News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Santorum's wish: Continued income inequality

"There is income inequality in America. There always has been and, hopefully, and I do say that, there always will be.”
-- Rick Santorum
This statement by Mr. Santorum made during a speech at the Detroit Economic Club this week places the U.S. in some dubious international company. The United States already ranks 23rd worldwide in income inequality. This puts the U.S. behind several countries many Americans historically fled to avoid crushing poverty and a seemingly hopeless future:  Ireland (6), Slovenia (10), Czech Republic (13), Spain (17), Slovakia (20), and Italy (22). A further slide down the inequality pole and the U.S. may find itself behind Greece (26), South Korea (28) and Poland (29).The complete list is included below.*

Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index

1. Norway
2. Australia
3. Sweden
4. Netherlands
5. Iceland
6. Ireland
7. Germany
8. Denmark
9. Switzerland
10. Slovenia
11. Finland
12. Canada
13. Czech Republic
14. Austria
15. Belgium
16. France
17. Spain
18. Luxembourg
19. United Kingdom
20. Slovakia
21. Israel
22. Italy
23. United States
24. Estonia
25. Hungary
26. Greece
27. Cyprus
28. South Korea
29. Poland
30. Lithuania

2011 UNDP Human Development Reports
Overall, the U.S. ranks 4th in the Human Development Index as reported in the Human Development Report 2011 published by the UN Development Programme. However, when adjusted for income inequality, the U.S. slides to 23rd. When adjusted for gender inequality, the U.S. ranks 47th.

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