How much inequality is TOO much inequality? Watch

Burridge
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Hi, I've got a few questions about inequality - let's get a discussion going!

- In your opinion, how much inequality is too much inequality?
- Should it be a responsibility of the government to kerb growing inequality?
- How much do you value inequality as an incentive and driver of innovation?
- How important is inequality to market capitalism?
- What - if anything - should be done to tackle inequality?

I'll leave it up to you to you to determine what is meant by 'inequality' - it'll be interesting to see the different responses!
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BobBobson
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Humans are not equal inherently. It shouldn't be the governments job to force equality because it is impossible and will simply lead to false expectations of society (like we see with far left movements). A feature of market capitalism applied to the real world is inequality.
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Burridge
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(Original post by BobBobson)
Humans are not equal inherently. It shouldn't be the governments job to force equality because it is impossible and will simply lead to false expectations of society (like we see with far left movements). A feature of market capitalism applied to the real world is inequality.
Whilst I accept that people are born with different skill-sets and capacities, to affirm that these directly translate into the real world in terms of market value is optimistic at best, hopelessly utopian at worst. Some people simply aren't given the opportunity to harness skills or develop their abilities, whilst others, through no fault of their own, fall short of the hurdle through illness, bad-luck, or factors beyond their control. Equally, for those born into wealth, their chance of success is greatly increased - often due to factors other than sheer determination and dynamism.
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username2808800
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(Original post by Burridge)
Hi, I've got a few questions about inequality - let's get a discussion going!

- In your opinion, how much inequality is too much inequality?
- Should it be a responsibility of the government to kerb growing inequality?
- How much do you value inequality as an incentive and driver of innovation?
- How important is inequality to market capitalism?
- What - if anything - should be done to tackle inequality?

I'll leave it up to you to you to determine what is meant by 'inequality' - it'll be interesting to see the different responses!
Why do we focus on the gap? Its always about the gap.


Whats wrong with the poor being better off and the rich being better off? Its not about the gap.
Only 20% of millionaires inherited their money.
At the end of the day its hard work. If your born poor its not your fault but if you die poor it is( in the UK anyway)
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Sternumator
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I think it is looking at the wrong thing. By all means care about increasing the incomes of poor people but it is not a bad thing for people on high incomes to see their income increase.

I don't like when people want to cap bosses pay in relation to the low paid in a company. Campaign to increase the pay of those who are low paid but why do you care if the boss is paid a lot? It is just envy and it is bad.

I don't get envious of people earning many times what I do even if I feel like I am as good as them. I don't think there is such a thing as how much you "deserve". If people earn more than me, fair play to them, they have played their cards well.
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Jammy Duel
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The size of the gap is largely irrelevant, what matters is the state of the bottom, I would rather see massive inequality and nobody in need than everybody equal in poverty.. If all people have what they need what does it matter that some people can buy private islands?

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ChrisD0
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The only way for everyone to be equal is to be clones of eachother. But if you're talking about the rich and poor, and the government being supposed to eradicate that somehow, then you are a communist, and we should all know that system just doesn't work.
Here in the UK and other first world countries we all start on a level playing field. Sure, richer families can afford private tutors for example but a lot of us can get good grades and uni's by simply turning up at our government funded schools each day. We can carve out our career path or we can either slack off in school or choose a financially unstable career. It's all our choice.


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Cato the Elder
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Inequality is good. Society should be judged by the achievements of its highest and greatest individuals, not the unwashed masses.
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Bang Outta Order
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dunno.

Let me get out my Inequality Scale:

:scales:

Anyway in a heterogeneous/mixed race society, there seems to be immediate separatism and systematic segregation between different races. Often in heterogeneous societies, the main systematic way to separate people by race is to do so by their class. So the government and elites no longer have to be explicitly racist if they cut off social mobility for certain people. This is why racism towards dark people is as bad as classism toward white people; sacrifice some innocent but poor white people behind the guise that separation isn't a race issue. And now the government has "double trouble" on its stupid hands with poor blacks and poor whites. In European countries, classism is a bigger issue than racism toward nonwhites though.

Whether it's a heterogeneous or homogeneous/constant race society, there will be classism. So I feel classism is worse than racism as every race has people who live in inherited poverty. However, there are cities in European countries that have nonwhite races there, but Europe is fairly homogeneous; whites are a massive majority still. And in a homogeneous society, there's no race or religion to discriminate against most of the time, so they (average people) judge others based on wealth, and the gov't aids this by locking them in poverty with poor/no education, for starters. There should be proper education across the board. None of this "the higher the income, the better the school" ********.
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Burridge
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(Original post by fleky6910)
Why do we focus on the gap? Its always about the gap.


Whats wrong with the poor being better off and the rich being better off? Its not about the gap
In that situation, I'd rather the poor be richer and have a wider gap than vice versa. But that's dealing with a hypothetical; ideally, I'd want everyone richer AND a smaller gap. A smaller gap and a higher standard of living for all aren't mutually exclusive.

(Original post by fleky6910)
Only 20% of millionaires inherited their money.
Do you have a source for that?

By Forbes own admission, on their 2011 Forbes 400, 30% inherited their wealth - the only way they achieved a 70% "self-made" figure was via a technicality; "First version of this post said that 70% built their fortunes entirely from scratch; it should have said 70% are self-made, as some might have borrowed money from in-laws or parents, or started businesses with spouses or other relatives, but nevertheless built these fortunes themselves"

http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakro.../#2c2448e57a4f

The following report also does a pretty good job of breaking down the "self made" myth:
http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net...pdf?1448056427

(Original post by fleky6910)
At the end of the day its hard work. If your born poor its not your fault but if you die poor it is( in the UK anyway)
That's a very sweeping generalisation, and a total insult to millions of hard-working individuals up and down the county, working 60+ hours a week just so they can feed their families.

A poverty cycle truly exists within this country. There's a great Western myth of meritocracy that argues that no matter what circumstances you're born in, through hard-work and determination, you can end up in the 1%. It's possible - I wouldn't disagree with that (and no doubt you'll give a few examples to try and convince me) - but it's a virtue that most poor people can only dream of. It's no coincidence that those educated at public school go on to dominate the upper echelons of society - banking, finance, politics, business, law etc.
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Davij038
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
Inequality is good. Society should be judged by the achievements of its highest and greatest individuals, not the unwashed masses.
I agree with the latter but unless you are psychotic I can't see why you'd think inequality is 'good' rather than an unfortunate fact of life.
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MagicNMedicine
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We have seen both in the UK and the US a reaction from the white working class who have been left behind by globalisation.

Whilst a global liberal metropolitan elite have been hoovering up more and more of the wealth for themselves, the white working class have been seeing their wages squeezed, watching their rents go up, facing more and more pressure for public services like healthcare. And so Brexit and Trump were a reaction against the dominant liberal elite.

Nothing more than the politics of envy.

Why didn't the white working class look at themselves and ask why were they not as successful as the metropolitan elite? How many of them had been entrepreneurs? How many of them had put thought in to how they were investing? or were they just spending their money on plasma TVs and consumer goods out of catalogues.

Were they working hard in their jobs to improve their productivity and increase their wages? Why were employers not preferring their work ethic to the Eastern Europeans? There was a harsh reason why employers were hiring immigrants ahead of them - those employers are British businesses who understand the truth of how the world of business works - you have to work harder, produce more at lower cost than your rivals. If the British workers were better than the immigrants then they would have hired the Brits.

But instead what you get is the politics of envy, saying "we want what the metropolitan elite has" and "we want to shut out foreign competitors for our jobs so we can have things easy for ourselves".

Look at who the likes of Trump and Farage were constantly campaigning against - Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, The City, the rich. Yes - people that are actually dedicated to their jobs and work 100+ hours a week. Do the "left behind" work 100+ hours a week?

It summed it up when just before the referendum David Beckham came out in favour of remain and Farage said "well he would do, because he's rich".

Seems like in the modern society being rich is something to be ashamed of.
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by Davij038)
I agree with the latter but unless you are psychotic I can't see why you'd think inequality is 'good' rather than an unfortunate fact of life.
Do you think this world would at all be an interesting and not intolerable place if everyone was at exactly the same position in life?

Part of what makes the human experience more enjoyable is when one is faced with the vicissitudes of fate and all the dynamism that is present in life. Without rivals to compete against or obstacles to overcome, you take away the best and most efficacious means of producing higher men.
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Burridge
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
Inequality is good. Society should be judged by the achievements of its highest and greatest individuals, not the unwashed masses.
Is "highest and greatest" synonymous with richest?
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username2808800
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(Original post by Burridge)
In that situation, I'd rather the poor be richer and have a wider gap than vice versa. But that's dealing with a hypothetical; ideally, I'd want everyone richer AND a smaller gap. A smaller gap and a higher standard of living for all aren't mutually exclusive.
Not your typical socialist then! Still the gap doesn't matter, I don't see why it does. As long as the poor are earning more and living to a better standard standard , that is all that matters.




(Original post by Burridge)
That's a very sweeping generalisation, and a total insult to millions of hard-working individuals up and down the county, working 60+ hours a week just so they can feed their families.

A poverty cycle truly exists within this country. There's a great Western myth of meritocracy that argues that no matter what circumstances you're born in, through hard-work and determination, you can end up in the 1%. It's possible - I wouldn't disagree with that (and no doubt you'll give a few examples to try and convince me) - but it's a virtue that most poor people can only dream of. It's no coincidence that those educated at public school go on to dominate the upper echelons of society - banking, finance, politics, business, law etc.
I took a quote from Bill Gates there , lol and to a degree I agree with it. I attend a grammar school , I know poor people and know that hard work does lead to better grades. This is why Chinese working class people's children outperform the British ( not try to make a stereotype , just stating the facts). The point is we can catch up with them. There are plenty of people who have worked up fro the bottom and got into banking, finance , politics ( Ill spare you the names as you won't care , lol) .

(Original post by Burridge)



Do you have a source for that?

B
http://www.fa-mag.com/news/most-mill...ays-14565.html
http://www.investopedia.com/financia...ire-myths.aspx
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by Burridge)
Is "highest and greatest" synonymous with richest?
Not necessarily. It can refer to great intellects, great artists, great musicians etc.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
Nothing more than the politics of envy..
Yes, they elected a man who is by an absolute mile the richest POTUS ever due to envy.
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Ladbants
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No such things as too much inequality as lon as everyone's getting richer. If rich people get richer, they pay more tax, more jobs are created and poor people get richer. That's the beauty of it.
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mojojojo101
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(Original post by Burridge)
Hi, I've got a few questions about inequality - let's get a discussion going!

- In your opinion, how much inequality is too much inequality?
- Should it be a responsibility of the government to kerb growing inequality?
- How much do you value inequality as an incentive and driver of innovation?
- How important is inequality to market capitalism?
- What - if anything - should be done to tackle inequality?

I'll leave it up to you to you to determine what is meant by 'inequality' - it'll be interesting to see the different responses!
- Inequality is bad because it limits the freedoms of those who do not have to the benefit of those that do. People should be free from exploitation and oppression of any sort, economic or otherwise.

- It is the responsibility of Society (note: not government) and the individuals therein are responsible for the care and freedom of all other members of society, especially those that are the most vulnerable or susceptible to exploitation.

-A far more complex question than is immediately obvious. Firstly, yes, some people are motivated by fame or the acquisition of more stuff as a motive for developing technology (how much of that is a construction of our preexisting society is debatable) many otheers however are motivated by altruism or just buy the burning desire to work out how the world works. Consider also that the vast majority of people in our current society do not and will not ever have the ability to even begin to ask these questions. In a more equal society, where many are liberated from the constant struggle to piece enough money together to do just the bare minimum of surviving we could well see a huge uptick in the amount of people working on making great discoveries as well as innovating and inventing more generally.

-Inequality is absolutely integral to market capitalism. Firstly our current models of capitalism are driven by consumerism and the desire for those that do not have to be like those that do in any way they can. This pursuit of a largely impossible to reach goal is what keeps the economies of the world turning. Secondly is the effect of profit, the inherently exploitative process that endlessly exacerbates the problem. Lastly innequality also helps provides the capitalist class with a political system which they can control and bend to achieve the things that benefit them most while making sure those that are poor remain incapable of over turning the system.

-An end to Capitalism, an end to the State and the formation of a society based on the principals of anarcho-communism.


As an aside I'd love to see an argument in favor of inequality that doesn't just boil down to an Appeal to Nature.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
- Inequality is bad because it limits the freedoms of those who do not have to the benefit of those that do. People should be free from exploitation and oppression of any sort, economic or otherwise.

- It is the responsibility of Society (note: not government) and the individuals therein are responsible for the care and freedom of all other members of society, especially those that are the most vulnerable or susceptible to exploitation.

-A far more complex question than is immediately obvious. Firstly, yes, some people are motivated by fame or the acquisition of more stuff as a motive for developing technology (how much of that is a construction of our preexisting society is debatable) many otheers however are motivated by altruism or just buy the burning desire to work out how the world works. Consider also that the vast majority of people in our current society do not and will not ever have the ability to even begin to ask these questions. In a more equal society, where many are liberated from the constant struggle to piece enough money together to do just the bare minimum of surviving we could well see a huge uptick in the amount of people working on making great discoveries as well as innovating and inventing more generally.

-Inequality is absolutely integral to market capitalism. Firstly our current models of capitalism are driven by consumerism and the desire for those that do not have to be like those that do in any way they can. This pursuit of a largely impossible to reach goal is what keeps the economies of the world turning. Secondly is the effect of profit, the inherently exploitative process that endlessly exacerbates the problem. Lastly innequality also helps provides the capitalist class with a political system which they can control and bend to achieve the things that benefit them most while making sure those that are poor remain incapable of over turning the system.

-An end to Capitalism, an end to the State and the formation of a society based on the principals of anarcho-communism.


As an aside I'd love to see an argument in favor of inequality that doesn't just boil down to an Appeal to Nature.
By any chance will any argument be somehow warped into an appeal to nature to justify dismissal of the arguments?
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