…us inequality, preferable to socialism?…Posted: 2014-08-21
… or, so it seems…
A recent post over at the lindau blog (linked at economist’s view blog) is something of a headscratcher. Or is it?
Summary results of a study by Judith Niehues, Cross-Country Differences in Perceptions of Inequality. Couple excerpts that may define a national characteristic, one unique to the US.
Whereas Americans are not very concerned about the large income inequalities in their country, Germans view considerably smaller differences much more critically. Our newly developed indicator of perceived inequality – the ‘subjective Gini coefficient’ – can explain up to two-thirds of such cross-country differences in concerns about inequality and willingness to support policies to do something about it.
But it is striking to note that these three countries [France, Germany, USA] have one thing in common: they share more or less exactly the same degree of measured income inequality. On the other hand, in the United States – which is characterised by far higher income inequality – people do not see any reason for redistributive state intervention.
Something seems definitely amiss here. Perhaps ‘concerned’ but not ‘very concerned’? Is it that we have a US where its citizens are activist only for eliminating ‘existential threats out there’ to specific people in specific places of which they know little or nothing, beyond the misinformation, the exaggerations they are fed, yet with profuse evidence available, evidence from a stark daily life, they exhibit indifference, apathy? Ferguson, Missouri clearly is no outlier, no exception but rather a reality willingly decreed non-existent?
If Ferguson is not the alarm and call to action what will be? Or will it continue to be that ever new, ever deadly enemy, somewhere out there and of imminent danger to the Fatherland/Homeland, and life then just goes on?