To Remain Infallible, the Pope Should Listen to God not Piketty


The Pope waded into the debate raging over the Piketty book with his tweet: "Inequality is the source of social evil."

Donkey Hotey.CreativeCommons.Foter

This is a rich statement coming from the head of the most hierarchical organization on the planet.

Setting aside that irony, there isn't much evidence for the Pope's claim that inequality in America and the West is all that evil. In poor countries like India, it's another matter, suggesting that not all inequalities are equal.

 I note in my Washington Examiner column:

[T]he rap against rising inequality is that it slows economic growth and leads to bad health and social outcomes for the poor. But Harvard University's Christopher Jencks found little impact of inequality on the poor's standard of living, life expectancy, violent crime, political participation or even happiness.

Consumers in America, the most unequal of all Western countries, he found, "do better than their counterparts in other large democracies."

Indeed, after looking for all the ills that liberals attribute to rising inequality in Western countries for over a decade, he has come up with so little that he has abandoned his book plans, he told New York Times' Eduardo Porter last week. (He feared headlines like, "Professor Doesn't Know What he is Talking About.")

Go here to read the whole thing.