I am always blown away by the mental disconnect between rich people and the rest of us.

I work for a doctor. He pulls in $70,000-$90,000 a month before tax. After tax, he’s still $200,000+ a year.

I earn $52,000 a year.

Yet his wife will still talk to me and say “oh, we’re not rich.” She drives a Porsche. She wears Carla Zampatti. They live in a new townhouse that cost well over a million.

So, when she gives me recommendations on things to buy and I tell her I can barely afford Kmart, she seems genuinely perplexed.

They are NOT bad people. I’ve worked for them for 12 years now. They are good people with good hearts. But they no longer connect with reality on level and it’s absolutely mindboggling.

And I think a large part of this is that rich people compare themselves to other rich people, not to the regular people.

He doesn’t earn as much as a surgeon. He doesn’t own a mansion or a helicopter (both of which I know a couple of surgeons own).

In comparison, they aren’t as rich.

They were once poor, 25 years ago when he was starting to become a doctor. But that memory is skewed now. Or perhaps they always aimed for the Porsche and the month long holidays in Scotland so the journey meant something else.

But, holy shit, when she shows me something on sale that’s still out of my price range, I feel that gap. And I don’t envy her. I don’t want a Porsche.

I just want to actually afford Kmart without saving up for it.

And since there seems to be some belief that I earn a huge amount, that is AUD.

It’s $34,000USD, rounded up.

And yet, horrifyingly, she’s kind of right.

Like yeah, the surgeon is unfathomably wealthy compared to someone who struggles to meet their basic needs… but he’s fundamentally still working class. He gets his money from his labor, not by virtue of merely owning something.

Does the surgeon make more than he “deserves”? Maybe. Even if he’s a plastic surgeon, I can still squint and kind of see how it makes sense for him to get paid that much. However, I do know that people who get their wealth by merely owning things absolutely don’t deserve it.

And like, the important thing is that it’s a difference in kind… but the difference in scale is absurd too. If her husband worked since Egyptians first started writing on papyrus, and didn’t spend any money, he’d still have less than what Jeff Bezos makes in a week. The pay ratio between Bezos and the surgeon is 60,000x greater than the pay ratio between the surgeon and you… and he literally doesn’t do anything besides own companies. Bezos literally does less work than you.

I don’t like this fact at all.

That last point is an important point to make. There is a big difference between those who are paid large amounts of money for their work and those who make 1000x more simply by ownership of capital.

When i think of who in society probably deserve to be paid the most? I’d say neurosurgeons. It requires a huge amount of skill, dedication, and study. 8+ years of medical school. Many more years of training. But the higher end of neurosurgeon salaries is just under $1 million a year.

Yes that is a lot of money and you can debate if its too much or too little for their work, but the point is they are arguably ~the most highly skilled and intelligent workers in the world~ (qualities that neoliberals say are the most important in society) and yet they are still paid pennies on the dollar compared to capital owners.