There's an interesting web site that can help your students understand how our nation compares to most of the world. The site, How Rich Are You? allows students to enter an income in one of five major currencies, then shows where that income ranks relative to a world scale. For example, plugging the median U.S. income of $46,242 shows that to be in the richest 1.36% of world population. It also shows some interesting choices one can make regarding donating part of one's salary.
Now, it does not discuss issues of income disparity aside from making a statement about how much better off people are in wealthy countries vs. those where the poorest 20% live. Nor does it discuss economic institutions. That is important because in many of the "richer" countries, institutions exist that allow people some income mobility throughout their life cycle. While the institutions in many poor countries would limit the impact of the donations through corruption, etc. Nevertheless, the site is an interesting place to start.
Thanks to Greg Mankiw for the pointer, and Marginal Revolution before that.
Your thoughts on how to use this in the classroom are encouraged.
Posted by TSchilling at 3:09 PM Comments (0)