Am I Rich? I'm trying to decide!


Wetcoast40
#1
As I approach my seniority, I am trying to decide if I am rich. I think I am, but I'm not sure. I wrote to the NDP who have strong opinions about rich people, but didn't get a reply. I know they would want me to pay more taxes, but they didn't say how much. So, I wrote to the Liberals and asked them if I was rich. I got a form letter from them asking for a campaign donation for my local candidate. Again, no answer to this perplexing question.
Finally, I wrote to the Conservatives and got a brochure about their new party structure and how changed they were. From what?
So here I am, paying taxes and voting in all the elections and I still don't know if I'm rich. You'd think one of these politicians would have some idea of who is rich and who isn't.
I'm open to suggestions. Oh yeah, and one more thing. I'm the only income provider in the family so they only have me to consider.
 
SilentSwirl
#2
Why do you need to know?
 
Wetcoast40
#3
I don't for any other reason than curiosity. So often I hear references to "the rich" and I always wondered what the "cut-off point" between rich and middle-class was. The Government and assorted other groups all have their "Poverty Line" definitions, but not for the above the line group.
 
I think not
#4
I think I define rich vs. poor mostly in terms of freedom. Very poor people are not free even from things like hunger or disease. A poor individual is tied down by jobs and debts that restrict their options: they can't take time off when they want, or quit a job they hate, for fear of losing the ability to pay rent or buy food. A "fairly rich" individual has a great deal of freedom to set their own work hours and terms, to take vacations when/where they want, to take extended time off, or to pursue a non-remunerative hobby. The truly rich are almost completely free. They can go wherever they want on a moment's notice, buy whatever they want on impulse, etc. They only need to work if they feel like it, to satisfy some desire for competition or personal fulfillment.

Can I put dollar values on these levels of rich and poor? Not really. I know people who are perfectly happy backpacking almost full time. They have no demands on their time, they can buy whatever they want (because what they want is very little) and their only significant worry seems to be the weather. They make almost no money, but I'd call them rich. At the same time I know people who make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year but who are so materialistic and so burdened by debt that I'd have to consider them poor.

If I had to define rich and poor in purely economic terms, I'd probably focus on assets plus five-year earning power. A rich person could retire in five years or less with an expectation of income over $100K indefinitely. A poor person can't retire at all because their retirement income would never match their debt. Someone in between might be able to retire, but would have only a subsistence income and/or might run out of money before their life expectancy.
 
Wetcoast40
#5
I think you've caught the essence of the dilemma; wealth isn't only money. It is about freedom and satisfaction. The trouble with our mutual societies is that those who hold the levers of power are keenly interested in the monetary component with little regard to quality of life.
In truth, I am rich because I do have some of those freedoms and I do live above a subsistence level.
I guess I am complaining about those who view "the rich" with distain without really understanding who is or is not "rich".
What possessed me to start this thread? I was listening to an NDP (Socialist) politician complain about how the "rich" weren't paying their fair share of taxes. I've decided that the NDP definition of rich is anyone who has more money than they do. A party made up of Social Workers, Labour Union activists and 'professional' polititians; all happily lined up at the trough waiting for their turn.
 
I think not
#6
Don't worry be happy?
 
SilentSwirl
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Wetcoast40

I don't for any other reason than curiosity. So often I hear references to "the rich" and I always wondered what the "cut-off point" between rich and middle-class was. The Government and assorted other groups all have their "Poverty Line" definitions, but not for the above the line group.

To paraphrase Maslow there are supposedly three measures, namely

1 Health
2 Wealth
3 Happiness

If we have sufficient 1, we seek 2, if we have sufficient 1 and 2 we seek 3.

If we lose 3 we try to compensate with more 2.
If we lose 2 we try to compensate with more 2.
If we lose 1 we're screwed.
 
Jo Canadian
#8
Quote:

they can't take time off when they want, or quit a job they hate, for fear of losing the ability to pay rent or buy food.

great, now I know where I'm at.
 

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