Growing income gap doesn't tell the whole story


A report released today by the Economic Cooperation and Development shows that among 30 of the world's nations, the United States has the highest rate of "income inequality." This is, of course, touted as a huge injustice from which the world must be saved. How dare there be a gap between the classes! It's just not fair!

As you've probably guessed, I don't put much stock in reports like this. Why? Well first of all, they are telling us the obvious: the rich have more money than the poor. And second, they are completely misleading because they tell us nothing about who is in each class and why their income is what it is.

There are plenty of statistics on income gaps, but none of them addresses the reasons why there are the gaps. They don't talk about the education or work efforts of the poor, whether their growing families contribute to their inability to get ahead financially, or any of a myriad of other controllable reasons why they stay poor. I'm not saying that all who are in the category of "poor" want to be there or have sealed their own fate by their actions. But I am saying that sometimes there are controllable choices which contribute to one's economic status.