What does He mean? Does He mean, "Bah, forget the poor! Live it up!" Absolutely not. What He is explaining is that in all free societies wealth will always exist within a SPECTRUM. Let's compare a "poor" person in the U.S. to a "poor" person in Bangladesh. A poor person in Bangladesh literally lives in the gutter without so much as a cardboard shelter to sleep under. They are sick from malnutrition and starvation. They probably dress in literal rags, and certainly do not own a pair of shoes. Bathing only occurs when they can immerse themselves in a river, which is opaque with sewage. They own nothing except the rags that they wear. Every day is a struggle to get a bit of clean water and enough food to merely survive. That's a poor person in Bangladesh.
What constitutes a "poor" person in the U.S.? A poor person in the U.S. does not have cable. A poor person in the U.S. does not have broadband internet access, and may not even own a PC. A poor person in the U.S. may have just within the last year or two finally switched from a cathode ray tube television to a flat screen, digital model. A poor person in the U.S. receives food stamps, medicaid and a welfare check. A poor person in the U.S. is probably overweight. A poor person in the U.S. drives a car that is so old that it came with a factory cassette player. A poor person in the U.S. lives either in a trailer or a HUD apartment complex. A poor person in the U.S. probably DOES have a cell phone.This is simply a 3-paragraph excerpt. Go thou forth and RTWT.
Understand that on a percentage level, these two descriptions are equivalent. A "poor" person in the U.S. has a standard of living that would be considered luxurious in Bangladesh and other impoversished countries. The notions of "wealth" and "poverty", by logical and mathematical definition, exist within a SPECTRUM. And no matter what we do, that spectrum will always, always exist. That is what Jesus is saying. There will always be a top-end, and there will always be a bottom-end. In some nations (like Bangladesh), that spectrum is very broad and reaches very far down into poverty, indeed. There are billionaires in Bangladesh, and there are people starving in the gutters in rags. In the U.S., we certainly have a wealth spectrum, but the low end is much higher and the spectrum is much narrower. We have many billionaires, but our lower-end is nowhere NEAR as low as Bangladesh's.
Someone is always going to have more money and assets than somebody else. It is impossible to have a free society wherein every person has exactly the same level of wealth. Someone has to be the business OWNER, and someone has to be the EMPLOYEE. Someone has to be the wage PAYER and someone has to be the wage EARNER. If everyone in a culture was economically equal at all times, there would be zero employment because no one would work for anyone except themselves. You can't have a company with 10,000 CEOs. Conversely, you can't have a company that is nothing but entry-level laborers. Someone has to be responsible. Someone has to sign the paychecks. Someone has to determine the course of the business. Someone has to risk their assets and wealth to start-up the company in the first place. And, at the other end, someone has to scrub the toilets. The only way to get true, complete equality of wealth would be to kill EVERYBODY.