Imagine if you might, what you think you see as the top 20% might be the bottom 20%. Not in poverty but with abysmal credit score due to bankruptcy and over-spending. The FOOL stock market website reports on the population distribution of the USA by Credit Score, in the image below, you see that the bottom 20% have Credit Scores less than 600 (the full story here). And even though beginners start off with a credit score of 500, they soon rise into the national average. Those that wallow in the bottom 20% might very well be the homes living in mansions with debts well over their income.
A credit score records 90% of borrowing activity, leaving a further 10% outside the ordinary credit system. When people without a transparent regular occupation seem to live so well, they might be existing in this riskier level of the credit score spectrum, looking for a pot of gold. Sometimes they might be a shoplifting ring living out in a big mansion, or a businessman and his family chased by debt collectors.
In a study by one of the two credit bureaus, TransUnion, they ask the question, are you sloppy or struggling, alluding to a temporary or permanent state? And in age old folklore, I ask further, how sloppy and how struggling, because in folklore such things are the stuff of ‘monstrous crimes’.
To gain a philosophical view of wealth you might want to check out ‘Materialism: The Problem of ‘Rich’, where wealth in modern times may be the result of work that is just one virtue, not all, of a good life.