The Way We Live Now: Great, if we're millionaires. And we're not, any more. So the remaining millionaires use us as a global army of slave drones for their own whimsical amusement. Their "cash money" buys us nothing. We're enraged!
The number of millionaires in the world fell by 15% last year. There are now only 8.6 million of the economic chosen ones, and those ones lost a fifth of their money in the past year. And Asia is set to surpass North America in number of millionaires by 2013.
What's that all add up to? We hate to say it, but it looks like our world may be developing some economic inequality. It seems that everyone does not have the same amount of wealth after all. While these 8.6 million souls talk about the money they have in their bank accounts, and how it adds up to more than one million dollars, controlling for currency fluctuations, the rest of us are not so fortunate as to be able to hold such a conversation. Indeed, we have less than one million dollard—sometimes far less.
How did this happen? You'd have to be some sort of Rain Man genius to know for sure. What's clear is that you, the small-time freelancer trying to stay afloat, are no longer just competing with others in your city; you're competing with an entire globe full of desperate, grasping freelance workers of all descriptions, willing to undercut your prices as much as necessary in order to land that graphic design contract for the new burrito restaurant's menu, which could bring in enough rupees for some poor bum in New Delhi to feed his family for another week or two.
And who's out there, picking workers and deciding our fates? Those god damn millionaires. They have dollars—millions of them, by definition—and they're giving us the pennies. Some people can't take it any more. Alfred Johnson, a 60 year-old ex-con, "went berserk" after a liquor store in Brooklyn tried to give him his change in pennies. He smashed things. He got arrested. He went back to jail. "Keep your damn pennies," Alfred said, with his kicks and wild punches. He's an inspiration. But he should have took the pennies. Only 100,000,000 of them will make you rich.