Tim Worstall writes that America is more like Sweden. It is interesting how he deciphers the numbers and talks about the general perception and what the Economic Policy Institute does not want you to understand. Greg Mankiw writes about the graph and summarizes that

  • Income inequality in the United States is greater than it is in western Europe. Average income is also higher in the United States.
  • The poor in the United States have about the same real income as the poor in western Europe. The rich in the United States, however, are much richer.

However the author of the original article says that US should have more of

  • have a social safety net, and that we have a duty to provide for those incapable or unlucky enough to be unable to do so for themselves, we need to set some level at which such help is offered.
  • The standard of living of the poor in a redistributionist paradise like Finland (or Sweden) seems a fair enough number to use and the USA provides exactly that. Good, the problem’s solved. We’ve provided — both through the structure of the economy and the various forms of taxation and benefits precisely what we should be — an acceptable baseline income for the poor. No further redistribution is necessary and we can carry on with the current tax rates and policies which seem, as this report shows, to be increasing US incomes faster than those in other countries and boosting productivity faster as well.