How Do You Define Rich?

mansion.jpgThe 2006 U.S. poverty thresholds are as follows:

For a household of 1 – $10,294
For a household of 2 – $13,167
For a household of 3 – $16,227
For a household of 4 – $21,134
For a household of 5 – $25,441

The U.S. Median annual household income (regardless of size) was $48,201. Over 19% of all households earned over $100,000 annually. About 13% were below poverty level.

Does any of this define richness? And I’m not trying to be tricky here; I am talking economically. Tara told me yesterday that she heard that you can define a person as being rich if they own a book. book-with-glasses.jpgPonder that. Anyone who owns a book is rich. They have the extra money to spend on a book. They have leisure time to spend reading a book. I know that when we visited homes in the Philippines people didn’t have books and were excited to receive bibles and reading glasses, something they knew nothing about.

At the Global Rich List, a site I’ve linked before, you can enter in your annual income and see how rich you are in the world. Go to the link and enter in your annual income. It’s quite fun, interesting, and a little humbling. An annual income of only $25,000 will put you in the top 10% internationally. We just spent the summer on Mindanao in the Philippines. The average household income in the Philippines is less than $4000 annually – about $300 per month. In talking with workers in stores there, some of them only made the equivalent of 4 dollars a day. In India the average annual income drops to $735 and in Uzbekistan it is around $600. hummer.jpg

Anyway, I like this notion of richness simply being the ability to own a book. Do you have any other ideas or ways to define “rich”? What do you think of the federal poverty levels? Does looking at the bigger picture help you realize how much we take for granted and that having more and more finances doesn’t satisfy?

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