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November 21, 2004

Inequality is good for Democrats???

Steve's new column in VDARE highlights that educational & income inequality is good for Democrats, at least politically (so read: Democratic elites). This isn't a big surprise, wouldn't it make sense that a Leftish party that is concerned with alleviating class divisions needs those class divisions to exist so as to have something to formulate policy prescriptions in response? Interestingly Steve notes that Utah, an extremely Republican state, also has the most equitable distribution of income. Near the end of the column Steve asks rhetorically why the Republicans want to transform the United States through mass immigration. I think the answer is simple: the Republican elites stand to benefit from mass immigration because they are insulated from the externalities associated with cheap labor. After all, immigrants who earn the minimum wage aren't moving to upscale developments, rather, they are packing themselves into homes in middle-class to lower-middle-class neighborhoods.

I suspect most readers of this weblog have the capacity and the talents to manage it so that they can afford to live in a exclusive or gated community. The question is, do you want to live in such a country? After visiting Bangladesh I realized in a concrete sense that if I am deported from the United States I would be relatively safe and prosperous, ensconced in one of my uncles' privately guarded apartment complexes. I could find a job in one of his myriad businesses. With the impending collapse of the garment industry due to Chinese competition servants would be easy hire once more. But thinking of such a life seems to shrink my soul in some ineffable sense.

Addendum: Just finished the Puritan section of Albion's Seed, and I noted how David Hackett Fischer emphasized that the Elders of the colony worked to exclude both the aristocracy and the poor from their polity. To nobles with Puritan religious sympathies who wished to emigrate to the New World and preserve their hereditary privileges, they said thanks, but no thanks, while the English underclass was blocked from crossing by monetary & asset equirements demanded for passage across the Atlantic. New England was founded as a middle class society from its inception. A bourgeoisocracy if you can keep it?

Posted by razib at 08:11 PM