Inequality guilt-tripping

In: Uncategorized

1 Aug 2006

A friend has sent me a link to a website which is revealing about contemporary attitudes to global inequality. The global rich list site, presumably designed for people in the wealthy West, is meant to show individuals where they are in the global income distribution. For example, an individual earning only $25,400 (£13,600) might feel poor in the West but he just about scrapes into the top 10% of earners in global terms.

The site defines its goals in the following terms:

“We wanted to do something which would help people understand, in real terms, where they stand globally. And make us realise that in fact most of us (who are able to view this web page) are in the privileged minority.

“We want people to feel rich. And give some of their “extra” money to a worthwhile charity.”

Surely a healthier reaction would be outrage that 90% of the world’s population is earning less than $25,400?