistics, that spoils the pity party of modern welfare advocacy.

It takes an incredibly dense and imperceiving mind to overlook this basic fact. The fact is so simple, that I am going to contribute far more words to its explanation than should ever be required. I will do this simply to stress the incredible and world altering implications contained. Once you read and understand this information, you will never be able to listen to Bernie Sanders again without considering him a complete and utter numbskull.

Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama will seem like absurd fools. In fact, anyone who discusses concepts of 'income inequality' and 'The Poor' or 'The Rich' will come off as woefully uneducated schysters.

When you fully grasp this simple idea, you will understand why I am so compulsively snarky in my comments on certain articles appearing on this site.

There Is No Such "Thing" As The Poor

The Poor is not a person. The Poor does not have an address, it doesn't wear clothes, it isn't a thing. It is what is called in linguistics a "nominalisation", from 'nom' meaning to name. It is an abstraction (except in Australia where it's a rock band).

When trying to understand language, it's good to use the wheel barrow test. Ask yourself, 'can I put it in a wheel barrow and take it home with me?'

You can't put love in a wheel barrow, nor can you put economics, or The Rich, or The Poor. All of these things identify abstract categories. They have no concrete existence.

You also cannot feed The Poor. You cannot help The Poor, or save The Poor. And most importantly, you cannot cure The Poor. You cannot get rid of The Poor, or kill The Poor, or make The Poor become The Rich.

That is because The Poor is an abstraction.

How To Lie With Statistics

Now, the above bit of detail should start you on a path of thinking that will lead you to all kinds of interesting questions. If that were the long and short of it, it wouldn't be so earth shattering, but there's more.

The Poor is not just a nominalisation, not merely an abstraction, it is also what is called a Statistical Category. The following is mainly from memory, and numbers have been rounded for ease of use and understanding. This is because I'm not going to spend 3 days combing through economics texts and IRS and Census data that you won't bother to read through and verify - the picture I present is broadly accurate, give or take a few percentage points here and there.

The Poor is a population group, and because of that, it is not eternal, in fact, no constituent of the cohort can be in the category for longer than say 70-80 years, i.e. the human life span.

But The Poor, as a statistical category, has existed for thousands of years. In every era of history, some people are poor, how can this be?

The Poor as a category will always exist, and has always existed, and the people who comprise this category are born, enter the category, and die, thus leaving the category. Some will leave the category before they die, to be replaced by others who, previously, were not in the category.

While this seems like a no-brainer, you would be surprised how many people I have heard reason about The Poor as if they are immortal and immutable, like an ageless and timeless bedraggled mass that has been staring accusingly at the rest of us throughout all time.

As noted, not all people who enter the Statistical Category of The Poor stay there for their entire lives. In fact, if you follow individuals based on their tax returns, 75% of the people who start in the Statistical Category of The Poor do not finish or die in the same category. That is, 75% of all of the people who are in the bottom 25% of "wealth earners or possessors" in the United States, move above the bottom 25% by the time they retire.

75% of those people in the bottom 25% when they start, end up in the top 40% by the time they retire. 30% of the people in the bottom 25% ended up in the top 25%!

Talking about The Poor and The Rich is ultimately meaningless, because it doesn't take into account flesh and blood human beings who traverse the cohort throughout their lives, getting richer or poorer. The fact is, that most people in their lives move up and down the income inequality divide, only very rarely reaching their maximum earning potential.

These same facts are actually true about The Rich as a statistical category. Most of the people we talk about when we discuss The Rich are those like Ray Dalio, or Warren Buffet. These people are less than 1/1000 of 1% of the population. These people are essentially the material lottery winners of life. They may or may not really 'deserve' the money they've gotten in life, but they have it.

The truth is, to be in the top 1% of income earners in the United States, you only have to earn, per annum, around $450,000. To be in the top 5% of income earners in the United States you only have to earn over $250,000. To be in the top 10% you need to earn $150,000.

The problem is that very few people can sustain that earning potential. Most of the people who earn that kind of money do so from small to medium businesses, and only for a year or two in a row before competition pushes their earnings back down. So someone may be in the top 1% for 1 to 2 years, and then drop down into the top 5% or even 10%.

This is exactly what we find, over 87% of people in the top 0.1% in 1992 were no longer in the top 0.1% by 2000. People get rich, and then invest that money in some new scheme, often losing large amounts of it, and having to start again in a lower earnings bracket.

Income dips or peaks are ultimately irrelevant, because a single year does not define a person's entire life. Someone who builds a business over 10 years may only be making $50,000 a year with the business, and once it's a success, they might sell it for $500,000 jumping into the 1% and then the next year returning to their normal earning potential of $50,000.


Ideologues use their rhetorical skills to play fast and loose with abstract ideas and statistical categories. They try to get you to buy into whatever scheme they are selling, to vote for whatever candidate they are supporting, or to contribute time and energy to whatever cause they are lauding.

Don't trust them, don't believe them. I am 100% sure you are pretty much struggling just to save yourself. Remember the counsel of every airplane stewardess: put on your own oxygen mask first before trying to help anyone else.