Between higher real GDP growth or lower income inequality, which would you prioritize?

Most poor people benefit from more rapid GDP growth and more inequality.

Let us define the top 10% of the population as "upper middle class" in 2021 and that the 90 percentile inflation adjusted income in 2021 is the cut off income to be "upper middle class."

Let's say that you could choose a path to increase the size of the "upper middle class" from 10% of the population to 33% of the population within a short period of time; and that this path would result in higher measured income inequality.

Wouldn't you choose the path of higher measured income inequality almost every time?

In this hypothetical more unequal world the number of [poor + lower middle class] people would be much smaller. And the number of poor people would be moderately smaller.

If there were less upper middle class and rich people, there would likely be vastly more poor people and poor people would have lower real incomes.

What is an example of a policy that would likely increase US inequality but sharply increase real per capita income? Aggressively recruiting more talented and skilled foreigners to study in the USA, visit the USA, work in the USA, move to the USA and conduct business with Americans. Poor Americans would greatly benefit from such a policy, which would also likely increase measured US income inequality.

A majority of millionaires in Canada are first generation immigrants. A rapidly growing majority of rich and upper middle class Canadians are market dominant minorities, people of color, ethnics and immigrants.

The USA is also going down this path. Shouldn't the USA triple down on this path, and welcome a world where the vast majority of US resident income is earned by market dominant immigrants, ethnics, people of color and minorities?

The USA use to have over half of global income. The economist Laurence Kotlikoff projects that the USA will likely have 8% of global GNP in the future. And that the large majority of the US capital stock will be owned by foreigners.

A policy of aggressively recruiting foreigners to visit, stay in and do business with America would likely slow this rapid relative decline of US income compared to the rest of the world. (North West Europe is economically relatively faster than the USA.)

Can you interview economist Garett Jones about his book "The Culture Transplant: How Migrants Make the Economies They Move To a Lot Like the Ones They Left". This is the third in his trilogy of books on Singapore.

Garett makes a strong empirical and theoretical case that immigrants bring their origin culture to the country they move to and transform the culture of the country they move to. Much of the conventional wisdom about immigrants assimilating the culture they move to is only slightly true. In reality, the country they move to assimilates the culture of immigrants and is culturally and politically transformed by immigrants. Ergo, a great way to transform and improve the deep culture, surface culture and long term policies of a country is to bring in quality immigrants.

I hope the USA follows this path.


Kenny Xu is expressing ancient asian deep culture. Deep asian culture celebrates perfection, excellence, knowledge, mental health, deep intelligence, self actualization for their own sake. This shared deep culture has been common across most of the asian continent for thousands of years.

There are collateral effects of this ancient deep culture expressing itself, even if the collateral effects are not the goal. For example the asian economic miracle in recent decades.

Wouldn't the USA greatly benefit by studying the greatness and exceptionalism of foreign cultures, policies and imbibing them? The US once celebrated and embodied excellence and exceptionalism. In 2022, Americans celebrate and encourage mediocrity.

What is wrong with striving for perfection, excellence and exceptionalism again?


FYI, math SAT test scores are not very correlated with income. And far less correlated with income than they use to be. However, if asians are removed from SAT test score datasets, then SAT math test scores are significantly correlated with income again.

Why do you think this is? How do you explain the paradox of poor and lower middle class asian diaspora (in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, other parts of Asia) doing well on standardized STEM tests?

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