[Created by Me]
First off, let’s talk about the interesting negative kanji 「不」. This convenient kanji is basically the equivalent of the English prefixes un- or in-. For this post, the word for equality would be 「平等」, and its negative would be inequality and written as 「不平等」. I just thought it was kind of interesting that there was something so convenient and memorable like a negative kanji.
Moving onto the actual topic of inequality itself, which was brought to my attention again for the umpteenth time this week by a certain article, it would appear that the world’s wealth gap has increased yet again, with the bottom 50% of the human population possessing as much wealth as only the top 8 wealthiest now, dropping from the top 62. The article implies that the wealth gap will only worsen from now on, providing that “between 1988 and 2011 the incomes of the poorest 10% increased by just $65, while the incomes of the richest 1% grew by $11,800 – 182 times as much.” It then ends with a comment from Oxfam calling for “fundamental change to ensure that economies worked for everyone, not just ‘a privileged few’.”
Getting this out of the way from the start, I am a socialist, so anything I say might be slightly biased.
I do agree with the article that it is absolutely disgusting that 8 individuals could own more wealth than 3.6 billion people. It is highly likely that those lucky 8 have more money than they’ll ever spend in their lifetime and are making money than they could possibly spend, probably at the expense of others, like low-wage workers in some factory in China toiling away in horrid conditions to make cheap products for one of those 8’s company to sell and rake in massive profits.
In my point of view, the only way to solve this problem is to either instate some form of socialism or communism in all the countries of the world and redistribute wealth so that there is high, but not absolute, income equality with little economic freedom, or remain with the Darwinistic Capitalist system where there will be low income equality with economic opportunity aplenty for the few lucky individuals to strike a metaphorical gold mine and become richer than a major percent of the global human population. Each system has its own benefits and downfalls, but it all depends on your personal political ideology as to which one is better.
Personally, I would much rather have lower economic opportunity in order to ensure a more even distribution of wealth among the population. A society with an equal amount of wealth, assuming that it is a sufficient amount, would not have the need for economic opportunities in the first place. Alas, it is not in human nature to be so altruistic as to put in so much effort to study law to become a lawyer only to receive the same pay as a factory worker. Perhaps an automation revolution could replace workers with robots who could dramatically decrease the prices of products, and perhaps we could even reach a point where all possible jobs have been automated and humans are simply allowed to live however they want.