Charles Koch, whose personal wealth is estimated around 43.4 billion dollars, apparently believes that anyone making $34,000 a year should be rolling in dough.  Not that I make that much anyway, but I’d like to take issue with his assumption anyway.

While I do believe most Americans are blessed way beyond what they realize and that many times we squander our income, $34,000 means an entirely different quality of life in different areas.

When I lived in Springfield, Illinois, $34,000 meant a nice, 5-bedroom house on a 1/4 acre lot in a quiet neighborhood, two cars, a reasonable food and clothing budget, and enough extra to occasionally travel or splurge a bit.

Here in Southern California, $34,000 means a one-bedroom apartment in a bad neighborhood (I’ve been looking, so I’m pretty sure about the rates).  Clothing and food are within budget, but I’d anticipate being limited to one (older) car and not much travel.

Don’t get me wrong.  I see $34,000 as doable.  I’d love to be making $34,000.  But cost of living should definitely be factored into the equation.

I do hope Charles Koch donates a minimum of 10% of his income to charity… as I would hope those making $34,000 do.  Again, I’m talking about what is doable, not what is easy.

Anyone can do easy.