Do you earn or do you profit?
As per youzsh, XKCD is the kink of visualizations and has done it again with the newest chart on money. The teeny-tiny version below really needs to be viewed in full size to have any sort of grasp on how
perverse pervasive the income gap has become.
I though this made a timely contrast with Dan Gillmor’s recent insistence on rejecting the term ‘earn’ when it comes to the income of the 1%:
To be sure, one of the meanings of "to earn" is "to profit financially" – but it is not the only one. The other major meaning is related to whether someone has deserved his or her gain, which may or may not be about money. Because the word has both connotations, we tend to attach both when the topic is about financial profits.
If we know anything about the recent income and accumulated assets of the now notorious 1%, it is that much of this wealth, by any rational standard, is undeserved. This applies especially to the Wall Street bankers who looted the global economy with sleazy tactics and, sadly, also with impunity.
That is why, if I was the editor in charge of any news organisation, I would flatly ban the use of the word "earned", when "profited" or "made" (as in money) would be much more accurate, or at least neutral. I would not try to say who "deserved" profits; only that profits were made.