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African Poor vs. American Poor

The Economist has an interesting article that compares poor in Africa to poor in America.

Why juxtapose the lives of a poor man in a rich country and a relatively well-off man in a poor one? The exercise is useful for two reasons. First, it puts the rich world’s wealth into context. A Congolese doctor, a man most other Congolese would consider wealthy, is worse off materially than most poor people in America. That, in itself, is striking.

7 Comments

  1. very interesting, especially since i lived in Hazard, KY when i was a kid – and used to be a legal resident of Durban, South Africa. wow…

  2. Hash, it is disappointing

  3. I read the article, quite interesting. I’ve often thought there is no relationship whatsoever between happiness and money–unless, perhaps, it is an inverse one. There are so many ways to be poor.

  4. How do we read this story or article

  5. A.J. Just click on the link in the blog post above and it will take you to the article.

  6. White African,
    I just discovered your blog and I love it. I am from Madagascar and live in Washington DC, after having lived, in among other cities, Paris and NYC.
    Not sure what the point of this article is though.
    “It is hard to gauge the pain of relative poverty because no one knows how to measure happiness. Simply asking people “Are you happy?” only gets you so far. ”
    I know a lot of people living on only one meal a day back home who think they’re happy and blessed and thanking God every day for what they have.

  7. Gerald Bollinger

    May 21, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    There is a study that shows the main two things that is needed for a person to be generally happy is:

    1. A feeling that they have control over their life. (Someone else is not making decisions for them)
    2. The perception that they are doing slightly better (material wealth) than their peers.

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