Poor rich America, the first nation?

I was reading why America is the World’s First Poor Rich Country by Umair and was pretty much agreeing with everything he wrote.

The crux of his blog is about the basics of life which you need to pay for in America.

In Europe, Canada, and even Australia, society invests in all these things — and the costs of basic necessities societies don’t provide are regulated. For example, I pay $50 dollars for broadband and TV in London — but $200 for the same thing in New York — yet in London, I get vastly more and better media for my money (even including, yes, American junk like Ancient Aliens). That’s regulation at work. And when basic goods like healthcare or elderly care or education are provided and managed at a social scale, that is when they are cheapest, and often of the best quality, too. Hence, healthcare costs far less in London, Paris, or Geneva — and life expectancy is longer, too.

So if you are earning $50k in America, it is a very different thing than earning $50k in France, Germany, or Sweden — in America, you must pay steeply for the basics of life, for basic necessities. Thus, incomes stretch much further in other countries, which enjoy a vastly higher quality of life, even though people there earn roughly the same amount, because they pay vastly less for basic necessities. Americans are rich, but only nominally — their money doesn’t buy nearly as much as their peers does, where it matters and counts most, for the basics of life.

I remember many friends moving to America and reporting the wages they were getting as a result.

One friend for example said he was earning 6 figures as a contractor and I replied great, are you paying health insurance? He replied no, he will be fine. I said GET health insurance because one slip and you are so screwed.

America is pioneering a new kind of poverty. The kind of poverty that’s developed in America isn’t just bizarre and gruesome — it’s novel and unseen. It isn’t something that we understand well, economists, intellectuals, thinkers, because we have no good framework to think about it. It’s not absolute poverty like Somalia, and it’s not just relative poverty, like in gilded banana republics. It’s a uniquely American creation. It’s extreme capitalism meets Social Darwinism by way of rugged self-reliance crossed with puritanical cruelty.

Its a big deal and Umair is right. I do have a worry that the UK is sleep walking in the same direction too!

Been thinking about this a lot as the Brexit drama turns into full on insanity. Really good to finally watch Noam Chomsky’s Requiem for the American Dream.

Targeted for being connected?

E3 2006 090

Little news which slipped under the radar in the UK was Kevin Rose the guy from Diggnation, founder of Digg and now one of the people involved in Google Ventures. Was targeted by a number of protesters over the anti-tech tensions in San Francisco.

The Digg founder said the protesters raised a banner reading “Kevin Rose Parasite” and handed out pamphlets to his neighbors that read, in part: “Kevin directs the flow of capital from Google into the tech startup bubble that is destroying San Francisco. The start-ups that he funds bring the swarms of young entrepreneurs that have ravaged the landscapes of San Francisco and Oakland.”

The rapid growth of the local tech sector has sparked a series of protests in recent months, as concerns grow over economic inequality, evictions and neighborhood gentrification.

Gentrification… its that word again. Remember when I wrote about gentrification in a post a while ago?

Of course its bad Kevin was targeted, but the protesters certainly picked the wrong person.  Having dropped out of education at college age, he worked his way into the tech scene by appearing on TV and clawing his way up the ladder before taking the risk with a few initiative’s.

The irony of the protests wasn’t lost, as Kevin pointed it out for them shooting on Google phones.

Maybe its time to refresh the post which still isn’t up at Singleblackmale. This seems like a good opportunity to give more emphases to my point about the rich, educated and connected

They are feared, with their weird glasses geeky, electric cars and new data ethic. They use cafes as workplaces, bars to conduct meetings and workplaces to “chillax”. They don’t believe in business hierarchies and believe you can quantify everything from relationships to sex…