You Are Already Wealthy, Stop Complaining!

If you live in the United States, you are wealthy beyond what most others dream of. Your salary is 99% higher than of the world population.  Visit areas like India, and Africa, and you’ll see what real poverty looks like. If you moved there, you could live like a king! Don’t believe me?  Visit Global Rich List and plug in your yearly salary.

So what exactly does it mean to be wealthy anyways?  It’s all relative to the environment you live in. What might be considered below the poverty level in the USA ($22,050 for a family of four), might be considered well off when living in say Uganda.  According to the Global Rich List even at the US poverty level, you still make more money than 89% of the world.

If you look at the Wikipedia chart, you will see the USA has the most wealth compared to any other country (including Japan). No other country comes close to the USA.  So while you may not feel wealthy comparative to what you see in the media, you still are better off than 99% of the world population.  In terms of average income,  the USA is only 13th in the world, but we still have more stored wealth than any other country.

Stop complaining that you can’t afford that new Lexus you lust for. Many people around the world don’t even own a car! They get from place to place by bicycle. It’s true you may not live like a rock star, famous actor, or business titan, but you live better than most.

Most people in the United States have:

  • Enough food to feed themselves daily
  • A dry, heated and enclosed shelter
  • Enough clothing to wear for one week
  • Reasonably affordable health care and this is before ObamaCare
  • Even if you can’t afford health care, you still will be treated by Medicaid
  • What was once considered luxury items only 10 – 20 years ago, most people own multiple luxury items

How many “poor” people in the United States have items like a TV, computer or a cell phone? These luxury items most people in our country now have and are commonplace. It’s not so bad being poor.   One time in history flying the friendly skies was considered only available for the elite few.  Today, because air flight is so common, it’s one step above bus travel. This once luxury item is now available to most of the population, and with capitalism, at a low price.

With all of this talk about comparing yourself to the world, I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to better yourself. Instead, be thankful for what you have, compared to the world population.


It’s part of human nature to want more, and unfortunately in some circles it is frowned upon. It is known as the evil G word, greed. Gordon Gekko said it best:

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

You see greed will always exist regardless of the “ism”. If you live under Socialism, Communism, and especially Capitalism – greed is still there. The thing is with Capitalism, despite its flaws, still appears to be the best economic system to work with human nature.

Milton Friedman said it best:

“What kind of society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system”

So why are we better off than 99% of the world population? Why are we economically better off? The only logical conclusion is because of capitalism and the free market system we have. Even with our recent setbacks questioning capitalism, no better system exists. Capitalism is still the best method to raise people out of poverty.


Be thankful you live in a society that allows you to exploit greed. In the process, you not only improve your living conditions, but also helped your neighbors in the process. That’s the magic of capitalism. History has shown the United States has raised its living standards to be better than 99% of the world population. We have capitalism and free markets to blame for our success. It has been shown, the more freedom people have in society the more wealth is created. The USA may have creeping Socialism, but we still have much more freedom than many other countries.

If you want to decrease your living standards, continue to approve the path the US government is heading towards.  As history has shown, more government intervention and less free market solutions will lead to a overall poorer nation.


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Updated on 2/8/2015. Let the bull market continue!

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. says

    @Money Funk

    Hey I have no issue with greed. Being greedy can help the overall good. The issue I have is people are not being thankful for what you already have. Realize not everyone is as fortunate to live in this country and live the way we live.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates =-.

  2. says

    Money Funk – You’re right, the weather here in LA is amazing! 70 degrees or something huh? Ill be at Shutters on The Beach this afternoon if you want to meet up. Lol

    What new stage in your life are you referring to?

    Geek – Socialism is not bad, so long as you reap the rewards equally by what you contribute, or have everybody else pay for expenses except for yourself.

  3. says

    @Money Funk

    I’m not saying be evil or be an ass, be self destructive or anything like that. Ultimately you have to lookout for yourself (and family if married) best interest. I think greed comes from self preservation.

    IMHO I believe psychology plays a large part of with business, investing and with money. How you feel about money definitely affects your decisions.

    I’m thinking about some blog posts to write about the subject, not sure what angle to go with yet.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates =-.

  4. says

    @Money Funk
    Interesting. Be sure to let me know when you reveal your mystery! I totally recommend you be more greedy for money for your own sake, and for your family’s. There’s so much money out there, might as well get some of it, which others are taking advantage of.

  5. says

    Yet another example of how something not related to finances will actually teach you more about the very subject.

    In order to gain perspective, people should take the time to travel – and I don’t mean to an all-inclusive resort! Experiencing different places allows you to appreciate the basic things that we so easily take advantage of (don’t get me started on clean water).

    As the author notes, financial security is truly what is important. The term wealth has become somewhat tainted as it has a tendency to be used in the same sentence as “excess”. Whether your account has 0, 1, or 3 commas – odds are we’re all doing pretty well.

    *Hope the gravatar loads alright

  6. says

    Um, have you actually visited India or Africa? To live like a “King” there it takes a hefty bank account. Sure, you can live there for 1/10, or even less, of what you spent here in the US but be prepared to live like the average person in a cramped building (assuming you have a building) and eat once a day. Living to a higher standard takes $.

  7. Playbook says

    Speaking as some one isn’t wealthy and probably never will be. Wealth comes in many forms and not just monitor values, if my family are all happy and health then whose to say I’m not wealthy, I might not have a bean , but I do have everything I need in my life. So that will do me nicely

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