Seems all liberals talk about is equality. But isn’t prosperity better than equality? Instead of wanting everyone to be ‘equal’, whatever that means, wouldn’t it be better if everyone were prosperous instead of just ‘equal’? And what is ‘equality’ anyway and how do we achieve it? If you’ve not read the book or seen the movie Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, it delves into the ridiculousness of attempting to mandate equality.


In reality, equality is impossible to achieve, and is unlikely to even be desirable if we could have it. In Communist Russia, the vast majority of the population was equal, but do we really want to strive for everyone to be equally impoverished, so long as everyone is equal?

Well, those who advocate for equality usually are not advocating for equality in EVERYTHING (why not?), but only equality in ‘having stuff’. In other words, equality in wealth. But is that what they really want? I’d argue that they don’t. For one thing, they constantly argue for equality, but do not want Russian style equality. They claim to want everyone to be wealthy, but then decry the wealthy and think they should have their money taken away from them. So they don’t want equality in poverty OR equality in being stinking rich.

What do they want? So they must want equality in being middle class. But I’ll argue that is ALSO not what they want since they don’t want to do what it takes to GET an economy with the largest number of those in the middle class. Take the chart below; it is done from research by Credit Suisse outlining where global wealth distribution, split up by world regions and quintiles of wealth ranging from 1 to 10. 1 being the poorest and 10 being the wealthiest.

If you take a really good look at this chart, it should shock you. The US has virtually NO MIDDLE CLASS. Due to massive amounts of debt, there is no wealth residing in the 2nd-7th quintiles.  And this matches tp with reports that the average american has less than $500 in the bank. This is what debt does.

Those who wish for ‘equality’ always point to a European-style economy to give that to us. But in terms of equality, Europe is barely better than the US. Heck, Latin America has more income equality than the Europeans. This chart should dispel once and for all the idea that a European system creates equality. Instead, it creates more poverty than Latin America. If you want equality, stop pointing to Europe. They are miserable failures.

But if you want equality to mean the most people possible in the middle-class, with the fewest rich and the fewest poor, then you SHOULD be looking at China. China has the largest middle-class of any region in the world. And while they don’t have the smallest groups of uber-wealthy in the world, look at the left side of the chart, where the poorest of the poor reside, and marvel. China has the smallest number of poor in the world. Less than the US, less than Europe, even less than Latin America. In terms of extreme poverty, in comparison with world averages, it’s NON-EXISTENT in China. Look at that again.

While they have extraordinarily socially restrictive policies, their economic policies are quite liberal, and people have the freedom to pursue economic activities that those in the US and Europe are prevented from doing. In fact, despite having a communist social system, their economy has transititioned rapidly to capitalism (see How China Become Capitalist). The Pew Research Group, in their article ‘China’s government may be communist, but its people embrace capitalism’ states,

…Since 2002, the Chinese have consistently been one of the strongest proponents of capitalism compared with other publics around the world, even more so than Americans and Western Europeans.

China also has socialist programs as well. but they are few and far between. However, social programs have to be fueled by wealth, and the more wealthy a country is, the fewer need to take advantage of social programs. Equality MUST be fueled by capitalism and wealth, it cannot be fueled through restrictions on the free market, which creates poverty and dependence.

Equality vs Prosperity

However, much to the chagrin of liberals, equality does not tell the whole story. China, overall, has much less accumulation of wealth than the US, as outlined by the second chart below.

Click to See Larger Image

Despite the fact that China has far more economic equality, objectively, than North America, I doubt that even liberals will hold up China as a model to strive for, despite the fact that they have achieved exactly what liberals say they desire.

Arguaubly, North America and Europe have a better overall standard of living than China. Inarguably, they have more wealth (although that is rapidly changing). So, it’s pretty clear from these graphs that what liberals actually should be wanting is prosperity, and not equality. So the next time someone declares that we need equality, tell them that China is a model success story for them to look towards.

Kerri Knox is a registered nurse, hobby Austrian economist, world traveler and vociferous proponent of both health and freedom who, when not writing about health on her websites, Easy Immune HealthSide Effects Site, and AnemiaCentral, as well as managing the community advocacy site, she is advocating for individual rights, liberty, and common sense.