Dragon rant: The L-Curve


I’d like you to work with me.

We all have heard how 95% wealth is in the hands of 5% of the population.  That sounds quite harmless, as though one in 20 people is quite disproportionally well-off.

What we don’t know, is just how much of an understatement this is.

Take a tour of the link above:  The L-curve by David Chandler.  Make sure you zoom all the way in to see the little pile of money at the feet of the man and woman (a year’s income).  Then make sure you zoom all the way… allllll the wayyyy… out.  Have a look.

If you struggle to understand the figures (like most of us, math isn’t designed for easy visualization), go to the link Chandler provides, where he explains the figures.

The relevant figure is 4cm = $40 000, the yearly income of a median American household.

The top rich guys’ annual income:  50 km.  Vertically:  Twice the height of the stratosphere.  Horizontally:  work it out.  From here to south of Joburg, a meter-wide dollar carpet where every square mm is a rolled-up dollar bill, every meter represents a million dollar – or every 10cm about, a million rand.  50km of this carpet!  In the hands of one man!  And there are about 400 billionaires in America.

But wait, it gets better:

The system is set up to get steeper every year.  Every year, more of your money flows to that stratospheric peak.

One man could never ever be productive enough to generate that kind of money.  The only way it can be attained is by having it flow continuously from those who generate it by long hours and hard work, towards those who have set up this flow system.  Out of your pocket, effectively, into Bill Gates’.

Consider the banks.  Do they ask how little you actually get to keep once the bills are paid?  No – they mercilessly charge you every time any kind of money moves in or out of your accounts.  They take a cool percentage of your earnings every month, for what?  For holding onto your money and doing nothing further for you.

Now, who earns more, do you think:  The top banker of the Federal Reserve, or you?  If there were any kind of logic to this flow, shouldn’t the rich offer up a little bit for the much poorer guy – or at least not filch him like that?

You’d be better off doing everything in cash!

I’d be curious to know what Ayn Rand’s wisdom was.

4 thoughts on “Dragon rant: The L-Curve

  1. That is actually quite obscene. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has the justification for being quite that absurdly wealthy. Nor is it likely that they will find sensible things to do with the funds, other than accumulating them.

    • They fund wars with that. I see you understand the math. Those who don’t get offended, as David Chandler puts it, probably only struggle to visualize what’s actually going on there.

      But they are cutting state pensions and medicaid because “America can’t afford it”.

  2. I don’t need to look. I’ve been saying this for decades without the figures to hand, and have felt like Cassandra. I could write a long essay here, but I’ll not bore you!

    • Welcome to the club, Cassandra. I know. It’s just mind-boggling when one looks at the actual visualization of the figures. A pile of $100 bills twice as tall as the stratosphere!

Your thoughts on this:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s