One odd thing I thought about again as I was shopping at a lavish grocery store in a rich neighborhood recently: many of those people have high incomes, probably many of them far above my own, but are also deeply in debt.

While their earnings are high, they are in debt bondage essentially. A lawyer who makes 150K a year often has the burden of a $600,000 house with $500,000 left to pay on it — and also expensive car payments, student loan payments, etc.

Many of those people are also one or two paychecks away from ruin little different from the janitor making 20K a year.

Sure, those making 150K are inarguably in a better position — at the same time though debt means someone else effectively owns you. And the more debt you have, the more chains there are.

Surrounded by “rich” people most of whom are of likely negative net worth is emblematic of our society on all scales.