One of the things about our recent economic times is that although the recession seems to be ending and there are more jobs than a few years ago, those jobs seem to be paying less.
There has been a lot of talk about the 1% as well as a $15/hour minimum wage – especially in a town that was the crucible of the union movement, Detroit. But how wealthy are you, really?
One of the many interesting quirks of human nature is that people consistently under- and overestimate their own place in wealth spectrum compared to others. Those with more money tend to think they’re middle class, and the poor think they’re middle class, too.
People tend to socialize with people of about the same wealth level as themselves, so most folks think they are more normal than they really are.
In your current circumstance, you could feel rich or poor – or simply okay – but it’s interesting to see where you are in comparison to the rest of the country.
We found this handy-dandy online tool called the Wealthometer by Harvard University economist Maximilian Kasy.
Guess your percentage, give it some basic round numbers and it’ll roughly tell you what percentage you actually are at. Are you part of the 1%? The 20%? The 80%?
Then, if you want to get extra wonky around policy, on the next screen you’ll be able to see how various tax schemes would impact you.
Although often used interchangeably, there’s a big difference between wealth and income.
- Wealth is money that is saved or stored. It is already earned and can be used anytime by its owner. You can be wealthy but not have much income.
- Income is a value of money that is earned at any given point in time. It’s totally possible to have a lot of income but not be wealthy.
“In controversies concerning tax policy, and economic policy more generally, an oft-discussed topic is how various measures would affect ‘the economy,’” says the website. “This is not a particularly sensible question to ask, as most measures entail winners and losers, and corresponding conflicts of interest. Economic research can help clarify who would win or lose, and by how much.”
So give the Wealthometer a spin. Where do you actually stand?