Can Domestic Policy Affect Income Distribution?
Tim Noah buries the lede: Arguing that government policy can too affect income distribution, TNR’s Tim Noah writes:
If you omit government redistribution from the calculations in the previous paragraph then four countries that previously were more equal in incomes than the U.S.—Portugal, Italy, Israel, and Germany—become less equal than the U.S.
Wait. You mean that social-democratic, union-heavy, solidaristic Germany has worse income inequality, before taxes and transfers, than the cowboy capitalistic U.S., with its large underclass and out-of-control Wall Street greedheads? Don’t tell the narrative.
Bruce McQuain dubs this Quote of the Day and says, “Say it ain’t so!”
Well, okay. But the titular question of Noah’s piece was “Can Domestic Policy Affect Income Distribution?” And, well, it apparently can! Left to its own device, the economies of Portugal, Italy, Israel, and Germany would be less equal than our own. Enter domestic policy and — POOF! — more equal! QED, no?