Bryce Wilkinson writes:
If you are above 40, I hope you would have built some financial net worth through hard work and thrift. And if you are under 40, I hope that at least you aspire to build up some savings for a more comfortable retirement.
But perhaps like me, you did not realise that by working hard, paying off your mortgages and saving, you are depriving 15-19 year olds of a fair share of your wealth? Every dollar you save relative to someone with no savings increases wealth inequality.
Yep the more you save, the more wealth inequality there is as a 15 year old hasn’t yet started working to save money.
It gets worse. There is also major inequality within each stage of the life cycle. Take households with dependent children. The median net worth of such a two adult household is around $250,000; for a one adult household it is $26,000. But is this the fault of two-adult households?
Of course it is. We should take $110,000 from every two adult household and give it to every sole adult household.
And let’s not get started on education-related inequality. Those who worked hard to get post-school qualifications, and subsequently, obviously earn more and own more. The median net worth of those with a master’s degree or a doctorate is $195,000; it is only $49,000 for those with no school qualification. But does that mean we need to blame academics for inequality?
This is also an easy one. If you work hard and get a post-graduate degree you need to then hand over $75,000 to a school leaver to compensate them.
On TV, Sue Bradford blamed the lamentably unresponsive major political parties for inequality. Decent political parties would force you all to do the decent thing.
But the real question is this: If age, education, and hard work are the most important factors for some people being wealthier than others, is there anything that could or should be done about it? And would anyone vote for it?
Logan’s Run had the solution. Their solution was highly effective at preventing wealth inequality.