Bananas, Anyone?

Via The Awl:

“All my life I’ve heard Latin America described as a failed society (or collection of failed societies) because of its grotesque maldistribution of wealth. Peasants in rags beg for food outside the high walls of opulent villas, and so on. But according to the Central Intelligence Agency (whose patriotism I hesitate to question), income distribution in the United States is more unequal than in Guyana, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and roughly on par with Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador. Income inequality is actually declining in Latin America even as it continues to increase in the United States.Economically speaking, the richest nation on earth is starting to resemble a banana republic. The main difference is that the United States is big enough to maintain geographic distance between the villa-dweller and the beggar.

Not in the big city, it isn’t. I already see crime escalating and bleeding over into the expensive neighborhoods. After all, as Wilie Sutton said, “It’s where the money is.”

2 thoughts on “Bananas, Anyone?

  1. You know, I was called sophomoric back around 1980 when I made the claim that the goal of Raygunism was to turn the US into a third world country.

  2. Not sure I said that in 1980, but it wasn’t much time after that.

    I came out East from Milwaukee during the Reagan recession, when a new hotel was going to open and the unemployed in Milwaukee were shown in overhead shots because the lines were so long. It staggeringly frightening. I had my job, but it was very scary…and a foretaste of whats to come.

    For not that many and not that well paying jobs. But, already, the manufacturing jobs were going elsewhere. First stop for some was the union-unfriendly Southern US states, but not long after it was Mexico and Central America, then even further away.

    Labor Day I was listening to a program on WBAI, a lefty Pacifica station in NYC, and Jamie Galbraith was on (iirc). White male workers are making less in real dollars today than they made in 1970. Actual statistics, not happy chirpy business reporter spin.

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