New York Times' Nick Kristof is a wonderful columnist, a great journalist and eminent foreign correspondent.
This morning he brought the whole debate about where America is going down to the basics by asking us to "imagine a kindergarten with 100 students, lavishly supplied with books, crayons and toys."
But there is trouble in this corner of Paradise, because "one avaricious little boy is jealously guarding a mountain of toys for himself. A handful of other children are quietly playing with a few toys each, while 90 of the children are looking on forlornly — empty-handed."
If this sounds unfair, it is because it is. And not even in America is this seen as right.
"On this issue, Americans seem by intuition to be flaming lefties. A study published last year by scholars from Harvard Business School and Duke University asked Americans which country they would rather live in — one with America’s wealth distribution or one with Sweden’s. But they weren’t labeled Sweden and America. It turned out that more than 90 percent of Americans preferred to live in a country with the Swedish distribution.The question now is whether Americans are ready to open their eyes and face reality or not.
Perhaps nothing gets done because, in polls, Americans hugely underestimate the level of inequality here. Not only do we aspire to live in Sweden, but we think we already do."
(Nicholas Kristof: Why Let the Rich Hoard All the Toys? New York Times Oct 4, 2012)