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The 1 %

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.

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15 Responses to “The 1 %”

  1. Ivan kolev Says:

    Hello Andy. Many people and I would personally say that a person himself builds its future. The question is what anyone wants from life. I want to say about this one percent rich people. Currently my country, Bulgaria is one of those schemes, the oligarchs or rich people dictate what happens in our country now. Today is 59 days of strike against this communist government that came to power again with cheating, but that will soon go away. So these rich people 1 percent, they bought government that works for them, to make laws or change them for the benefit for them. Here the middle class has almost disappeared, very rich or very poor. Some of people have to dig into the the garbage to find food or bottles or something to sell to buy food. I want to say something about the English language. As everyone knows he is now number 1. Wherever you go you will need. Personally, I’ve been learning three years. Interestingly enough, I know people who still ask me a question. Why did you learn this language? I tell them that they have a problem, mental, and that they are unfit to this world. So, if anyone asks yourself why I have to learn English. The answer is ……

  2. Yeri Says:

    It’s an Interesting topic guys! unfortunately is so sad how those kind of issues are happening in our world. People with enough money to spend for about 1000 more years while child’s around the world are dying cause they don’t have any money to buy some food
    But it is what it is, as you mentioned before no one is gonna take care of you, each-one has to work for what they want (a better life I guess).
    Not much much to say, just take care y’all.

  3. Salivan Says:

    This is great. I agree that people should work hard, but not to a degree of struggling!

    In every country there is this 1%. Most of them, unfortunately, got rich by cheating.

  4. Elena Says:

    You can be very professional and competitive doing the job for somebody and still never ever not rich. And you know why? Because 1 percent of people who really has money dont work for somebody. They got huge companies and really work hard by using people who are working for them paying them as less as possible. And you still want to find well paid job? Forget about be rich then. Rather find a way to have your own business!

  5. Wal Says:

    Hello Andy,

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about rich people. Yes, it’s a huge problem with this gap between rich and poor people.

    Well, especially we can see how this problem is serious during so called recession. Of course, this recession is for poor and ordinary citizens, not for politicians, bankers or big corporations. It’s a long story.

    As we can see, ordinary citizens must take huge and long-term mortgages to have their dream houses. It’s ridiculous. How banks create money??? People don’t ask these simple and logical questions. Money is nothing like paper and digits on your account.

    When we have these financial problems what politicians say? We HAVE TO SAVE BANKS and EURO zone, not people. Banks and money are more important for them than people.

    So if it were not so tragic for many people, it would be even funny.

  6. Maria Says:

    My advice: never,ever ask this 1% how they made their first million because you must be disappointed. Should you do,don’t be suprised to get such an answer: not by working much but I was in the right place at the right time.

  7. soheil Says:

    hi my friends
    i am soheil from Iran.me and my Parent are living under so hard economic situation because of international sanctions and the wealth is getting much bigger every day.our government doesn’t care to people at all.they say religion is much more important than anything even people’s life.

  8. Hugo Says:

    Very good topic,, some people is happy getting some free food from the goberment instead of trying to do something to get them out of their situation such as going to school in the other hand rich people is getting more and more greedy because they only do is become more wealty regardless what they do ,,

  9. Yuri Says:

    Very, very good blog! very wise opinion about economic situation in the world.Great gap between richness and poorness. And nothing changes to be better…

  10. hoda Says:

    I’m a girl from Iran following your blog. we’re suffering so much right now under economic sanctions, the middle class are turning into lower class and the lower class are almost vanishing into nothing. but the rich people even are making profit from the sanctions. people specially sales persons, are making huge profits from dollar for rial exchange rate fluctuations. riches always find a way to make more.

  11. Ivan Says:

    I’d say learn English and learn how to sell. And sell. And sell. Sell again. Sell what makes you money or what you like. Sell your own work or staff people need. If selling yourself, make it worth a much as possible and alway look for ways to increase the value. Learn, stay healthy, be responsible, become an expert… And sell. Sell everyday.

    Just selling simple things like nails or bread can make you a lot of money. There is always a GAP for you to sell. Any market in the world will allow you to make money.
    Sell online. Sell in person. Sell any commodity people need in your area. Sell services. Sell on ebay. Sell to locals.

    However, try not to sell your time for plain bucks. Make it more complex. Learn how to write blogs. Learn how to make website. Make followers and sell to them.
    Give to people. Make people like what you sell and like you.
    Be responsible for yourself and for others and they will like you.

    Learn English to learn other things in the world.
    When curious google in English ( not in any other language)
    When need to learn – google in English.
    Find TED and Lynda and other media like them and learn.

    Thank you for China232, love it.

  12. sera Says:

    hi,
    i want to give example about me. i am a nurse and i work for 72 hours (most of weeks of a year) and still i am middle class. it would be impossible but it’s truth .Really you can trust me :)
    so i dont belive that if we work harder we will get rich or we will make our life much better in the future, and our family’s as well. because systems have been designed for rich people.
    at least i can say it for my country ‘Turkey’

  13. Thierry Says:

    Good stuff and interesting topic.
    With a minimum of wiseness, we all understand that “People are poor cause they are lazy” is just a excuse of the richest to cut helps governments give to the low classes.
    It’s easy to see and understand that even on working as hard as 24/7 a guy strugeling with a low paid job, will never be rich.
    Sport stars, actors and businessement of the CAC40 entreprises are so rich that the gap is insane nowaday.
    The only 2 options I can see, is:
    strict law from a strong and egalitarian gov. or sadly a revolution of the poorest…
    Good topic indeed

  14. amin Says:

    I’m iranian just like hoda and i do agree with her! you know , we have an expression (or ,maybe,idiom) in presian that sais”money , brings money” it indicates that when you become rich,you are financially capable,so you would use your available sources to make more money. you come up with new plans that are based one having a certain amount of money (that most of people doesnt have that much) and you profit from your investment.this way,you will make more and more financial sources for yourself and you definitely become wealthier. this results in generating a bigger gap in society,from an economic aspect.
    i totally agree with this trend only if the rich people use moral ways to increase their fortune.however,there is a big but here. most rich people do not use to follow their plans throw moral and ethical approaches and build their wealth on poverty on their inferiors,like workers. what i mentioned is so bad for society economics and leads to poverty and financial instability,as we ,in Iran, are experiencing these days.
    in developed countries governors are in charge of taking society away from such harassment,and(for sure)they have the authority to do that,but in Iran not only isn’t government eager to do so but also it doesn’t have the authority.

  15. Romeo Says:

    Think you for this very interesting topics.
    I think the gap between rich and poor will not disappear because the system has been designed by this 1% and I don’t think the rich people want to share their money or at less allow other people to be rich. So there is no hope, even if you study hard and you fight to find a good job, you will find yourself work for this greedy 1%.

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