What about wealth? What about debt in the First World?
“Dear Leading Light,
You say most First World people aren’t poor. They may have high incomes, but look at how low their wealth is. What about all their debt?”
Leading Light responds:
Thank you for writing.
Wealth statistics of individuals are not the best indicator of real poverty nor standard of living. Wealth is usually a measure of assets minus debt. Many First World people with a relatively high standard of living can nonetheless have very little wealth. This is because of debt. It may be unpleasant to have debt from a First World perspective, but debt does not correspond to standard of living. For example, Donald Trump had tremendous debt in the 80s and 90s. He even declared bankruptcy. Yet he was still flying around in his own private helicopter, living in luxury. Contrast this with a subsistence farmer in Bangladesh or Peru. He may be debt free. So, technically speaking, his wealth may be greater than Donald Trump’s was at that time. Yet the standard of living of the substance farmer is such that his family barely survives from day to day.
Debt means different things for the average First World person and the average Third World person. For the Third World person, even a small amount of debt can reduce him to sub-subsistence. Even a small amount of debt can require a Third World family to send their children to work in slave-like conditions. Even a small amount of debt can lead to sex slavery. Even a small amount of debt can lead to pauperization. Contrast this with the average, middle-strata person in the First World. What does debt mean to them? Will debt typically send them onto the streets? Will it require selling their children into slavery? Will it drive them to starvation? Obviously, not. Debt functions differently in the First World. The ability to acquire large debt is a mark of privilege. It the First World ability to incur debt is really the ability to access capital that is total unavailable to most people in the Third World. The ability to accrue large debt often corresponds with a higher, stable income and standard of living. First World people use debt to increase their standard of living. They purchase homes that they could not normally afford at the moment, often replacing a monthly rent charge with a sometimes lower mortgage payment. They purchase big ticket items: cars, motorcycles, appliances, technology, etc. They take out loans in order to have access to education opportunities that are denied most people in the Third World. There is also credit card debt, which can be used for a variety of purchases. First World people can feel like they are smothered in debt. They wish their debt would go away. However, what people feel about debt does not always correspond to reality. In general, debt is not a measure of real standard of living. Looking at median incomes across populations is a far better tool for measuring standard of living.
When First Worldists like to throw around statistics about debt. Their audience usually does not even understand what the figures actually measure or mean. Truth be told, the First Worldist themselves usually don’t know. It is a kind of sophistry, a rhetorical tool, a kind of First Worldist agitation. People should be critical when looking at any claim. People should not blindly accept anything. First Worldism is a house of cards that easily falls apart when put under the slightest scrutiny. First Worldism is revisionist dogma, pure and simple. Marxism is at a point where is has to evolve or fade into irrelevance. Revisionism does not correspond to reality in the slightest. The masses see this. Marxism has a credibility problem. It is time to cast aside all the dogma. It is time to elevate the science. It is time for Leading Light Communism.