Do you think, the political system is the force behind expanding wealth inequality?
Thomas Picketty's book says, the existence of inequality is widening day by day. What you think on that?
The palace of Versailles is amazing - and it was built when the average Frenchman lived on a dollar a day equivalent in true squalor and poverty.
The Egyptian pharoahs had massive monuments built to their immortality in death, while the average person lived in what we'd consider serious poverty.
Wealth inequality isn't new, it arose with agricultural civilization.
But only capitalism has led to several billion people raised out of that dollar a day poverty to a middle class income with some disposable income, solid housing, education for their girls, a chance to be more. Even Bono said so in a TED talk.
Thanks for sharing your view. Very recently I saw TED talk of Thomas Picketty. He mentioned some of the main points that you also mentioned.
1)Inequality is not a new phenomenon
2) It has a special issue with middle class in the society etc
Hans Rosling's presentations are good on this topic, as well.
First world countries have done a lot to provide opportunities to poor people so they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Global poverty has been greatly reduced over the past half century. I believe the widening inequality gap is largely due to ignorance, and the erroneous belief that the government should spoon-feed its people. Even the best government can do only so much.
Political systems definitely are responsible for the expansion of wealth inequality throughout the world. In America capitalism has been moderated over the years by socialist programs, but in recent decades corporations have largely become monopolies which have severely diminished opportunities for "the little guy." This has caused a widening disparity between the rich and the poor -- and political upheaval. Unless corporate law is modified and the monopolies are broken up there is the likeliehood that civil unrest will lead to civil war. The political chaos we're seeing today is testimony to this outcome.
A very good question; and I don’t think there is a simple answer, or a single main cause. Wealth inequality has existed since the time humans stopped being ‘hunter gatherers’ and started to farm the land. These days, factors affecting the level of wealth inequality in ‘Society’ include greed, prejudices, ignorance, fear, differences in individual abilities, motivation, work skills, education and training, aspirations, mental health, disabilities, luck and privilege of birth etc.
The political system can be a force behind expanding wealth inequality. Put in simple terms; the policies of ‘Capitalist’ governments in modern Western Democracies tend to favour the rich getting richer (all too often) at the expense of the poor; albeit, when in power, Socialist governments will attempt to address the imbalance with their political agenda e.g. by making taxation more equitable to the benefit of the less well off, and through other ‘Social’ measures to provide the greater need where its most needed.
For example, in Britain to help people on low income, and narrow that wealth inequality, the legal minimum wage is currently £7.20 ($10.20) per hour, with no one paying any ‘Income Tax’ (which I think in America is called Payroll Tax) until they’re wages exceed £11,000 ($15,562) per year’; with the next tax bracket on wages above that level being 20%, and the highly paid employees paying 45% on income over £150,000 ($212,230) per annum.
And as an added aid to the low paid, they are also paid ‘Working Tax Credits’; money provided by the government to boost the income of working people who are on a low income e.g. the government deposits up £1,960 ($2,773) per annum (paid monthly) into your bank account, reducing on a sliding scale until you’re wages go above £11,000 ($15,562) per year.
Of course in other parts of the world where Regimes still exists e.g. Monarchies, Right wing Dictatorships and Left wing Communist governments then wealth inequality (often driven by greed, prejudices, and corruption etc.) are still rife in Society as they have always been since Ancient Times.
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