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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/18826/the-obession-with-equality/

The Obsession with Equality

October 26, 2011 by

I’ve never understood the academic obsession with achieving social and economic equality. Isn’t society better off when half the population is well off and half is less poor than if absolutely everyone is poor? Isn’t all the talk about inequality really just an urge to see the poor increase their living standards? And if that is true, shouldn’t the whole idea of equality be thrown out in favor of a hope for everyone in society to benefit on the margin from economic growth?

Well, this video helps flesh out the passion for equality. The speaker goes to great lengths to prove that equality of any sort is better than inequality of any sort. Now, a quick viewing of this sets off a number of alarms. Most of his complaints could in fact be addressed by having the poor grow richer, demonstrating that it is not inequality as such that is the problem but rather the existence of poverty. Another factor that jumps out here to me is that his examples of equality all come from demographically homogeneous nations, so does his data really make a case for that model over a multicultural model?

There are probably a hundred other problems in this perspective that I hadn’t thought of. You might enjoy watching and poking holes in the analysis.

{ 45 comments }

Juraj October 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Gotta love his mental illness chart. That proves it all right :D

PS: He’s British.

Jake October 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

The main problems with his argument and solutions are that all of the countries he studied got rich from capitalism, even those supposedly socialist Northern Europeans. Now the more equal countries just successfully leach off of the capitalism of the past to redistribute wealth. The truly unsustainable action is the redistribution, which will cause long-term economic regression. I can buy that a country like Sweden may produce greater overall social welfare than the United States or even a laissez-faire society in the short term. Bill Gates could redistribute his wealth to a large group of people and produce lots of numbers that they are better off. The point he misses is that there is a finite amount of wealth, and redistribution both destroys it outright and reduces the amount of new wealth created.

Hack October 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Things look good in the early days of capital consumption.

Cyrano De Bergerac October 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm

There is a finite amount of wealth? I always thought wealth was constantly being created and generated. I can understand that redistribution of wealth can make everyone worse off, see this analogy: Bill Gates only has $100 in the bank. It costs roughly $60 to start a lemonade stand. The government redistributes all but $20 to 8 people, giving them all $10. This stops him from starting a lemonade stand and makes everyone worse off. What I don’t get is, how is there a finite amount of wealth? I always thought that wealth was not a zero-sum-game.

Daniel October 30, 2011 at 3:32 am

Wealth can grow but at any given moment it is finite

Saving and investment in capital does allow for growth in productivity and consequently wealth in the future (and I can’t tell you what the upper bounds for that is) but it still remains that at any given moment, wealth is finite

TJ October 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Those who push for wealth redistribution ignore a multitude of flaws in their logic.
Their primary argument is that any inequality is de fact proof of injustice, rather than a reflection of one’s individual achievement. Is it the manner in which the man obtains his money they are protesting, or the mere fact that he has more money than another?

Another implication they make is that if one man is rich and another man is poor, the rich man could have only gained his wealth by stealing from the poor man. Under no circumstance did he create it himself because he made wiser choices. They see wealth as a finite, limited commodity that can only be distributed, rather than created and grow. This is why when they argue for wealth redistribution, they never make suggestions of wealth creation for the poor; they simply want to take it from someone else.

Additionally, take the definition of poor from ancient times and compare it to our definition in 2011. The term “poor” is relative. Look it up in the dictionary and you won’t find a specific income level to go along with the word. A man who makes $100,000 a year could be considered “poor” compared to a man who makes $300 million.

I understand and empathize with those who see corrupt businessmen become rich through unethical practices, but there is a difference between cronyism and capitalism. Notice, also, how celebrities and entertainment artists, who make millions of dollars, are never depicted as being greedy. There is currently no “Occupy Hollywood” as I know so far.

My personal biggest qualm with the belief in income equality is that it presumes that everyone deserves, by birthright, the same material possessions and wealth as everyone else, irrespective of their behavior and individual choices. We are equal before God and under the law, but we also have the liberty to make choices which result in different income levels.

Jim October 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Ignoring ideology for a moment, all complex organizations, including ants hills, the Internet, vibrant economies, and weather patterns, all quickly form into scale free networks which conform to Power laws which are much more skewed than standard Bell curves.

Without going into a long explanation of why complexity ALWAYS takes this form, we can summarize by saying that it is because scale free networks are nature’s perfect form; they are by far the most robust, innovative, adaptable and efficient, demonstrably more-so than equal nodes, star shapes or hierarchies.

IOW, they communicate, evolve and survive where other forms die.

It may be more instructive to respond to ‘social justice’ advocates by making the point that the result of such policy is to do two things; substitute the monetary power distribution with a political power distribution, and drastically slow innovation and flexibility and therefore monetary advancement, making us all poorer.

Ultimately though, the fact that we are still debating social justice is strange, for everywhere it has been attempted has resulted in structural bankruptcy. Is it not now impossible to argue that there is any western European country which will in the next 2 generations avoid collapse without fundamental restructuring? I would like to see the argument.

Franklin October 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm

“It may be more instructive to respond to ‘social justice’ advocates by making the point that the result of such policy is to do two things; substitute the monetary power distribution with a political power distribution, and drastically slow innovation and flexibility and therefore monetary advancement, making us all poorer.”

I think that is right but be careful with it.
The goal of “substituting the monetary power distribution with a political power distribution” may well be interpreted as a damn good thing — “All right! The common man finally has his say!” While I appreciate your strategy, it must be underscored that the substitution changes nothing — same players, and same result.
Whilst that is your excellent point, I think the reality of that dynamic is still misunderstood by many who see “no hope without my representative protecting my interests.”

Jim October 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Why the same players? In a much more limited government with free markets, GE would have no one to talk to.

But you highlight the challenge of relaying what I consider to be the ethical argument.

In a couple of generations, Europe’s collapse will make it clearer. We already read rumblings by the intelligentsia there deploring the fact.

Mentha Trecenta October 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

“… all complex organizations, including ants hills, the Internet, vibrant economies, and weather patterns, all quickly form into scale free networks which conform to Power laws which are much more skewed than standard Bell curves.”

Could you point out a book on this topic or just say to which concept in network theory it relates? Sounds interesting!

Jim October 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm

There are many books on complexity, and I do not believe it was a coincidence that Hayek pretty much left economics for a time to study it.

The most accessible book I’ve read on complexity is Emergence by Steve Johnson. What is just as interesting is watching him go out of his way to avoid the political implications in the second half of the book. The reader is left wondering whether it was the author or the publisher who causes the abrupt left turn. Probably both.

The Peak Oil Poet October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm

My question is this

exactly what is wrong with equality? Not that i believe that either equality or inequality will matter much in the big picture – in the end we are all dead and i do not mean in Keynes’ way.

What is clear to me is that when there’s lots of fat to go around the fact that some scum bags make and hoard a lot more than the average Joe is something everyone can live with – simply because they can live

but when the pie to be shared starts to shrink things get a little more dramatic – no matter whether or not those with most of the pie are losing their share to a shrinking pie or to those who’s shrinking portion drives them to try and get more of anybody else’s share of the pie, they are going to try and hold on to their share – rationality will never come into it

in the dim dark ages past when there were so few of us that to lose any of us was a threat to all of us it was normal to pull together

but when there are so many of us that risk seems to no longer exist and with it has gone the care for others exemplified by by the attitudes of some who post to this blog – whatever huff and puff reactions they might make to my assertion (and yes i do know them all – being as well schooled in Libertarianism as any)

you might think that you are a survivor and that that survival is all because of something about you that makes you superior – and heck it aint hard to feel superior to many of the countless no-hopers and low-lifes out there

but the fact is that when it all turns to poo it will be the animal in us all that determines the outcome and not the godliness – by forever walling off those with little pie from those of us who have been lucky enough to have more of it all that happens is the wall gets more and more expensive and eventually it falls and leaves us to deal with reality tooth and nail

that is our future buddies and no amount of ideology is ever going to keep it at bay for long

so as you see and hear more and more calls for equality – instead of looking for the flaws in the rationality or ethics of the messengers you’d better step back and think about how we all might survive – as a species – as a civilisation

because as Friedman conceded on his death bed – if we had true democracy there would be no inequality (and your sneaky side-step use of 50-50 hides the truth) – the masses we deny any share of the shrinking pie to would legally vote themselves more of the pie

so you better either figure out how to make a bigger pie (which seems to be physically impossible) or to ensure there are far far fewer of us to have to share it

and to do so without resorting to where your ideology must logically lead – pogroms and “demographic cleansing”

pop

i’ve often wondered if the peak of population looms
and our time is bright but short just like a fleeting flower blooms
and maybe there’s no going back the tipping point’s been crossed
’cause we’re all of us the most we’ll be – peak people

http://thepeakoilpoet.blogspot.com/2011/08/peak-people.html

http://thepeakoilpoet.blogspot.com/2011/10/equality.html

Joe October 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

“My question is this:

Exactly what is wrong with equality?”

That’s a very good question and one worth looking into. I think it tackles the issue of why we shouldn’t rush to equality better than asking “why rush to equality?”

It’s apt to ask “why NOT rush to equality?”

mike October 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

But we CAN make a bigger pie through unrestricted free trade, technical and scientific innovations, etc! The problem with restructuring the current pie is that it takes away the resources of those innovators who create products and services that make them rich (intended consequence) and better the world (unintended consequences) and distributes those resources to those who cannot. Thus the pie either doesn’t grow or worse it shrinks as more people show up to have a bite.

The pie was much smaller before humanity had access to air conditioning, refrigeration, and the internet.

The Peak Oil Poet October 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

You live in a dream that will sooner or later be revealed for the nightmare it really is

you kid yourself (or have let yourself believe) that the reason we have what we have enjoyed for the last century or so is because of innovation by those clever ones amongst us (who are worthy of more of the more pie you allude to) when the fact is that we have been reaping the benefits of enormous reserves of stored energy put down over hundreds of millions of years. Even an idiot can benefit from lots of free energy.

It astounds me that someone can be “educated” yet not realise just what is the basis of our wealth.

It is not because of those “rational” superior types me bucko – it is because you have been lucky enough to have been born when the human race discovered a treasure trove beyond the dreams of all kings of all time – and we have been swimming in that ever since – with total abandon and with every self deluded superior type slapping himself on the back about how clever he is

wake up world

pop

http://thepeakoilpoet.blogspot.com/2011/09/black-and-white.html

mike October 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I will grant you that when all energy reserves have been depleted than the pie can no longer grow. However, until that time, the pie can grow. Will you grant me that?

So now if those arguments hold, the argument becomes a metter of determining when the resources required to make the pie grow run out. I’ll grant you that its not an easy problem to solve… but who is to say what our potential for harvesting the resources afforded us?

Does it not seem feasible that one day will be able to efficiently harvest the energy that is just shedding away from the trillions and trillions of stars, planets, etc that lie out there? If not, we as humans have been harvesting the natural resources of the Earth for 40000+ years without the well drying up. So it may be sometime before we reach the point in your argument even without invoking the need to leave the Earth.

Your argument does not have a high level of optimisum for the potential of our race which has evolved just splendidly without the intervention of a “state.”

The Peak Oil Poet October 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

:-) your optimism is a defining base assumption of your ideology

and not to be seen as a “bad” thing

but it’s a consequence of how your world view was established as a child – and therefore not something easily changed

i do not know how old you are but if you are my age this might aid you in understanding where the psyche of our world is going

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2011/08/elegy-for-age-of-space.html

it’s true that we indeed used to believe that our opportunities are infinite – and we still give out prizes to economists who can “prove” it

but that mind set is shifting to one where pessimism is gaining ground

remember that it is the herd that dictates where the herd goes and not the clarity of thought of the few like you who are caught up in its rush to the cliff

by the time we have used up our once-in-the-lifetime-of-a-species easy to access resources and start to look around for where we might get more pie the opportunity to get it will probably be gone

don’t get caught up in the games that people play to justify how things are or how they should be relative to what we have had – we need to change the whole picture if there is any chance for us at all and the few clinging to ideological life rafts and kicking off the hoard of drowning masses in hope of their own survival should have looked ahead enough to know they should not have risked such dangerous waters in the first place

pop

Jorge Borlandelli October 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm

The Peak Oil Poet,
You sound like a 70 year dusting his papers from the Club of Rome. They were wrong then about the end of resources and you are too. The good thing is that when you become 70 you will remember your present position and laugh.

BioTube October 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

Antarctica is an entire continent of unexploited resources – and we aren’t exactly on the verge of running out elsewhere.

GW October 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Question. Have you heard of this thing called nuclear energy? All we need is an atom to harness a source of energy way more abundant and efficient. I doubt lack of energy will be the demise of economic progress.

Daniel October 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm

How anyone can take you seriously is beyond me

Martin OB October 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

The question is: exactly what is wrong with inequality? It’s assumed to be unfair with no justification whatsoever. Fairness is letting each one get what they deserve. Some people deserve more than others, because they do more useful stuff for other people.

You say “if we had true democracy there would be no inequality “. Well, that would be a powerful argument against true democracy. If you equalize everything you will end up equalizing people’s temperature with the soil. But not so fast. Those who oppose the equalization should get together and secede, and then they could have a viable democracy. So, the argument is rather against world government than democracy.

You say “so you better either figure out how to make a bigger pie (which seems to be physically impossible)”, but that’s exactly what “we” did. Do you think the Earth could sustain anywhere near 7 billion human beings with the standard of living they have without modern technology?

It’s not about beign callous towards the lowlifes. Most lowlifes would be worse off under a lowlife government. I mean, most lowlifes would be better off under a true capitalist government than under the lowlife governments they actually vote in.

As for pogroms and demographic cleansing, well, ask, for instance, the Ukrainians who was the master of demographic cleansing by famine (hint: not a capitalist scum bag). By the way, it’s funny that “pogrom” is a Russian word. Why not an English, Dutch or maybe Italian word, if it’s so intrinsic to free-market capitalism? Pogroms are by definition a mob attack by the masses on a minoriy which is perceived as too powerful or otherwise distrusted, so it has much more in common with “true democracy” than with libertarianism or free-market capitalism. Socialists of many stripes were big fans of pogroms, maybe in part because they never understood how the pie grows.

If you are a peak oil poet, I’m waiting for your sonetto about the shale oil revolution, and don’t forget to mention the shale gas. I like the way communists became Luddites as soon as everyone could see the losers they were at modern industry.

Sione October 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm

What a load of collectivst bunkum! Peak this and peak that. Peak the other thing as well. Doom, disaster, death and mayhem always looms with these useless nobodies! The sky is falling, the syk is falling, they chant (or some similar doomsday cultism). It would be nice to have peak peak so that these worthless peak crawlers would start to die out and stop with the moanings and fictions.

For all practical purposes there are infinite energy and material resources available for exploitation. The limitation such that there is, is down to collectivist idiocies gaining ascendancy in economics and politics preventing innovation and change.

Sione

Franklin October 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

“Doom, disaster, death and mayhem always looms with these useless nobodies! The sky is falling, the sky is falling, they chant (or some similar doomsday cultism). …”

Quite right. And it’s usually appended with, “… unless we do something about it.”
But they don’t really want to do anything about it. They want YOU to do something about it.
They want you to hand over your wallet. Again. And again. And again.
Cutting across the major government-created oligopolies and major political parties.
If we don’t tax the crap out of you to monitor your emissions, then global warming (err, now it’s climate change) will kill us.
If we don’t tax the crap out of you to fund the military, then the bad guys will kill us.

It’s all garbage. And always was.

Franklin October 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm

“Doom, disaster, death and mayhem always looms with these useless nobodies! The sky is falling, the sky is falling, they chant (or some similar doomsday cultism). …”

Quite right. And it’s usually appended with, “… unless we do something about it.”
But they don’t really want to do anything about it. They want YOU to do something about it.
They want you to hand over your wallet. Again. And again. And again.
Cutting across the major government-created oligopolies and major political parties.
If we don’t tax the crap out of you to monitor your emissions, then global warming (err, now it’s climate change) will kill us.
If we don’t tax the crap out of you to fund the military, then the bad guys will kill us.

It’s all garbage. And always was.

Franklin October 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm

“Doom, disaster, death and mayhem always looms with these useless nobodies! The sky is falling, the sky is falling, they chant (or some similar doomsday cultism). …”

Quite right. And it’s usually appended with, “… unless we do something about it.”
But they don’t really want to do anything about it. They want YOU to do something about it.
They want you to hand over your wallet. Again. And again. And again.
Cutting across the major government-created oligopolies and major political parties.
If we don’t tax the crap out of you to monitor your emissions, then global warming (err, now it’s climate change) will kill us.
If we don’t tax the crap out of you to fund the military, then the bad guys will kill us.

It’s all garbage. And always was.

DD5 October 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

“I’ve never understood the academic obsession with achieving social and economic equality”

The basis of the argument is almost always: The rich are such at the expense of the poor. They cannot escape their basic intuitive from childhood of the “fix pie model” of the economy. Wealth creation is some mysterious automatic process where some people simply have unfair access to more of the productive output then others. I have never ever encountered an argument that ultimately does not reduce to the above, even though, the arguer will often flatly deny that this is what he is claiming. It’s quite a sad spectacle every time I debate this.

DixieFlatline October 27, 2011 at 3:23 am

The average bloke has no political, social, religious, economic or sexual power. He’s not interested in ideas, and if he had one, he wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Debating such people is like painting a masterpiece with the fecal deposits of a three legged, albino, diarrhetic dog.

The truth can’t set you free, but it can show you how to live well in captivity.

Live well DD5.

AussieAustrian October 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Personally, I like the way Murray Rothbard tackled this issue (amongst many others) in “Power and Market” (or Man, Economy & State with Power & Market, Scholars Edition).

AussieAustrian October 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Oh and I just noticed, this gentleman has performed a cardinal sin; not ironing his new shirt properly!!

J-Porch October 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed. It looks like it just came out of the packaging. Seriously?

Dagnytg October 27, 2011 at 4:29 am

The problem with his analysis is it falls prey to the same criticism that Austrians give to econometrics. In essence, he is taking statistics and trying to prove causality.

For example, if I were to look at suicide rates, we would find the majority of Northern European countries have higher rates of suicide than the U.S. In fact, the majority of the countries mentioned in his presentation rank above the U.S.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/suiciderate.html

Of course, it would be opportunistic of me to assume the boring, secure, and unrewarded lifestyles produced from a society based on equality leads one to suicide.

Then again…

Walt D. October 27, 2011 at 8:21 am

Obamunism promised “Hope and Change” and has failed to deliver to the young people who voted for it. The OWS Demo-crappers expected to be on easy street. Now they have become disillusioned. Rather than realize that they were duped, they blame someone else.
They fail to realize that all they will get from government redistribution is the same thing that African Americans got from the new deal – generations of poverty.
They would do well to ponder a proverb from the old USSR, whose economic system they have come to worship.
“He he works not eats not”.
Even Jimmy Carter realized “There is no free lunch”. There is no free life. The Demo-crappers can not all become the “trust fund kids of Malibu” who are living a life of luxury on Hollywood money earned by their parents.

boboberson October 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

So I’ve never understood the whole equality argument.

Lets say we take all money from everyone, and distribute it equally. Say everyone gets $7,857 in income for the year. What is the first thing that will happen? Some will invest it and earn more, and some will spend it and earn no more, and we’re back to inequality instantly. Equality is not a steady state.

Jeffrey Tucker October 27, 2011 at 10:28 am

I don’t even get why the word pertains to human beings at all. Math, yes. But humans? Blech.

Cyrano De Bergerac October 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

That’s a very similar argument to Nozick’s famous “The Wilt Chamberlain Case.” Imagine everyone gets $7,857 for a year in the United States. A large percentage of Americans like the band Radiohead. Radiohead will only perform live to people who voluntarily give them $50. What happens at the end of the year? Radiohead will probably have a figure in the hundreds of thousands. What happens then? Either you revert income back to $7,857 and create a system where Radiohead would likely never play live again, or you restrict voluntary exchange.

DayOwl October 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

When government distributes billion$ to banks and military contractors, enriching the few at the expense of the productive, it rarely is addressed as an “equality” issue. In fact, people automatically think of food stamps and other public assistance when redistribution is mentioned. Redistribution flows in both directions. It is the unbelievable amount of upward redistribution over the last decade, and especially the last three years, that has led to our current economic crisis. It hasn’t been the result of liberty. It’s been the result of tyranny.

Most people don’t mind having less if their productive works nets them enough to get by and support their families, with a little recreation and entertainment thrown in. When a full day’s work doesn’t provide enough, –or when there are no full time jobs available–they start to be discontent. When CEO’s are making obscene salaries but workers are making less than before, the issue of inequality comes to the fore. Not all changes are a natural result of market forces, some are the result of a concentration of power that distorts the market. When this happens, equality issues come to the fore.

When vast inequality is the result of government policies that funnel outsized amounts of money upward, it is no longer a matter of “earned” but rather “stolen”. When people who formerly brought in middle-class salaries are now living in tent cities deemed illegal by the elite that stole from them, inequality is very much an issue. It isn’t natural inequality. Nor is it natural when big agribiz can flood the market with toxic products without labeling them as such, while when someone sets up a stand selling good, tasty food on the side of the road, food that people like and want, they are shut down by the “authorities” for not paying them for permission to operate.

Face it, all Libertarian philosophy aside, a lot of extreme wealth (like that of banksters profiting from the counterfeiting by the Fed) is the result of theft, not productive enterprise. When a lot of people suffer as a result of that theft, the issues of equality and inequality are quite valid.

Horst Muhlmann October 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm

When government distributes billion$ to banks and military contractors, enriching the few at the expense of the productive, it rarely is addressed as an “equality” issue. In fact, people automatically think of food stamps and other public assistance when redistribution is mentioned. Redistribution flows in both directions.

Yes. That is why the constituency of the Democratic party is the very poor and the very rich.

a lot of extreme wealth (like that of banksters profiting from the counterfeiting by the Fed) is the result of theft, not productive enterprise

So what you’re saying is that the inequality the left complains about was brought about the left themselves? I agree.

Julien Couvreur October 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Most of Wilkinson’s charts in this talk come from his book “The Spirit Level”. As explained in “The Spirit Level Delusion”, the facts don’t actually support Wilkinson’s (and his co-author’s) claims.

Matthias B. October 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

there is a blog for the book with a lot of arguments
http://spiritleveldelusion.blogspot.com/

Sam Swicord October 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I only watched the first couple of minutes, but all I can say is there’s correlation and then there’s causation, and even if he finds causation, he’d still have to justify consequentialism. Showing people a bunch of statistics isn’t going to convince anyone on the fence about a moral issue.

Old Boy October 28, 2011 at 3:11 am

A corrective for libertarians, too many of whom are still in thrall to egalitarianism:
http://mises.org/media/4691/Necessary-and-Sufficient-Causes-of-the-Industrial-Revolution-Some-Critical-Remarks-on-Mises-and-His-Explanation

And a film rendition of the same:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsJFNQd62Wk

Cyrano De Bergerac October 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

He makes a compelling argument for the importance of private charity in a free market society, but that’s the extent of my praise.

Greg October 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Regarding Mr. Wilkinson’s measure of income mobility, son’s exceeding their father’s earnings, seems like an inaccurate way to describe mobility. The obvious question is what about women? Are son’s marrying higher earning women? What about the mother’s earnings versus their daughters?

If the son’s earnings are taken early in his career then obviously he wouldn’t exceed his father’s income.

A better way would be to follow individuals for 20+ years to track if they earned their way out of poverty. What percent of the individuals that were poor in 1990 were no longer poor in 2010?

There seems to other problems with his “misery” index but the mobility measure doesn’t track what it is suppose to.

Martin OB October 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Another factor that jumps out here to me is that his examples of equality all come from demographically homogeneous nations, so does his data really make a case for that model over a multicultural model?

I think you nailed it, Mr Tucker. But to even ask the question is all but unthinkable for liberal elites. It’s not even mentioned.

My take-home message from this speech is that, if all this is true, the best thing for everyone, rich and poor alike, is that wealthy people (that is, net tax payers) group together and prepare for secession. After that, poor people will not suffer from envy any longer.

Of course, my first bet is that this is all bunk and the explanation is the one you advanced.

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