If Britain Were a U.S. State, It Would Be the Second-Poorest
An interesting new bit of original research by The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson entitled “Why Britain Is Poorer Than Any US State, Other Than Mississippi” helps reconfirm the concept of American Exceptionalism even amid the Obama Malaise. First, Mr. Nelson takes a welcome swipe against the all-too-common habit of American self-criticism:
No one beats up America better than Americans. They openly debate their inequality, conduct rigorous studies about it, argue about economics versus culture as causes. Their universities study it, with a calibre of analysis not found in Britain. Americans get so angry about educational inequality that they make films like “Waiting for Superman.” And the debate is so fierce that the rest of the world looks on, and joins in lamenting America’s problems. A shame: we’d do better to get a little angrier at our own.”
Nelson then gets to the heart of the matter:
If Britain were to somehow leave the EU and join the US, we’d be the 2nd-poorest state in the union. Poorer than Missouri. Poorer than much-maligned Kansas and Alabama. Poorer than any state other than Mississippi, and if you take out the south east we’d be poorer than that, too.”
He also addresses the cliche of horrific American inequality along the way:
It’s not surprising that America’s best-paid 10 per cent are wealthier than our top 10 percent. That fits our general idea of America: a country where the richest do best while the poorest are left to hang. The figures just don’t support this. As the below chart shows, middle-earning Americans are better off than Brits. Even lower-income Americans, those at the bottom 20 percent, are better-off than their British counterparts. The only group actually worse-off are the bottom 5 per cent.”
Obama may not believe that American Exceptionalism is of any greater merit than British Exceptionalism, but the facts and some Britons contradict that notion.