Two Sides of the Same Coin

by Trudy on May 16, 2014

As I have mentioned previously, I have lately spent a considerable amount of time understanding the income gap as a concept. Consequently I have come to have a greater understanding of the part of our population that lives at the bottom 20% in our economy.

In stark contrast I had the opportunity to visit Monaco recently, where I got to see the evidence of the population that lives in the top 1%.

Of no shock to anyone, the material differences between these two groups is more than a little vast. Many of us cannot imagine the daily effort it takes to get through a day living at or below the poverty line. And I suspect most of us also cannot truly comprehend the realities of the billionaire lifestyle.

I will leave it to individual musings and values to assess the diametric differences in these two populations, and how each of them ended up where they are.

I do however want to point out one observation my offspring and I came to as we parted ways with Monaco.

The two groups are really not that different.

The people in the bottom 20% of the economy live with a constant threat of insecurity. Will there be enough food, is there sustainable shelter, etc.

The people at the very top of the economic hierarchy fear for their security too. They cannot move freely through a city for fear of personal safety, they must over protect their homes and belongings to not have them taken away from them or have harm come to them because of it.

Everyone in Monaco talks of the Russian billionaire that anchors his personal residence / ship in the Mediterranean around Monaco (it is too big to dock in a marina), who rarely leaves it, is wary of who he can trust, and has missiles on his ship to keep him safe. Ironic tradeoff. Living less to have more.

Any life that cuts us off from others and makes us feel unsafe is deeply unfortunate.

And both groups suffer from this at the core.

Both are trapped by the circumstances, one of them can bring the world to them.

Food for thought.

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