The inequality scenario really bothers me. Inequality is an excuse that diverts from addressing our real failures.
Below are the states with the highest poverty levels in the US. The number next to the state is the national ranking of the states educational system. DC has the second worst in the US.
We hear a lot about inequality and it’s deleterious affects. That is an excuse. It’s not the gap between low and high that is the problem, it’s our apparent inability to raise the status of the lowest levels.
What can we do to assure that every person has the opportunity to go as high as they possibly can? What are we doing now that prevents that today, if it is prevented? What is it that plagues those in poverty that we have not been able to change? No one chooses to be poor, but what life choices and behaviors impair progress? What is the actual balance among the individual, the economy and society preventing escape from poverty?
While we keep yelling about inequality we should be asking ourselves; if the highest tax rate was 90%, if we had a wealth tax, what would we do that we have not been doing for decades that will eliminate poverty?
When we compare poverty levels internationaly the US ranks poorly because other countries rely on higher levels of various forms of welfare, they haven’t fixed the problem they have masked it and accepted the status as a society.
Is that what closing the inequality gap means to us, accepting that a significant percentage of society cannot provide for themselves?
P.S. When compared with the rest of the world, virtually no American actually lives in poverty.