This is What Equality Looks Like


Not that this will come as shocking news to anyone, but income in Finland is distributed much more equally than in the United States:


The difference is especially pronounced at the very top and at the bottom. The richest ten percent of Americans take a much larger share of income than do the richest ten percent of Finns. Meanwhile, the bottom twenty percent of Finns get a much larger share of income than do the bottom twenty percent of Americans. But of course everyone knows that the rich need money more than the poor, so the American system is fairer. Plus our way is worse for the middle sixty percent, too, but pointing that out would be class warfare and your populism would be sneered at by media celebrities whose incomes are all in the top twenty.

Meanwhile, note that an egalitarian social and economic environment actually hits the rich coming and going. Not only are Finland’s rich poorer than their American compatriots, but the relatively non-desperate state of the Finnish poor means that prices are higher than in the US for the sort of labor-intensive personal services that are primarily consumed by the prosperous. A tourist will note that restaurants are relatively expensive, but the same principle would carry over to maids and nannies and so forth.