Sharing the Wealth Richard Quinn | August 22, 2019
SHOULD THOSE of us who are better off financially feel guilty? When I read about income inequality, folks living paycheck to paycheck and the like, I occasionally feel a twinge of guilt. But it quickly passes.
This lack of guilt doesn’t imply a lack of empathy on my part or that of others who have been financially successful. Indeed, wealth is frequently used to help others. Society has benefited greatly not just from the jobs created by the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Fords and others, but also from their philanthropy.
In modern times, the Gates foundation, and the work of Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires, have helped millions. Even folks with moderately high incomes give a fair amount to charity. According to IRS data, among those with incomes between $100,000 and just under $200,000 who deducted charitable contributions in 2016, the average amount was $4,245.Wealth that’s honestly earned is nothing to be ashamed of: It takes hard work, years of discipline, a modicum of luck and—most important in my view—consistently good life decisions. But, yes, that wealth also comes with responsibility. Wealth is never accumulated alone. I had mentors who helped me greatly in my career.What counts as financial success—and hence who should be in a position to help others? If you earn $100,000, you earn more than 87% of Americans. At $250,000, you’re above 98% of your fellow citizens. Then we have net worth. The median net worth of American families, those at the 50th percentile, is $97,300, but it varies greatly by age. Those ages 45 to 54 have an average $124,200, while folks 75 and older have $264,800. These numbers include the value of homes and retirement savings.
Read the full post here. Source: Sharing the Wealth – HumbleDollar