Saturday, November 03, 2012

Cannibals

Some sources estimate that the amount of money that goes around in the whole world is 44 trillion dollars. There are currently about 9 billion people on the face of this miserable planet. If we all lose everything we own and share this 44 trillion dollar pot among ourselves equally, we would all start out with about 4 dollars.

4 dollars.

That's not a lot of money, but for us Filipinos, it can be enough to get us through the day. 4 dollars will buy you three carinderia meals with something left over for a pack of cheap cigarettes. But what happens if you need new shoes? Or medicine?

Realization: There’s too little money and too many of us. You can enjoy your cigarette and your Starbucks Grande Mocha Frappuccino because someone else in the world is eating dirt.

It can be argued that if, by some miracle, the entire world’s wealth gets instantly redistributed equally in one fell swoop, things will soon turn back to what it was. This is because some of us have talents and abilities that, when translated to providing goods and services, are more valuable than others. A doctor, for instance, will get paid more for his services than, say, a farmer for the same services. A doctor has a medical degree, after all. You see what I’m getting at? Some people have more money because what they do is more valuable than what others do. Yes, even TV stars. You can’t project your dreams on just anyone. And there are those who are rich because they have the talent and ability to take your money, legally or otherwise.

Realization: If you want to improve the quality of your life, you have to take someone else’s quality of life. We are all cannibals.

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