Like most people, I watched with excitement as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (also referred to as the Royals) introduced their latest newborn – a precious baby boy – to the world. To me, the moment represented a speck of innocence in the daily news instead of its usual abhorrent savagery. But as I pondered on the scene displayed on the computer screen, I could not help but to think of the current state of the world – the stark separation of “the haves” and “the have nots”.
The Haves and the Have Nots
In the western world, most people know the difference between the haves and the have nots. The haves represent wealth and riches. They tend to have more resources than the average person would need. Think of the 1% of the world. While on the other hand, the have nots represent poverty. Those living hand to mouth. On the brink of homelessness or hunger pending one minor setback.
As I stood admiring the growing, affable family, I could not help but to brood on how rare this moment is for many, especially Millennials. At 36, Kate has three children, a deeply committed spouse, and not a single worry when it comes to finances. Her life is the embodiment of being carefree.
Meanwhile in the United States, most Millennials I know are working tireless hours. Most are regrettably unmarried. And like most people struggle to keep abreast of the forever fluctuating prices for housing, food, fuel, and medicine. And let’s not forget the heaviest ball and chain – student loans.
Real World Analysis
In my area, a nuclear family¹ would need a minimum household income of $106,549² (or $8,879 per month) to make ends meet.
The top employer in my area is not a private company with high paying jobs, but a school system. The education field is respectable, but most individuals employed in the field would agree that they do not earn a proper salary. So, in my area people either do one of two things: commute 40 minutes or more for a higher paying position or work at positions barely above the federal minimum wage ($7.25) locally.
This notion of not being able to afford a family seems to parallel across the pond. A CNN article by Alan Petroff entitled, “Kate and William can afford 3 kids. Many Brits cannot”³, highlights this same concern. Petroff states that a family of three or more children is not attainable among average Millenial Brits due to rising education among women, high housing costs, and lack of government support for families. I would concur the same is true in the US.
Meanwhile, the Royals enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Petroff states:
Earning power isn’t a problem for Kate and Prince William. They receive millions from Prince Charles to cover the cost of their official duties, own a country mansion, and enjoy a London residence — Kensington Palace — rent free.
While most of the Royal’s money comes from investments via Prince Charles, inheritance from the late Princess Diana, and work Prince William accomplished with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. They also benefit from taxpayer money through the Queen.
The United States does not have royalty like the United Kingdom, but we have privileged individuals here too. These individuals are referred to as the 1%. Some acquire wealth through corporate welfare or passing it down the generations. Then they save money through tax loopholes and other financial schemes.
Having a nuclear family may seems out of reach, but it isn’t impossible. Most of us are not “haves”. Our future earnings are not guaranteed at birth. But by saving more for the future and limiting our debt, we may have a chance at having a loving family and maintaining a comfortable living.
Some may think these words are the words of a despairing person, but in reality these words are true. Working hard at one job is yielding less and less fruit these days. And the future doesn’t look bright for the future generations. Now is the time to be smart and daring to get ahead. Take the road less travel by.
Video credit: Guardian News| Youtube
¹ defined as a father, mother, and two children
4 thoughts on “The Haves and the Have Nots in 2018”
Ha ha, this is really timely as I’ve just recently read a post regarding the royals, considering Prince Harry is about to be wed soon and how I was just imagining how much work they don’t have to exert (compared to us normal people) to live a financial worry-free life. It really is time to be start and daring, thank you for raising this topic up.
I’m a college student, so I’m in the midst of financial chaos. I saw a tweet the other day asking users to retweet if their rent was more than 1/3 of their monthly income. Right now, my rent is more than my monthly income and I consistently rely on my savings to make it through the month. It’s incredibly frustrating to see people be so wealthy that they don’t know what to do with their money.
Great comment, Lauren!