August 12th, 2013
If you watch any political or financial news, or news in general, you’ll often hear about “The One Percent”.
“The 1 %” is a relatively new and very popular term to refer to the richest 1% of the people in society. So, for example, if you had a small town of 1000 people, “the 1 %” of that town would be the richest 10 people.
This term is used a lot when talking about “rich people” in general, or people who should be paying more in taxes, or when talking about the “wealth gap”. That is, the large and growing difference between rich and poor people.
A “gap” is a space. I could say, “She went to the dentist to fix the large gap between her two front teeth. She looks much prettier now”.
So when we hear something like, “The wealth gap is getting a lot bigger.” That means that the rich people are getting richer and the poor people are getting poorer.
“The one percent” are the rich people. They also want to stay rich. Many of them will influence politicians (law makers) to make laws that help them keep their money (low taxes) and help them keep earning more of it easily.
They have been very successful in the USA over the last 30 years. The top 1% of the people in the US now own about 25% of all of the money. (In the 1970′s, the top 1% had only 9% of the money.)
The situation is getting more and more severe as well. Life is amazingly easy financially for the top 1% of the people, and it’s very hard for the bottom 25% of the people. Those people have a hard time buying enough healthy food for their families and clothes for their kids.
Many, but not all, people in the 1% make the argument that poor people are lazy and shouldn’t get any help from the government. They believe they already pay more than enough money in taxes. They believe that if the poor people want more money, they can just work harder for it. No one is stopping them.
I am personally somewhere in the middle. I do believe that people who work hard should be allowed to have a much better stuff than people who sit around doing nothing. I also believe that many poor people are in fact very lazy and believe that they should get free stuff for doing nothing.
But I don’t believe that the rules of the game are reasonable. It’s possible to work for 60 hours a week (ie. not lazy) and still not be able to feed your family healthy food and pay for health care and pay for your kids to play sports and have an education. I think that’s a bit ridiculous.
An economic system that allows for rich people to have their own private air planes and also allow for millions of poor people to not be able to afford a tomato sandwich and a visit to the doctor seems stupid.
I’d like to see economists work towards a new system that allows for a very large and healthy middle class. There would still be some rich and poor people, but the difference wouldn’t be as insane as it is now.
BUT…… Guess what. I really can’t imagine that happening. It seems like we’re in a world where greed is #1. The richest people have so much control of everything and they will do anything to make it stay that way.
So, no matter what you think or hope is true, we’re living in a world where it is important to try to get ahead and earn money. No one is going to take care of you, you need to take care of yourself. The difference between rich and poor is huge, and it is getting bigger every year. Having a good job will pay a lot of money, and getting a terrible job will pay almost nothing, even if you are working hard in both jobs. You need to be more competitive. You need to improve your chances to get a high paying job by doing anything you can. Your hard work now will make your life much better in the future, and your family’s as well.
If that isn’t an amazing reason to start getting more serious about learning English right now (so you can be more competitive and earn more money) I really don’t know what is.
Love to hear your thoughts below.