Which Has Greater Wealth Inequality: The United States of America or Everything2?
If you have been paying attention to the Occupy Wall Street movement at all, you will no doubt have heard the somewhat shocking fact that in the United States in 2010, the wealthiest 1% of Americans controlled approximately 40% of all the wealth in the US. It was primarily this fact that spawned the slogan "We are the 99%," which emphasizes this gap between the wealthiest 1% and most of the rest of America.
With this context in mind, I decided to run some statistics and see what wealth equality or inequality is like here on Everything2, in terms of our local currency, GP.
As of this writing, there are 1159 E2 users in possession of at least 1 GP . Of these 1159 users, 106, or nearly 10 percent, have 1 GP and 1 GP only, and 580 users--the bottom 50%--each have 14 GP or less.
Meanwhile, the richest 1%--a total of just 11 Everything2 users--control an incredible 345,635 GP between them, or an average of 31,421 GP each.
With a 775141 total GP in circulation as of this writing, this means that the richest 1% of Everything2 users control over 44% of all the wealth on E2. In other words, Everything2 seems to have slightly greater wealth inequality than the US of A.
However, there are a couple of ways in which the wealth situation on E2 is vastly superior to that of the United States.
First of all, wealth inequality on E2 is rapidly decreasing. In December, 2008--just 3 years ago--the wealthiest 11 users controlled over 80% of the GP wealth on Everything2, compared to 44% today. This is a very different trend from the USA, where the wealth gap has been steadily increasing since the 1970s.
Second of all, unlike the real world, which has trust-fund babies like Paris Hilton and vast differences in compensation based on profession, as exemplified by the monstrous annual bonuses "earned" by Wall Street executives, most wealth on E2 is gained through actual effort and hard work and is gained at the same rate of compensation by all. Most of the richest E2 users gained their wealth through massive amounts of voting on writeups, which is generally the surest and fastest method to gain GP on E2. Although there are a few shortcuts to GP wealth, such as blessings from administrators, even these GP grants are almost always awarded for feats of meritorious service open to all users, such as participating in E2 Quests.