What has always frustrated me about income inequality arguments is that no one ever seems to compare the actual income numbers of the poor between countries. Sure, the US is more unequal, and I suppose from this we are supposed to infer that the poor in the US are worse off than in “more equal” countries, but is this so? Why do we almost never see a comparison across countries of absolute well-being?
Sweden is often cited as a model by the Left. Here are the income distribution numbers for the US and Sweden in 2004.
This is the kind of detail Gini and other income inequality mask. Even after all the Swedish "generosity", more than 90% of the citizens in the US are better off, on an absolute basis, than in Sweden. Even many among the poor.