“Poverty” and reality

Victor Davis Hansen is one of the most trenchant observers writing widely today. He’s always worth reading. Yesterday’s column at Pajamas Media starts with an observation that isn’t startling, that in America today the people who are at the bottom of the economic scale enjoy a lifestyle reserved for the fairly well-off in much of the rest of the world. It’s a lifestyle that would have been inaccessible to the upper middle class a few years ago. Many people have noticed this, it’s so obvious and odd.

The key idea he’s drawing to our attention, though, is the attitudes that exist among the class of activists and agitators on behalf of the lower income group (they are often not among that group themselves). Here’s a pull quote as he begins his conclusion:

Perceived relative inequality rather than absolute poverty is the engine of revolution. These are strange and dangerous times.

It’s a warning that unfortunately is likely to go unheeded.


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