Saturday, March 11, 2006

Dubai: The Once and Future West

The latest economic reports from the West indicate that per capita (i.e., average) income is going steadily up, while median income is going steadily down. (Average means take the sum of all incomes, rich and poor, and divide by the population; median means what the typical person gets.)

The West may soon achieve numbers similar to Dubai, which has a per capita income in excess of €20,000 and a median income of less than €2,000.

In the 18th and 19th century, English novels indicate that a family could live comfortably on just £20 a year, while single members of the landed gentry ran through more than £100 a week without even trying (e.g., Tom Jones). Dubai is currently much like that.

And, if things keep going as they are, the West will soon be again.

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