California a Country It’d be the 17th Most Unequal Nation on Earth,
Ahead of Mexico & Guatemala
love sermonizing on the plight of America’s poor and disenfranchised—if
only penny-pinching republicans would shell out for a bigger welfare
state then all our problems would be solved. Why not build more
homes for the homeless, or invest in better education for our
kids? The state can solve the problem of poverty, they argue.
to be fair, they’ve put their money where their mouth is: over the last
few decades California has built one of America’smost
lavish welfare states. There’s just one problem: it’s not
The sad truth of the matter is that California’s poverty rate is the
highest in the country, at 20.6 percent. This is based on data
from the US Census Bureau, and modified so as to account for differences
in the cost of living between states. And if you’re a skeptical
“progressive” then don’t worry, evenPolitifact
bad as that sounds, perhaps the more embarrassing statistic is that
income inequality in California is at an all time high. This
should be obvious to anyone who’s actually been to California, and seen
the proliferation of tent cities and urban slums:
can be encapsulated in a number called the Gini Coefficient (GC): “0” is
perfect equality, where everyone earns the same income, while “1” is
perfect inequality, where one individual earns everything (leaving none
for anyone else). Importantly, a higher GC means more inequality.
the GC is 0.488. This is the second highest of all America’s
major states, behind only New York, and it is also far higher than
the national average of 0.479—which itself is inflated by absurdly high
GCs from large liberal states like California and New York.
it’s only when looking at the global context do you really get a sense
of how bad it is. If California were an independent country, it
would be the 17th most unequal country on earth, according to data from
Bank. It would rest comfortably just behind the Honduras (at
0.511), and ahead of Guatemala (0.487) and Mexico (0.482).
compare this to the other “social democracies” that California is wont
to compare itself with: Canada sits at spot number 111, while Norway is
way down the list at number 153 (out of 176 countries).
terms of inequality, California has more in common with banana republics
than the “social democracies” it emulates. Perhaps they should get
their own house in order before lecturing the rest of us on the benefits