Nick, there are a lot of different views on this subject, 99% of these views will be biased by each persons financial situation. It took me a long time to look at all the factors associated with this topic and for my own opinion.
Firstly, I earn between 30 – 50 thousand a year depending on the number of outages I get. I work outages at nuclear power plants. Am I among the wealthy? No. Do I strive to be among the wealthy? NO.
I believe that most people who think there is an inequality in wealth do not understand what it takes to become wealthy. Except for those that inherit wealth, everyone else works a tremendous amount of hours, typically 16 to 18 hours a day for years until their business is established. Not only do they sacrifice just the time it’s self, they sacrifice being with family, they put their marriages at risk, they often times have 2 or 3 mortgages on their home. Not only do they have to spend what money they get reinvesting in the company they are trying to build, but they also have their personal bills, mortgages, utilities, and all the rest it takes to keep a family going.
If the business fails, he stands a good chance of losing everything. All the hours he has spent, all the money he has invested, everything he put into it was all for nothing, it all just gone.
Most businesses take 5 years to become established and to start turning any kind of real profit, so that’s 5 years out of a person’s life, his family’s life, and 5 years of not knowing if you will lose everything you have.
As to the other side of this coin you have the people like me. I am perfectly content to go to the job, do my 8, 10, or 12 hours a day, for which I get paid for, and go home at the end of the day to my wife and kids.(My kids are now grown) I have zero to lose. If the company goes bust, I simply find a different company to work for, which I understand is not easy in this economy, but I don’t lose my home, the time and money I invested into the business, which is typically huge on both parts.
If, and it’s a big “IF”, the business succeeds, more times than not it’s still another 5 years until the business will make the owner wealthy. So a person can look at around 10 years of long hours, hard work, and a large investment physically, emotionally, and monetarily until they make the kind of money it takes to say he is wealthy.
Do these numbers vary? Of course. Some will get there faster and some will struggle for many more years before they can count themselves wealthy.
Anyone who wants to complain about income inequality or whatever they want to call it, needs to take a step back and ask themselves if they are willing to make the sacrifices to become wealthy. Are they willing to invest all the things it takes to become wealthy.
Me, I am happy with what I make and if I’m not then “I” need to do something about it. “I” need to look for a better paying job. “I” need to show more initiative, “I” need to work harder, “I” to do whatever I have to do to further my education, etc.
I don’t want part of someone else’s wealth just because they have more than me. It’s up to me to make more, if that’s what I want.
I found out a long, long time ago that it’s not how much money you have, it’s how much you invest in God, and your family, we get older, our health starts to fail, we could die of a multitude of ways, car accident, house fire, etc. Why would I want to spend so much time and effort into building wealth when at best it is fleeting.
I’m sure you will get a lot of different opinions on this discussion and mine is just one of them.