Africa fact of the day

…the four hundred richest U.S. taxpayers had a combined income in 2000 that exceeded the combined incomes of four of the countries of Mr. Bush’s tropical tour.  The difference was astounding: the $57 billion in combined income of Botswana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda [TC: Botswana and Senegal are relative success stories in Africa, and Nigeria has oil] was the income of 161 million people, who average $350 in income per year, whereas the $69 billion was the income of four hundred individuals.

That is from Jeffrey Sachs’s new The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time.  And you got it right, there is no typo, that is 400 people richer than 161 million people.

Left-wingers think: "My goodness, how can so few have so much?  They were lucky anyway.  Let us raise marginal tax rates." 

Randians think: "Hail the productive powers of capitalism!"

Rawlsians think: "They didn’t produce that wealth, we did."

Others think: "My goodness, Africa is screwed up."

The economist?  The economist wonders why there is not more trade between the two groups…


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