In a virtuoso display of real-life trolling by Toronto Life magazine, essayist Jonathan Kay bemoans that earning the top 1% of income in Toronto (according to the article, $10,400 per month after taxes) doesn’t make one rich, it makes one more middle class. To quote:
Break it down, and it translates to roughly $10,400 a month, after taxes. For many Torontonians, that $10,400 disappears fast. Thousands go to the mortgage. For those with young kids, daycare can cost upwards of $1,500 a month. There are the car and RSP [Retirement Savings Plan – A.H.] payments, wardrobe refreshes, utility bills and something to set aside for when the furnace inevitably conks out. Plus the cost of the sushi, pad Thai and butter chicken that we order in three nights a week—because we’re all too tired to cook by the time we get home from work.
Let me play you a song of sympathy – I think I have my violin around here somewhere. Let me look for it. It’s really small.
And here we see the fundamental dishonest characteristic of each and every article which advances this particular enraging argument. “Sure, it’s an objectively large sum of money,” they say. “But it is far smaller after I spend it.
“…This argument is like a man eating a hearty meal, licking his plate clean, then turning to a starving person and saying, “Look, we’re in the same boat. My plate is empty too!”
You see, one of the problems high income earners have is that they earn a lot of money, yes, but they don’t feel rich.* That’s because, after living the lifestyle of a high income person (i.e. spending all their money on nice things), there isn’t a ton of money left over for building wealth. Because they spent it all.
The secret, of course, to becoming rich on an above average (or ridiculously large) income is to make the difference between your income and expenses as large as possible. This will create something called “savings.” That “savings” can then be invested into income producing ventures, or buying investments that you hope will rise in value. This will increase your income and/or assets, which will help make you richer.
It’s obvious, of course, but it’s funny how this escapes so many people. Either that, or they just won’t do it.
Or, they’re just trolling.
* It’s a nice problem to have, but still a problem.