Author Topic: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?  (Read 17102 times)

iowajes

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #150 on: December 20, 2017, 09:38:05 AM »
Average american today.

I like my life.  As an average American, I have a lot at my disposable because of technology that no money in 1916 could have afforded.

Even asking this question about the 1950s billionaire vs today's average American would be challenging.

Are you an average American? 

The vast majority of the people on this forum live a higher standard of living, a higher level of education, and a higher amount of wealth than the average American.

(I'd be ME over a 1916 billionaire; but I don't want to be average right now.)

That's what I don't understand about this thread and the majority choosing the billionaire. We all think being an average American is a step down from our current life but somehow the majority think that taking several steps down in living standard is okay if they have a lot of money in comparison to everyone else. Hunh? I don't want to be an average American, I prefer to be me and have my life. But if I have to choose to downgrade one level or downgrade multiple levels with money, I choose one level downgrade.

I think the issue must be that I value knowledge/information, food diversity, medical advances and technology more than the majority. What's the point in having money if it can't buy me the things I want?

But the current you isn't a choice.  Average now or billionaire then is. 

Caoineag

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #151 on: December 20, 2017, 09:55:40 AM »
...

But the current you isn't a choice.  Average now or billionaire then is.

Right. I consider average now one level downgrade versus a billionaire then several level downgrade. I take average now over billionaire then.

talltexan

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #152 on: December 21, 2017, 07:33:44 AM »
What if we should be choosing billionaire today or average person in year 2100?

Paul der Krake

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #153 on: December 21, 2017, 09:16:23 AM »
2100 all day every day

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #154 on: December 21, 2017, 09:25:50 AM »
2100 all day every day

I don't think you read the question correctly.  The average person.  Not the average first world country person.

When you include the millions around the world living in poverty and without access to more than the most rudimentary of food, shelter, and medicine and then factor in the impacts of continuously increasing birth rates in third world conditions and how climate change will negatively impact world populations . . . well, it doesn't look very rosy for the 'average' human being on planet Earth.

talltexan

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #155 on: December 27, 2017, 07:21:49 AM »
If we extrapolate from the last 30 years, I think the average person in 2100 will probably do okay.

bridget

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #156 on: December 29, 2017, 12:39:45 PM »
2100 all day every day

I don't think you read the question correctly.  The average person.  Not the average first world country person.

When you include the millions around the world living in poverty and without access to more than the most rudimentary of food, shelter, and medicine and then factor in the impacts of continuously increasing birth rates in third world conditions and how climate change will negatively impact world populations . . . well, it doesn't look very rosy for the 'average' human being on planet Earth.

Maybe it's you who didn't read the question correctly :) It says average "American," a first-world country. 

Median income in America is somewhere around the $50k range, if I recall correctly.  Because of the 1%-ers who are high outliers, the "average" is probably higher than that. 

...

But the current you isn't a choice.  Average now or billionaire then is.

Right. I consider average now one level downgrade versus a billionaire then several level downgrade. I take average now over billionaire then.

I think this comes down to how some people are interested in relative wealth/lifestyle and others are interested in absolute wealth/lifestyle.  I've heard some people here say that they would rather get a 3% raise that is a little higher than everybody else at their company than a 5% raise that is a little lower than everyone else, even though the 5% is more money in absolute terms.  They don't feel valued, respected, etc. unless it is in relative terms.  I think many (most?) people also judge the quality of their lifestyle not based on objective things they have, but based on what other people have.  I have absolutely better indoor plumbing, food options, personal autonomy, blah blah blah than a billionaire in 1916, but as an "average" American, at least half of my peers around me have nicer stuff than I do.  Psychologically, it can feel like I'm worse off if I measure based on comparison rather than actual objective benefits. 

I personally think that comparison judging is a psychological/emotional fallacy to be overcome, and leads people to make decisions for themselves that make them worse off (see people who would take the 3% rather than the 5% raise based on their peers), so would choose Average American today.

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you rather be a billionaire in 1916, or an average American today?
« Reply #157 on: December 29, 2017, 04:58:00 PM »
2100 all day every day

I don't think you read the question correctly.  The average person.  Not the average first world country person.

When you include the millions around the world living in poverty and without access to more than the most rudimentary of food, shelter, and medicine and then factor in the impacts of continuously increasing birth rates in third world conditions and how climate change will negatively impact world populations . . . well, it doesn't look very rosy for the 'average' human being on planet Earth.

Maybe it's you who didn't read the question correctly :) It says average "American," a first-world country. 

Median income in America is somewhere around the $50k range, if I recall correctly.  Because of the 1%-ers who are high outliers, the "average" is probably higher than that. 

Not in post 153, which was what the post I was responding to was discussing.

 :P