The Left's Big Fumble on Inequality
In choosing “inequality’ as its red meat issue (sorry Vegans!), the American Left has gotten itself into what the Marxists like to call an “internal contradiction.” Tom Maguire outlines the big problem:
Tyler Cowen takes to the Times to state, well, the obvious:
Income Inequality Is Not Rising Globally. It's Falling.
Income inequality has surged as a political and economic issue, but the numbers don’t show that inequality is rising from a global perspective. Yes, the problem has become more acute within most individual nations, yetincome inequality for the world as a whole has been falling for most of the last 20 years. It’s a fact that hasn’t been noted often enough.
The finding comes from a recent investigation by Christoph Lakner, a consultant at the World Bank, and Branko Milanovic, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center. And while such a framing may sound startling at first, it should be intuitive upon reflection. The economic surges of China, India and some other nations have been among the most egalitarian developments in history.
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit nails it:
Well, getting rid of communism helped
Add to that India’s rejection of its socialistic/Congress Party/Fabian past and semi-embrace of free markets. Socialism has in fact been the biggest driver of global inequality. Just ask some former East Germans.
Maguire rightfully crows a bit:
I am feeling strangely (but regrettably, not uncharacteristically) smug since I had noted this as an aside three weeks ago. But enough about me. (snip)
We have been helping the less fortunate; they just happen to be in China, India, and South America.
But even worse for the left, the Open Borders which it champions serve to increase income inequality within countries. The millions of undocumented “migrants” now living in the US predominantly inhabit the bottom quintile of the income distribution. Adding them to our population has increased income inequality here. I blame the left. But by earning higher income (and welfare benefits) in the USA than they would have in El Salvador or other southerly countries, they also decrease global income inequality.
So, do the righteous folks on the left want to decrease income inequality at home by closing the borders and impoverishing the poor of the third world? Do they want to decrease income inqueality in the US? We can do that. But the victoms will be the wrecthed poor who are mostly people of color.
Try talking to a prog who is a fan of Elizabeth Warren about this and watch his or her head explode.