Neoliberal . . . Crabs?

The left’s obsession with inequality has reached a level of fanaticism that you could easily confuse with parody. Check out this New York Times headline:

It’s for real. Here’s some of the whole story:

Hermit crabs face a uniquely competitive real estate market. They need bigger and bigger shells throughout their lives, but can’t grow these homes themselves. So they rely on castoff snail shells, and are constantly on the lookout for better properties entering the market.

A study that will be published next month in the journal Physica A found that the distribution of these shells in one hermit crab population was surprisingly similar to the distribution of wealth in human societies.

That may make hermit crabs one of the first animals known to experience wealth inequality. . .

The team used a number called the Gini coefficient to measure overall inequality among the crabs. It found a value similar to that in small human populations, though not as great as in today’s large countries. The top 1 percent of hermit crabs owned only about 3 percent of the total shell weight. . .

Although he’s hesitant to draw any societal lessons from the crustaceans, he hopes hermit crabs can one day become a kind of model organism, like lab rats, for scientists studying wealth inequality.

“The authors have nicely shown that the wealth distribution in crabs is humanlike,” said Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, an anthropologist who studies human wealth inequality at the University of California, Davis. The pattern is very much like what researchers have found in small-scale human societies, both historic and contemporary, she said.

I wonder if the Times and the equalitarians in the academy have thought this through. Unless you think hermit crabs somehow have access to the works of Adam Smith, you can’t blame this crabbed distribution of wealth on capitalism or “neoliberalism.”  Indeed, this finding means there is something natural to inequality. Oops.

Better translate Rawls into crabbese as soon as possible.

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