Ugly inequality

The US is not the only country where widening inequality is a disturbing trend. In the UK a recent Office for National Statistics report estimates that the top 10% of earners now own 45% of Britain’s £14trn total pot, while the bottom 30% own less than 2%.   (The Week, 28 December 2019).

If I regularly return to this problem it is because historically inequality nearly always eventually leads to decline, social discontent, loss of ataraxia, even revolution (as in Tsarist Russia, 18th Century France, and various other countries in our very lifetimes).

This is not something sought after by Epicureans, to put it mildly.  It destroys trust, social cohesion and fairness, and puts too much power into the hands of far too few.   It is not surprising that it suits politicians, who can fund their elections with sordid deals in back rooms with a small number of very rich donors (who are doing very well at present, thank you),  but it makes “one person, one vote” a charade.

Why can’t  all our fellow citizens see this?  Why do they tolerate it, along with gerrymandering?  I can’t believe that they are less intelligent than the people who lived at the time the American Constitution was devised or that social media sucks up all their thinking time.  Maybe they are just disengaged?



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