Equality: Not Always Good

Equality: Not Always Good

Dec 15, 2020 7:29 PM (EDT)

The freest places in the world compared with the most regulated ones


  • Singapore (1)
  • Hong Kong (2)
  • United States (17)

Most Regulated:

  • North Korea (180)
  • Venezuela (179)
  • Cuba(178)

Inequality (GINI Coefficient)

Where 0 = perfect equality, and 100 = perfect inequality

  • Singapore: 45.9
  • Hong Kong: 53.9
  • United States: 45
  • North Korea: 35.7
  • Venezuela: 39
  • Cuba: 38.3

Freer countries tend to have greater inequality than those heavily regulated. This isn't necessarily bad.

GDP Per Capita (PPP)

GDP on purchasing power parity basis, divided by the population

  • Singapore: $93,900
  • Hong Kong: $61,400
  • United States: $59,500
  • North Korea: $1,300
  • Venezuela: $12,100
  • Cuba: $12,300

The GDP per capita is much higher the freer the country.

The Takeaway

Equality is not always good.

Venezuela is more equal than the United States. However in Venezuela, 96% of the people are poor, and 70% live in extreme poverty. Is it a more 'equal' country technically? Yes.

On the other hand, the United States, paced purely on a metric of "being equal" would be considered "less equal" than Venezuela. Yet, the standards of living of the average citizen are much higher than those living in Venezuela. The US poverty rate is 10.5 percent

The most important factor isn't whether some pope have more money than others, in any free society this outcome is expected; you can't force everyone to act the same way if they're living to their own standard of freedom.

The most important factor is the ability for the general population to improve their own lives and living conditions - their upward mobility.

Would you prefer to live in a country where everyone is poor and equal with little-to-no chance of upward mobility? Or, would you prefer a country where there are millionaires and billionaires, and the general population has an above-average standard of living with opportunity for upward movement?

Sources: USMission, CIA, Heritage Foundation

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