The One Inequality Infographic No One on the Left Wants to See

Ed West, Telegraph (London), November 16, 2011

The folks at Liberal Conspiracy have asked people to put together “info-graphics and bits of information about inequality”, so I thought I’d help out a bit with this neat little graph (the little blue dots represent American states).

Diversity.png

Citing New Economics Foundation, Resolution Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Sunny Hundal points out that:

• Economic inequality in the UK is the highest in recorded history–we went from having inequality levels similar to the Netherlands in 1979 to being one of the most unequal developed countries in the world. Our Gini coefficient (a common measure of inequality) increased from 0.26 to 0.36 over this period. Studies have shown that beyond a Gini coefficient of around 0.3, inequality becomes corrosive for society.

• The top 10 per cent of the population now earn, on average, more than four times that of the bottom 10 per cent, compared to three times in 1979.

• This disparity grows exponentially when you look at the difference between the lowest and highest earners in organisations where chief executives earn, on average, 250 times what a cleaner earns.

All true, and disturbing. Whatever one’s view of the Occupy movement, social inequality is certainly a growing concern, partly in response to public outrage over banks bailouts and bonuses. In Britain inequality has been increasing for three decades, and we now vie with Latvia and Portugal as the least equal country in Europe. Next year two titans of American academia, from either side of the political spectrum, Robert Putnam and Charles Murray, publish books which deal with the huge and growing wealth chasm in America.

While conservatives might not have any philosophical objection to income inequality, it does matter that the middle classes find it increasingly hard to afford a decent home, or to pay the bills. The squeezed middle–and the median income is far lower than many Tories imagine it to be–are struggling. Furthermore there is a fair amount of evidence that unequal societies do produce all sorts of poisonous by-products, such as higher crime rates and maybe even levels of unhappiness.

It is unquestionably a huge issue, yet there’s one major, unavoidable aspect of inequality that is almost entirely suppressed from the debate. Last month in the New York Times Columbia Professor Alexander Stille touched on this strange paradox. He wrote:

It’s a puzzle: one dispossessed group after another–blacks, women, Hispanics and gays–has been gradually accepted in the United States, granted equal rights and brought into the mainstream.

At the same time, in economic terms, the United States has gone from being a comparatively egalitarian society to one of the most unequal democracies in the world.

This is nothing new. A few years ago David Goodhart wrote a hugely influential article in Prospect pointing out that diversity and equality are in conflict, and David Willetts coined the phrase the “progressive dilemma” to define the same problem. However way, way before that, back in 2000, American journalist Steve Sailer noticed the link. He wrote:

The poorest poor in the country are in New Mexico, where the average income of the bottom fifth is only $8,700. The quite expensive state of Arizona, spiritual home of the $150 golf greens fee, has the eighth poorest poor people in America at $10,800. (But at least they make more than the bottom rung in immensely costly New York). In contrast, the wealthiest bottom fifth is in Colorado where they average $18,500 per year. Probably even more impressive, however, is the $18,200 average in Utah, since its cost of living is quite low.

This obvious correlation between immigration and inequality is little remarked upon in the press, for various reasons. One big one is that polite society has decreed that since Equality and Diversity are both Good Things, they must therefore be synonyms rather than what they are: antonyms.

Sailer is a popular blogger, rather like an eccentric but brilliant professor possessed of a vast breadth of knowledge, and would probably be a big thing in American commentary, producing those American polemics With Those Absurdly Long Subtitles that Explain the Entire Subject of the Book, but his views on the biology of race put him beyond the pale for mainstream conservative publications.

That’s above my GCSE double award science-level knowledge of the subject, but on the growing inequality in American life he is almost certainly right, and the untrammelled globalism of George W Bush-style conservatism, described by Sailer as “invade the world, invite the world, in hoc to the world”, has been a dismal failure. Sailer’s own state, California, with its high rate of illegal immigration and legal out-migration, has already become Latin Americanised, with ever higher levels of inequality and a shrinking middle class (not to mention bankrupt cities and rotting public services). This has been allowed to happen because diversity makes important Right-wing people rich and important Left-wing people feel good about themselves.

The Spirit Level was popular because it touched on a truth–that inequality is a bad thing–but with all its countless measures of prison rates, child mortality, obesity and even aid, it almost completely ignored the elephant in the room. Where equality campaigners even dare to mention diversity, they argue that this handicap can be solved with a chequebook, ignoring the unfortunate facts that you can’t buy social capital, and that ethnically diverse populations are unwilling to support Scandinavian-style wealth redistribution (as suggested by various studies).

Protesters can camp outside St Paul’s from now until the Second Coming for all the good it will do, but until they start to question the diversity delusion, then Britain, like the United States, will continue down its road to Latin Americanisation.

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  • Madison Grant

    Good article. The left complains about income inequality but that’s least likely to be found in majority-white areas.

    It’s most likely to be found where whites live near shiftless low-I.Q. Third Worlders who have no earning power and no future.

  • Paul rim

    Widening inequality means crime up, social tension up & societal violence up. It also leads to extreme politics, mutual hate & possibly civil war. Multiethnic societies don’t go forward in greater harmony & equality they descend into strife & race war often masquerading as class war. This is England , this is America. We are living an unfolding nightmare thanks to mass immigration.

  • Question Diversity

    Related news:

    http://goo.gl/hxkLk

    “Middle-class areas shrinking in US: Study,” from AFP

  • Anonymous

    We allow them to come here. They can’t compete (due to “institutional racism” as they’re told by the MSM and public school teachers). What’s next? “Viva La Revolution!” We are suicidal! Everyone who employes an illegal gardener, housekeeper, baby sitter, construction worker, hamburger flipper, etc. is complicit in the death of America.

    Why did we fight so hard and so many die in WW2 defending America? Their spoiled Baby Boomer brats have sold America down the river so they can have two full-time incomes to buy Mercedes, BMWs and McMansions and go on exotic vacations.

    Mexicans and Latin America did NOTHING in WW2, yet they’re conquering us. Wasn’t it Lenin that said the capitalists would sell the communists the rope they use to hang us?

  • Anonymous

    I’m against the Occupy Wall Street movement. I support diversity … of income!

  • Berin

    Our economic system tends to connect reward to contribution. The more one contributes, the higher the reward. The reward BTW is determined by free people making free choices. Nothing wrong with that. Income inequality therefore reflects the inequality in conribution. The more worthless parasites we breed, the greater income inequality. Simple as that!

  • Anonymous

    A great article but trying to appeal to leftists by appealing to their own moral code is futile. It’s all about shaming. One side should be ashamed the other side does the shaming. It’s about knuckling under to naked strength. Which is why they are leftists and why our nation has been moving in a leftward direction our whole lives. The liberal position is the stronger position, the side from which to hurt fellow human beings, or the side from which to avoid being hurt perhaps. The next time one goes on about some issue a world away in Africa or about ‘the environment’ recognize that their real interests are much closer. It’s about feeling superior to or hurting the person right next to them.

    Leftists may be confused by the Muslim menace, we’re now faced with (and perhaps the true face of the third worlders they’ve always placed on a pedestal above us), but growing immigration should not upset a true believer, or even the fact that, some races more than others are immigrating (racism). Once a nation becomes more colorful, or colorful enough to please modern leftist sensibilities, it is likely to use it’s democracy to evolve into nation similar to SAfrica. A nation run by the ANC. So in the end, utopia really will be achieved.

  • Anonymous

    4 — Anonymous wrote at 10:45 PM on November 17:

    “We allow them to come here. They can’t compete (due to “institutional racism” as they’re told by the MSM and public school teachers). What’s next? “Viva La Revolution!” We are suicidal!

    Why did we fight so hard and so many die in WW2 defending America? Their spoiled Baby Boomer brats have sold America down the river so they can have two full-time incomes to buy Mercedes, BMWs and McMansions and go on exotic vacations. ”

    This view and attitude is based on completely erroneous history. It was the so-called Greatest Generation that came up with all the corruption and programs that led to the mess we are in today. The main programs such as The 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, The Great Society, even the creation and distribution of LSD (CIA), even the fact that U.S. taxpayers began paying for the French war in Vietnam starting in 1947, leading to the political and generational debacle that those spoiled Baby Boomers paid for in blood and ruined lives, all were dreamed up, initiated and propagated while Baby Boomers were still being born or too young to vote or have anything to do with it. Whether it was Captain Al Hubbard (OSS 1943), advocating CIA use and expansion of LSD experiments within and without government and institutions, or dopes like Tim Leary spreading it to the youth (born 1920), all the main players in the drama that did all the damage were from the parents generation of Baby Boomers. The Frankfurt School of Marxism was operating inside the country from the 1940s on. The Baby Boomers only got caught up in the issues as they were actually victims.

    Ronald Reagan signed the first amnesty for illegals in 1986. If memory serves, he was a conservative GOP supporter and NOT a BB. He set a precedent that all the Hispanic lobbying groups rely on and are inspired by.

    Further, it is the BBs parents who benefited most from the various government institutions. A great deal of that generation were government service employees or worked for stable companies during the golden era of the Unions, all retiring with fat pensions, still able to receive SS checks whether they needed them or not. This led to that generation creating the culture of the over-sized recreational vehicle, the development of camping facilities for all of them to run all over the country mostly from one buffet to the next, burning through huge and untold trillions of tax dollars on road trips that lasted sometimes decades. And all for working 20 years for a government job already replete with outstanding fringe benefits and paid vacations. Still today, any community with a high number of government jobs or contracts have a far healthier economy than the ones that have sunk down due to being mostly private sector communities.

    Regardless of that, the trend as BBs reach retirement is pressure to push for reduction of the same “entitlements” that the Great Ones have exhausted in less than a generation. Many BBs will live in substandard housing, nursed by abusive foreigners or BB hating young, and suffer a great deal of abuse. Watch for elderly suicide to increase.

    America got into WW2 because its economic policies dictated it do so. The Lend Lease Act was to be an eventual money maker, and it was. The sale of U.S. war materials created a positive ledger for the US government for decades after the war, and it got us addicted to war through an all too convenient need brought on by the Cold War, despite Eisenhower’s warnings. I heard many an adult justify the 200+ casualties a week in 1969, even my own father. Everyone knew it created jobs. If that isn’t the betrayal of a generation, I don’t know what is. How it worked on the BBs was simply that most young men wanted to be heroes like their daddy’s. The ones who figured out the scam were smart to avoid the abattoir any way possible.

    I find it ironic that the same people who used to scream at BBs to get a job are now upset that many did and in fact did well.

    Remember that no one asks to be born, and the BBs were wanted by the Great Ones for ego fulfillment and as a natural result of good times following hard times. They were dealt a hand. They were not the dealer.

    Is this sort of reasoning in social history another example of conservatives corner on the IQ quotient?

    We can surely do better than this!

  • WR the elder

    Well, it’s nice to see an article like this in a more mainstream publication than AR that hasn’t been taken down by the thought police.

    The left says it’s for more economic equality and protecting our wilderness and open spaces. Yet the left favors diversity and mass immigration that results in more economic inequality and more overpopulation. That is why I find the left contemptible. They want the right things but then favor policies that give us the exact opposite.

  • Skitch

    this just goes to show, that immigration is mostly about cheap labor for corporations and rich people. As Israel Shamir once said, you could stop immigration overnight if you could manage to pass a law saying that any immigrant from any country who could prove that he had taken just one course in law could automatically be a licensed practicing lawyer in the United States… You would and immigration overnight!