The Worldwide Wealth Gap

It’s often too easy to look at your immediate surroundings and to believe that the rest of the world lives like you.  When it comes to wealth, however, the numbers can be quite shocking.  MSN Money’s article, “Got $2,200?  In this world, you’re rich“, provides some useful statistics:

The research indicates that assets of just $2,200 per adult place a household in the top half of the world’s wealthiest. To be among the richest 10% of adults in the world, just $61,000 in assets is needed. If you have more than $500,000, you’re part of the richest 1%, the United Nations study says. Indeed, 37 million people now belong in that category.

Personally, it seems to me that the global disparity in wealth will be hard to maintain over time.  While people in the U.S. tend to focus on the impacts of offshore outsourcing, the real question is whether the wealth gap is justified.  Should American engineers make five times as much as others in the world?  In the past, it wasn’t much of an issue.  Technology either didn’t exist or was too costly.  Now, it’s increasingly common to have distributed workforce.  Can we consider the closing of the gap to be a “market correction”?


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