We were discussing some of our childhood friends today morning over breakfast; appreciating how some of them earned their education in spite of extreme financial hardships. Back in my junior high school (grades 7 ~ 9) days, we had a large spread between the rich and the poor guys in my class. Some kids came from very affluent backgrounds and enjoyed huge houses and expensive vehicles, while some could barely afford to buy backpacks, text books, and other school supplies. Over the years, most of the kids studied hard and almost everyone has managed some kind of a degree/diploma in their field of choice. From the point of view of my current perception of *rich* and *poor*, almost all of them are doing very well. The average financial well-being at present is at a much higher level than the average financial well-being back in our junior high class. Generally, I have observed the largest visible difference occurred with the financial situation of the poorer kids (of course, there are exceptions to this). The graph below might convey my thoughts in a better way. It’s a very crude graph (like, not all kids ended up with the same level of education), but it does reflect reality to some extent.
I also think that education was largely responsible for the reduction in the spread of the *financial well-being* that you see in the graph above. Though we came from different financial backgrounds, education provided us with almost equal opportunities when we later started thinking in terms of becoming financially independent. It sort of raised us all to a common level without discriminating between the rich and the poor. In other words, it sort of acted as a leveler. Have you observed something similar? Do you know of any other economic levelers that might be in play…but something that we may have never *observed*? Just some food for thought on a lazy Saturday afternoon.