Thursday, November 18, 2010

Argentina of the North? We should be so lucky.

Like Nicholas Kristoff, I’ve used Argentina as a metaphor for the twilight of America. I thought of it as an example of a rich nation that quietly fell apart even as its income disparity grew.

I’ve called American "Argentina of the North”.

Now, like Kristof, I am apologizing to Argentina …

A Hedge Fund Republic- - Nicholas Kristof -

… The best data series I could find is for Argentina. In the 1940s, the top 1 percent there controlled more than 20 percent of incomes. That was roughly double the share at that time in the United States.

Since then, we’ve reversed places. The share controlled by the top 1 percent in Argentina has fallen to a bit more than 15 percent. Meanwhile, inequality in the United States has soared to levels comparable to those in Argentina six decades ago — with 1 percent controlling 24 percent of American income in 2007…

Another metaphor bites the dust. Sorry Argentina, but at least we can aspire to learn from your experience.

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