The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Something got me thinking about global average income. So I looked it up. According to Global Rich List, it's around $5000/year. That surprised me, actually, I thought it would be lower. But this means:

  • Globviously, for every person who makes more than $5k a year, there is someone who makes less.

  • If the average salary in America is $36k. That's hugely skewed upwards by The L Curve. So basically there are many people in the U.S. who are living at third-world levels of poverty. Shame on us. And we're talking income, not wealth.

  • If you make more than $5k a year, you are getting more than your fair share. Every I-pod and SUV is bathed in the blood of those who were killed and exploited to maintain systems of slavery and economic rape in the developing world in order to support the consumerist bubble that is the pre-collapse U.S. economy we're in. Why is this admired in our society? Seems like the more a person steals from his neighbors, the more he should be shunned. Ah, but if you make sure to steal from people far away, it's admirable?

  • On a side note, I have come to believe that the maximum size of a fair community is around 1000 members. Beyond that you can't personally know the person you're stealing from. I've heard stories from kibbutz residents about hoarding in a commune, even when it wasn't neccessary. I feel like there is an innate human instinct that says "protect and hoard for the WE, hate and steal from the THEY". This would explain the duality of loving/hating that exists in every human being and you can see its effects everywhere from sports fans to churchgoers. Thus I'd say my political orientation is in favor of autonomous communities smaller than 1000 that exist as units within a free-trade system. Globviously something would have to be in place to prevent cheating and war.

  • Is it easier or harder to be poor in a richer country? Well, I mean, in this country, the only first world nation without nationalized health care etc. I don't know the answer because the benefits of this country can be subtle. When I lived in Ghana there was certainly much less opportunity for economic mobility. But it was easier to get food and tedious work. Here in America there's less personal freedom and lots of systems in place that basically make it expensive just to be here. A small example would be: In order to fish for dinner I would need a fishing license. In Chicago it's actually illegal (but rarely enforced) to reuse or recycle waste food from the dumpster. What this means is that there are laws that say this food MUST be wasted by law. Isn't that odd?

  • For a few years I have been working full-time, without pay, on charitable activities of various sorts but centering around getting bicycles out of the waste stream and into the hands of folks who need them. I throw myself into this with a passion; it is my life. I could live on $400/month. Why is it so hard to make a living doing this? There's always grant money but that system is distasteful to me, at any rate, people within the system don't like the look of me and discriminate against me daily (I'm not whining, it's not nearly what a black person endures). I'm used to it, I choose to look this way. But what I *don't* choose is to be unable to work within the system. I just can't. It's not made for or by people like me. I tried. I look at people my age with jobs and homes with envy, not with spite. I wish I could be a buckle-downer. I can't.

  • Whatever happened to the patron system? Seems like SOME eccentric millionaire would be willing to drop $400 a month to put, say, a couple of bikes a day into the hands of poor kids. People pay that much for pet accupuncture.

  • On a related note, every time someone gets arrested at a protest there's a scramble for food for the jail support and all of us are digging around for a few dumpster bagels (and later, for clothes for court). Seems like there would be a lot of bo-bos who wouldn't neccessarily be out there getting arrested but who would be willing to clean out their pantries for (as in last night's case) a Logan Square local arrested for protesting a Nazi demonstration. Maybe there needs to be a connection made.

  • There are 5,174,540,750 people poorer than me.


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