henry-ford-highland-park-minimum-wage-earnersI’m sure you’ve heard business people and others say… that the “1%-class” belongs to the richest people on the planet. For the world, that means that out of 7 billion people on our green planet, only a very small fraction belong to the ‘untouchables’.

In a recent study from Credit Suisse Research Institute, it found that “the gravy train is chugging along, but with relatively few passengers”.

The purchasing power and economic gains go to the very top, and both the distribution of wealth and earners create a wealth inequality that to many seem unfair. And, because of economic and political factors, the wealth gap is getting worse.

So you ask – what can YOU do about that?

First, let us briefly look at the history of this imbalance.

It was determined from the same research report that the biggest spread of this gap was in 1928 and in 2007. In both years, the top 1% represented about a quarter of total income. In 1929 and also in 2008 (sub-prime mortgage drain), the US economy tumbled, and the whole world was pulled down into the black hole as well.

Many nations have worked to flatten this inequality – and investments into education, infrastructure and other economic boosting tactics have helped. In the US, these investments have remained the same – or less. The US seems to be far more unequal than other advanced societies, and the equality is increasing.

Here are some of the average adult wealth distribution numbers today:

  • Switzerland: $513,000
  • Australia: $403,000
  • Norway: $380,000
  • Luxembourg: $315,000
  • United States: $301,000 (skewed … because the USA has the largest number of “ultra-high” net worth individuals, exceeding 50 million in assets)

The US accounts for 46% of all super wealthy people world wide. China comes in at a distant 2nd, with 6% of the world’s super rich.

Can you be successful in your own country?

If you are in the United States, much is said about the land of opportunity and creating and growing your own business. The term Entrepreneur (French origin) is popular here. Briefly, it means …somebody who is willing to take more elevated risks than others to provide for their own families & live the “American Dream”.  Successes are far and few between, and many businesses lose this game. As many as 95% fail in the first 5 years. (Score.org).  It takes more than a dream, many feel this is harder than ever since the rich are gaming the system so they can accumulate a greater share of wealth to the detriment of others.

They use their clout to reduce taxes, and placing great burden on the rest of society to fund government programs and the public sector’s investment in economic growth.

Consumer spending is key to growth (in any economy), and more money into the hands of the consumers seems reasonable. It does, but has the additional benefit of helping the rich get richer. Henry Ford saw an opportunity, and how it could help him. In 1914, he more than doubled factory workers’ minimum pay to $5 bucks a day. He wished to control the employee turnover, but knew it would also help the workers purchase the automobiles they were making!

CEOs made an average of 12.3 million dollars last year or about 354 more times what the average rank-and-file worked pulled in (AFL-CIO).  30 years ago, it was only 42 times the average.

The report shows that the number of millionaires worldwide has risen by almost 2 million since the middle of last year. That’s almost 99,000 folks worth more than $50 million apiece. But, on the flip-side, about 2/3 of all adults worldwide represent no more than 3% of global wealth.

The positive indicators show that wealth will continue to rise, almost 40% over the next five years. For other “mortals”, all this data shows that you’ll see little to no gains in your own life.

What can you do about it?  And, how do you determine wealth, health and success in your own life?  Are you frustrated about this wealth disparity?

Here’s a simple! wealth changing plan for you and your family: (we’re focusing on money here… success is defined in many other ways too, don’t forget…)

  1. Get a baseline of where you are today. (Make this exact! Income vs. expenses = Net in bank)
  2. Get clarity on where you want to be, what you want to make ($$$), by what date. (Write it down and keep it where you can see it every day. Get buy-in from your family.)
  3. Identify the gap, map out the plan, start putting the plan into action, working a little bit closer to the goal each day. Celebrate small victories along the way.

For example, let’s say that Bob, an insurance salesman and a family of three has this scenario going:

  • – Makes $5,000 dollars a month, expenses is $4,500 – Leaves $500.00.
  • – Wants to make $20,000 dollars a month, ongoing
  • – GAP: $15,000.  He develops a plan to STOP doing what is not working now, and make the changes needed (small steps are fine) and track progress.

Simple is not always easy as the expression goes, but when considering all the things you could be doing, start simple, and remind yourself that you are GREAT and you can do ANYTHING! Your time is NOW!


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.