Inequality is the defining challenge of our time, President Obama says. “There’s too much inequality,” Hillary Clinton said in the debate Tuesday night. And the United States, Bernie Sanders noted at the same event, has more wealth and income inequality than any other country.
Inequality certainly is a symptom of a persistent underlying condition: It may be the leading cause of bulls–t in America today. To put it simply, there is no inequality crisis.
Sanders, the Grandpa Simpson of economics, has been repeating the nonsense about the US leading the way in inequality for months even though FactCheck.orgreported his claims were bogus back in May.
The US is only 42nd (out of 117 countries measured) in income inequality, according to the World Bank. We’re only 16th when it comes to the wealth held by the top 1%.
Inequality is to some extent a residual effect of success: If there weren’t any billionaires or millionaires, inequality would be vastly diminished.
America attracts and breeds success so brilliantly that we nearly beat the rest of the world combined in some respects: 42% of the world’s millionaires are Americans, and 49% of those with $50 million or more in assets.
The American tendency to respect, and expect, success runs counter to the progressive plan to tax it away. Not only does constant chatter about inequality tend to make Americans more supportive of free enterprise, but it also leads to a blanket suspicion about what the regulatory and taxation elves really mean to do.
Discussing the topic decreases “by nearly 20% the share of respondents who ‘trust government’ most of the time,” a study found.