In recent years, there has been a boom in focus in the U.S., And that isn’t always without reason: Pew Research calls the wealth divide between middle-income and upper-income households “sharp and rising.”
For instance, between 1983 and 2016, the percentage of combination wealth going to upper-income households increased from 60% to 79%. Meanwhile, for middle-income families, it reduced from 32% to simply 17%.
This is just one of many stats that spotlight the growing wealth disparity. While this is undoubtedly trouble, it’s easy to get caught up in these numbers. Despite the ever-increasing wealth gap withinside the U.S., the fact is that most people are still a lot richer than we realize. Don’t consider it? Let’s test some clear signs of that. You’re much more prosperous than you thought.
You Can Flush Your Toilet Paper
If you’ve ever visited a public restroom, you have probably seen reminders posted of ways you can only flush toilet paper. “Outside the United States, many nations do not have wastewater treatment facilities that may properly deal with toilet paper,” stated Wes Jacobs, founder of Apollo Medical Travel LLC.
It’s true: globally, 56% of family wastewater flows had been treated safely in 2020, according to UN-Water. That leaves billions without the ability to do something many of us take for granted.
“People who do flush toilet paper quickly learn an expensive lesson. For this reason, many developing countries have discrete trash cans for toilet paper after toilets.” As much as we admire the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach, many nations with decreased earnings don’t have that luxury.
Jacobs reminds us, “If you may flush toilet paper (or even wet wipes, you king!), you’re probably richer than you think.”
You Can Drink Your Tap Water
The methods wherein we take our water for granted don’t end with wastewater treatment. As of 2017, more than 800 million humans lack access to accessible water, according to WHO/UNICEF joint tracking data.
“Apart from some highly publicized places withinside the United States, you may probably drink the tap water,” Jacobs stated. “It may seem simple. However, the world is restricted to expensive bottled and treated water to drink, cook, or even brush their teeth.”
Indeed, you will be familiar with the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. But hundreds of millions worldwide lack access to clean drinking water, highlighting the quantity to which this basic necessity stays a luxury.
You Have Access to Broadband Internet
Those who’ve had broadband access think almost nostalgically about the days when we had to pay attention to those funny dial-up sounds before getting online. But even in 2021, there are still Americans who don’t have broadband access — or if they do, it isn’t as much as threshold speeds.
According to the FCC’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 19 million Americans either don’t have broadband access or don’t meet the four Mbps/1 Mbps benchmark.
The hassle with not having good enough access to internet services is that as they have expanded, they have become more deeply embedded in our ordinary lives. For instance, the latest article from NPR highlights the struggles a school in rural Nevada had when its internet went out.
“Teachers scrambled to recreate their lesson plans and presentations and couldn’t log attendance. ‘We don’t have a way to make sure that students are withinside the right lessons at the right moment,’ stated Lynn Manning-John, vice-principal principal at the K-12 school.”
The modern scenario is pretty different from 25 years when everything was on paper and schools didn’t rely on this infrastructure for basic daily activities. And with 19 million Americans having no or insufficient internet offerings, many people remain behind. Hence, when you have no hassle accessing the internet daily, you will be luckier than you realize.
You Have a Life Full of Opportunity
No matter where you stay, adult lifestyles won’t exactly be easy. Some of us have family responsibilities, and our opportunities may be limited somewhat by a lack of wealth. But having those opportunities can also put you in a different favorable position than you realize.
“I am a firm believer that wealth or being ‘rich’ is described by the possibilities and choices available to you,” stated Scott Nelson, founder at MoneyNerd. “For example, signs may consist of the ability to afford to go to university or the opportunity to leave an average day job and work in your business.”
Of course, this type of opportunity varies from the USA to the USA and from person to person. Unlike access to accessible water, there may be different levels of opportunity inside populations.
Nevertheless, having the freedom to live your life without the fear that you won’t be capable of “making it” is a luxury. “At a more basic level, it is a freedom not to spend all your time annoying about paying lease or being capable of affording groceries and instead focusing your mental strength on bigger things,” Nelson said.