[FoRK] Chart of the Day...

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Fri Jun 11 19:05:13 PDT 2010

On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 7:18 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> Our current system works well for the bulk of people, very well for some,
> and terribly for others.

Not sure what counts as "well" in your book, or if you're talking
specifically about the U.S. (and maybe developed countries in general) or
the entire world.  But if it's the world, then about half live below $2.50 a
day, which is well under the US poverty line.  In the US, the official stat
is like 13% under the poverty line, in which case you might say it works
well for the bulk.

Unless you don't accept $2.50 as a threshold?  I mean, people can certainly
live off that, obviously, and even be happy.

Which reminds me of this story:

An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when
> a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

> Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist
> complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it
> took to catch them.

> The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

> The tourist then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more
> fish?"

> The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's
> needs."

> The tourist then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

> The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my
> children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each
> evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and
> busy life."

> The tourist scoffed, " I can help you. You should spend more time fishing;
> and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger
> boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of
> fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell
> directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would
> control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small
> coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and
> eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise."

> The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

> The tourist replied, "15 to 20 years."

> "But what then?" asked the Mexican.

> The tourist laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right
> you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you
> would make millions."

> "Millions?...Then what?"

> The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing
> village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take
> siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could
> sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."


Jebadiah Moore

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