It's official. The Economist reports that America is the country where people care the least about inequality. Many Americans care about inequality, sure, just not as high a proportion as, say, the number of people in Sweden or just about any other rich country where people care very much about inequality and have the high taxes to prove it.
It would appear that some Americans, although a dwindling number of them, are still wedded to notions of liberty and freedom, and specifically the freedom to keep what you earn by the sweat of your own labour (or the sweat of your forefathers' labour if you're lucky enough to come into a nice inheritance).
Now, obviously many Americans care a great deal about inequality and they are very keen for other people who are richer than themselves to pay higher taxes so that society can be more equal. There's even a raft of American millionaires who are always in the news saying that millionaires should pay more taxes - they just don't want to lead by example and be the first to pay up, in case the other millionaires fail to follow suit, which wouldn't be fair. After all, nobody wants to give their own money to help the poor out of the goodness of their heart, only to find that their neighbours gave nothing. No. If you're going to have a good and generous heart it's only fair that other people should be forced to be as good and generous as you are (so that you don't feel unfairly treated).
The troublesome Americans are the ones who don't agree with all that. They prefer to mind their own business and get on with their own lives and not worry about the taxes other people are paying or indeed not paying. If they are concerned about the poor, they quietly give what they can to charity. They don't go about shouting that other people should be forced by law to give too.
It is easy to suppose that anybody who doesn't want to pay more taxes is just blissfully unaware of the suffering of the world. As reported by The Economist:
That's evidence that people who are not as bothered about inequality as they should be simply have no idea how bad the situation is. Somebody designed a study to prove that, and the research speaks for itself.
The point is that if these people knew just how bad the wage gap was, they'd probably agree that the government ought to Do Something about it.
This worldview distinguishes Americans from normal people like, say, Canadians, who love their government with all their heart and soul, and want to see their government growing bigger every day so that it can get ever more involved in every aspect of everyday life. The vision in Canada is that the government helps everyone to live a better life by redistributing money and directing everyone on how to be better human beings who respect everyone and live together in perfect harmony. You often hear Canadian kids saying that when they grow up they want to work for the government. Not so in America:
If there were no border controls such problems could easily be fixed by allowing all the Americans who love big governments to migrate north to Canada; any Canadians who wanted to live a free life could then migrate south. Other countries are on offer: Norway and Sweden for those billionaires who want everyone to pay high taxes and sub-Saharan Africa for those adventurers who want to try living in conditions of lawless anarchy with no welfare state, no back up plan, and a fairly good chance of contracting some horrid tropical disease.
Sadly with border controls everywhere most people are stuck in the country where they find themselves, and this is true for Americans as much as anybody else. Angry people on the internet are always shouting that those who don't like their country should go and live somewhere else. I agree - moving to different countries should be made easier by abolishing border controls so everyone can go live in an echo chamber with people who are just like them.
It must be very annoying for those Americans who want to see social change to find themselves hampered by compatriots with an inconvenient hankering to be free. Those who want the government to engineer some social and economic equality can only take courage in knowing that people who believe in freedom and liberty are becoming fewer and fewer with every passing generation. Soon there will be no more left.
The more wealthy and affluent societies become, the less the fat and pampered citizens care about esoteric notions like liberty. Who cares about liberty, when you can just lie on your couch all day stuffing your face, watching netflix, and not have to do anything because the robots will do all the work? Soon nobody will have to work to earn money because the government will tax the robots and dish out all that free money to the human citizens. Obviously the robots are currently being pre-programmed not to care about doing all the hard graft while the human race mooches off them. So it will all work out in the end.
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