Inequality: We should all care to learn more about it

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Inequality, it’s something I’ve always seen and thought a bit about through the years. As I’ve grown a bit older, one of my favorite pass times has become reading. Not reading mystery novels, horror novels or any of the like. Although I might inject that if you do read any such stories there is NOTHING WRONG with that.

Reading is a good thing.

I’ve developed a thirst of learning. From biographies to true crime, lot’s of history, philosophy, spiritual , the sciences and current events/political, I’ve found that there is usually as much mystery and horror as any novel could produce.

Inequality is a topic that interests me greatly. You see, I believe in equality. Not equality for any special interest group per-say. I commend groups that stand up for equality/justice etc.

Income inequality is quite an interesting subject on many levels. Obviously, because the is the disparaging gap in quality of life. One can argue that a rich man has earned his riches. That would be correct.

Where it becomes troublesome is where systems in place may in fact keep millions poorer to the benefit of the few. Where power is in the hands of the few to the detriment of the many. Where there is no equal opportunity. When opportunity becomes hereditary. Where an inherited fortune grows faster than a nation’s economy so that they have a larger portion of the nation’s wealth (in acceleration).

It’s quite conceivable that many great ideas and inventors have been stifled by this cycle.

And sometimes these systems also cannibalize themselves with non-practical practices meant to create wealth out of nothing. (Cue the dot net bubble…. and cue the economic meltdown of 2008)

This type of wealth accumulation may actually be a great harm to a nation’s economy. (Again, cue the 2008 meltdown…. and cue Argentina’s current financial troubles with the huge hedge fund hawks.)

Ever since I’ve heard of Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First century, I’ve been eager to read it. It has stirred up quite a bit of social commentary and a bit of a buzz.

Inequality affects our communities, our neighbours, businesses, health care systems, practically every aspect of our lives.

And to put things in perspective, one needs information. That’s why reading, for me, is indispensable. Without any information, it’s just my ideas and whatever marketing campaign and lobby groups message that happens to land in front of my face.

I would like to imagine a future, where my daughter has ample opportunity to live a life where her actual wealth levels aren’t slowly dropped into poverty levels. Even though numbers move, adjusted for inflation, many people are worse off then they would have been 25 years ago.

There are record profits and salaries for super managers. And a smaller portion of the pie for the rest of us.

Here’s an video discussion on Piketty’s book.