Saturday, June 20, 2015

When does economic inequality become a problem?

An economic difference between households is perhaps normal and a necessary element of capitalism.  Everyone hopes to improve, and perhaps the difference in wealth we see helps us define our goal.  The motivating question we face, however, is not 'do I have enough' but 'can I get more'. That's the cultural context we live with in the western world.

The result of such thinking is broadly visible both in market and government policies, regulations, and favoritism.  The rich get richer without any particular impediment, and certainly not because they work harder.  Is that a problem?

The dilemma with such a self focus is that it is quite content to advance at the expense of others. All others.  It protests against the less fortunate, its victims, blaming them for not having stepped up.

What might be the motivation for having a hundred or thousand times more than you or your family could ever need?