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Megan McArdle

Admit It: You're Rich

If you're reading this article, chances are that you are in the top 1 percent of global income.
This is just the pool house.

This is just the pool house.

Photographer: Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

Jack Lew made a lot of money working for Citibank. So why, asks David Sirota, did he say last week that "My own compensation was never in the stratosphere"?

Jack Lew is not the only person who says this sort of thing. The media is routinely filled with people making six- and seven-figure incomes who modestly report that they are very middle class, struggling, really, to make it from paycheck to paycheck. And if you live in a big coastal city like New York, Washington, Boston or San Francisco, you don't need to wait until someone gaffes to the media; you can go to any private-school parents night or Ivy League alumni reunion to hear a veritable chorus of people remarking that they really don't know how they keep body and soul together on just $350,000 per annum. Be warned, however, that it is not polite to point and laugh the way that you would on Twitter.