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Is A Fairer Distribution Of Wealth The Answer?

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Britain is in terrible debt and the average person can no longer afford a decent home. However, improvements in technology and food production mean that this should not be the case. Perhaps, it’s not a lack of wealth, but an unfair distribution of wealth that is the problem?

At the moment, productive member of society can pay upwards of 60% in taxes, while the unproductive are showered with tax credits, subsidised or free housing and many financial benefits. The productive are the perhaps the greatest philanthropists the world has ever seen, paying most of their money to help the less fortunate, despite seeing that the people they help often live in better conditions than the taxpayers themselves. This can not be fair.

I propose a more equitable system, where a working person keeps a greater proportion of his earnings, and the idle have to live on less. Cut taxes to a maximum of one third, and reduce benefits so that they are less than the minimum wage. Simultaneously cut government spending so that the national debt can be repaid. This would also improve the country by creating a weaker, less oppressive, government with fewer overpaid bureaucrats and fewer resources for creating and enforcing unjust laws and planning regulations.

Paradoxically, the idle would be helped too. Without our misplaced generosity, many of them would be encouraged to work, with all the improvements in health and self-respect that go with having a job. As more people worked, and the existing workers worked harder, the country would become wealthier.

What does the panel think? Would simultaneously cutting government, benefits and taxes lead to a fairer and happier society? Is a less equal distribution of wealth something we should all strive for?

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We need a fairer distribution of wealth in that those who create wealth need to enjoy the benefits of it.

At the moment, it is those who own the real estate around wealth creation that are enjoying the benefits of it, rather than the producers.

Edited by Stars

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Yes, excellent OP. The nation has been hypnotised into believing that wealth can only be 'earnt' through the real estate market. The rules need to be shifted so that average people aren't constantly on the financial edge because of high taxes and house prices.

IMO people would be a lot happier and much more productive if they had the choice of whether to go to work or not, high real estate costs have taken away the choice element and ground down the population into financial submission.

Our entire culture needs to be shifted so that people can expect to be rewarded for being useful, at the moment the current way of thinking tends toward wealth transfer through the housing market. These ideas need to be sold though but to the detriment of the country the politicians aren't up to the task, they prefer the - destructive - get rich quick approach.

Edited by chefdave

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Nice thought. Although the reality is a fairer distribution of debt. We have no wealth.

The debt built up because there's a mechanism inherent in the capitalist economy that gives chancers and a privileged few the ability to charge people the earth without providing them anything in return. Its called the housing market.

Wealth is still being created though.

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What does the panel think? Would simultaneously cutting government, benefits and taxes lead to a fairer and happier society? Is a less equal distribution of wealth something we should all strive for?

No.

There is a very, very strong correlation between:

a harmonious society

the GINI coefficient

and measures of quality of life

The 'trickle down effect' is about as useful as getting pissed on from a great height.

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No.

There is a very, very strong correlation between:

a harmonious society

the GINI coefficient

and measures of quality of life

The 'trickle down effect' is about as useful as getting pissed on from a great height.

Trickle down theory works fine, the trouble is it is more than offset by the torrent up (rents and real estate value)

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I propose a more equitable system, where a working person keeps a greater proportion of his earnings

How do you deal with the reality that these earnings are being eroded by global wage arbitrage? The distribution of wealth is being skewed more and more to capital at the expense of labour- even the Gods of IT are finding the indian hordes nipping at their heels these days.

Combine this with the absurd cost of housing and you can see that the trend is for more and more insourcing and outsourcing because the average brit is just too expensive to employ compared to this indian/chinese/east european competitor.

Given the cost of policing and prisons I suspect there's a limit to how much you can suppress social spending before it loses cost effectiveness. What needs to be addressed is the ability of business to exploit labour to the point where we all end up working for penauts to support the lifestyles of a small elite at the top.

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Trickle down theory works fine, the trouble is it is more than offset by the torrent up (rents and real estate value)

Which effectively means it doesn't work... <_<

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Which effectively means it doesn't work... <_<

It works in theory, if you ignore real estate (land) - which a lot of people do

I just wanted to make a point -

umm...I'll get my coat ;)

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Much as i hate to admit it, the inequality happened in the 1980s under Thatcher, then it started to reverse, then Labour came to power.

The distribution of income across households in 2007/08 was almost the same as in 2006/07. This

follows a period of rising inequality of disposable income between 2004/05 and 2006/07. The

general trend of increase between 2004/05 and 2007/08 was due to increased inequality of original

income. It was due in part to the faster rate of growth of wages and salaries and investment

income in the upper part of the distribution compared with the lower part. During the 1990s and

2000s, there were periods of both rising and falling inequality, but the level of inequality remained

high by historical standards - the large increase which took place in the second half of the 1980s

has not been reversed.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/product.asp?vlnk=10336

The main focus of this analysis is on the effect that taxes and benefits have on household income

in the UK. In 2007/08, original income (before taxes and benefits) of the top fifth of households in

the UK was £72,600. This is approximately 16 times as great as the figure of £4,700 for the bottom

fifth. After taking account of all taxes and benefits, the top fifth had an average final income of

£52,400 per year compared with £14,300 for the bottom fifth of households, a ratio of four to one

Edited by Three Pint Princess 2

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Much as i hate to admit it, the inequality happened in the 1980s under Thatcher, then it started to reverse, then Labour came to power.

Inequality happened in the 1980s?! It has been going on since humans evolved!! Doesn't matter whether you were a 2000s BTLer, a Victorian mill owner, a Baron in the Middle Ages, a Roman Senator, a Pharoah.... some has always been the "haves" and someone the "have nots".

If you divided all the wealth of the world evenly today at a stroke, within a few hundred years we'd be back where we are now. Some people will be lucky, others unlucky. Some wise, some unwise. Wherever there are fools and money, they will be easily parted. Wherever someone sees an opportunity to gain at another's expense, he will do so. Human nature.

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Inequality happened in the 1980s?! It has been going on since humans evolved!! Doesn't matter whether you were a 2000s BTLer, a Victorian mill owner, a Baron in the Middle Ages, a Roman Senator, a Pharoah.... some has always been the "haves" and someone the "have nots".

If you divided all the wealth of the world evenly today at a stroke, within a few hundred years we'd be back where we are now. Some people will be lucky, others unlucky. Some wise, some unwise. Wherever there are fools and money, they will be easily parted. Wherever someone sees an opportunity to gain at another's expense, he will do so. Human nature.

I think what you are describing is exacerbated massively by institutionalised abusive investment vehicles (such as real estate). We don't have to go out of our way to make the world deliberately sh!tty just because we can understand intelectualy why it might not be ideal.

Edited by Stars

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Britain is in terrible debt and the average person can no longer afford a decent home. However, improvements in technology and food production mean that this should not be the case. Perhaps, it’s not a lack of wealth, but an unfair distribution of wealth that is the problem?

At the moment, productive member of society can pay upwards of 60% in taxes, while the unproductive are showered with tax credits, subsidised or free housing and many financial benefits. The productive are the perhaps the greatest philanthropists the world has ever seen, paying most of their money to help the less fortunate, despite seeing that the people they help often live in better conditions than the taxpayers themselves. This can not be fair.

I propose a more equitable system, where a working person keeps a greater proportion of his earnings, and the idle have to live on less. Cut taxes to a maximum of one third, and reduce benefits so that they are less than the minimum wage. Simultaneously cut government spending so that the national debt can be repaid. This would also improve the country by creating a weaker, less oppressive, government with fewer overpaid bureaucrats and fewer resources for creating and enforcing unjust laws and planning regulations.

Paradoxically, the idle would be helped too. Without our misplaced generosity, many of them would be encouraged to work, with all the improvements in health and self-respect that go with having a job. As more people worked, and the existing workers worked harder, the country would become wealthier.

What does the panel think? Would simultaneously cutting government, benefits and taxes lead to a fairer and happier society? Is a less equal distribution of wealth something we should all strive for?

Point 1) Its not the poor stealing your wealth. If you think it is look at graphs of the wealth productivity gap. Also look at the relative income growth rates of the 10th, 50th (median), and 95th percentiles

Point 2) If you want to live somewhere with a less equal distribution of wealth go try mexico. As long as your not located near one of the slums you should be fine, though you probably should hire bodyguards for your family to prevent ransom-kidnappings. Or if your looking for somewhere with uber high wealth disparities perhaps try Zimbabwe.

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Inequality only started with civilisation, which itself is about 6000 years old. Man has been around for millions of years, civilisation is a temporary state of affairs and it's longevity is decreased as wealth distribution becomes more unequal. We live in abnormal times.

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Inequality happened in the 1980s?! It has been going on since humans evolved!! Doesn't matter whether you were a 2000s BTLer, a Victorian mill owner, a Baron in the Middle Ages, a Roman Senator, a Pharoah.... some has always been the "haves" and someone the "have nots".

If you divided all the wealth of the world evenly today at a stroke, within a few hundred years we'd be back where we are now. Some people will be lucky, others unlucky. Some wise, some unwise. Wherever there are fools and money, they will be easily parted. Wherever someone sees an opportunity to gain at another's expense, he will do so. Human nature.

It does matter to me, if you have 40% of the population working in agriculture the gap is going to be smaller, it only really widened when we get to the late 20th Century as in the original post

where development and technology allowed it to.

The gap in quality of life has never been greater, and that's even worse with the advances we have made over time IMO.

There is no reason for the Gini coefficient to reach higher levels now than it did in the last thousand years.

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Er, Yes, we figured that out a very long time ago but have been incapable of doing anything with this knowledge.

Exactly.

OP makes a naive post?

The imbalance of wealth in this "democracy" is shocking. Becoming a republic would be a start.

ps-bear in mind though, I'd back a communist revolution haha

Edited by Darkman

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Point 1) Its not the poor stealing your wealth. If you think it is look at graphs of the wealth productivity gap. Also look at the relative income growth rates of the 10th, 50th (median), and 95th percentiles

Point 2) If you want to live somewhere with a less equal distribution of wealth go try mexico. As long as your not located near one of the slums you should be fine, though you probably should hire bodyguards for your family to prevent ransom-kidnappings. Or if your looking for somewhere with uber high wealth disparities perhaps try Zimbabwe.

links?

Perhaps we could try denmark, holland, sweden, norway, france, germany or canada?

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Inequality only started with civilisation, which itself is about 6000 years old. Man has been around for millions of years, civilisation is a temporary state of affairs and it's longevity is decreased as wealth distribution becomes more unequal. We live in abnormal times.

Man has actually only been around for more like 200,000 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens) but I agree that modern civilisation is only a small part of that.

However, I still maintain that inequality has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us to the end. Someone had the largest cave, someone was lucky enough to find the bush with more fruit on it, etc.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take sensible, civilised steps to address inequality where we can. It is ridiculous at a species-wide level (or immoral depending upon your perspective) that millions starve whilst other millions throw food away every day.

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That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take sensible, civilised steps to address inequality where we can. It is ridiculous at a species-wide level (or immoral depending upon your perspective) that millions starve whilst other millions throw food away every day.

I agree that we should take steps to address inequality. My point is that it is better to increase it.

Ignoring the nonsense about starving since I was talking about Britain, I think that it would be better for richer and poorer alike if more wealth stayed in the hands that earned it.

I don't think that the trickle (flood) down from the earners to the idle is a good thing. Not for the idle (who fall into dependency) and not for the earners either.

It's not really a richer/poorer thing either since as many posters have pointed out, rich idle property owners are given money just as poor idle non-workers have benefits bestowed upon them.

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Man has actually only been around for more like 200,000 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens) but I agree that modern civilisation is only a small part of that.

However, I still maintain that inequality has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us to the end. Someone had the largest cave, someone was lucky enough to find the bush with more fruit on it, etc.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take sensible, civilised steps to address inequality where we can. It is ridiculous at a species-wide level (or immoral depending upon your perspective) that millions starve whilst other millions throw food away every day.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/apr...nderquest_x.htm

The problem is that we look at life from our limited perspective, just because the current paradigm is dominant, doesn't mean it is the way things should be. If you look to the natural world it lives in perfect symbiosis, we are the problem area.

To solve the problem, we need to cease to exist.

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