Saturday, August 14, 2010

Maximum Wage

What's a reasonable annual income?  $600 a year in Somalia?  $43,000 in Norway?  I guess these numbers, supposedly for the poorest and the richest country, measured per capita, are based on gross domestic product divided by the number of people in the country.

How about $50 million for a country singer (Chesney)?  Or $2.3 billion for the head of an investment firm (Paulson)?  Something inside me approves the first but is very suspicious of the second, possibly because I'm trying to finish The Big Short.  Maybe when someone earns these amounts of money, the FBI should join the IRS to try to determine if something's wacky.  Maybe the IRS should send a note to the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. 

Virginia says, "I read somewhere that people who earned their wealth are happier than people who inherited it."

That's just like her, changing the subject, trying to get me thinking about something worth thinking about.  No, of course I wasn't about to mention the un-American idea of a maximum wage or income.

"People who earn their wealth are more likely to say it contributes to happiness," says Virginia.

That's not a big surprise.  Most of those who inherited wealth never learned what it's like to be poor.

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