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Relationships are everywhere. There are food chain between animals and animals, animals and plants. For those animals who have developed brain, there will be society relation between them, for example, monkeys. Human, for sure, had established society long times ago. What’s more, humankind realized that there should be equality in society, which could makes society bigger and stronger. Therefore, people never stop their step of pursue equity. In the past, people seek for human rights, racial equality and other rights. Now, people realized that there are inequality between rich people and poor people, which is the equity of wealth. In David Leonhardt’s article “Inequality Has Been Going On Forever … but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Inevitable”, he had expressed similar judgement as this article: we have been living with rising income inequality for so long, and in the end, people will “Ultimately, we could end up with a society in which the rich separate themselves from everyone else, perpetuating their wealth from one generation to the next, as nobility of past centuries did.” In a word, to make a conclusion, this world will end up with 99% people owns 1% wealth and 1% people owns 99% wealth.
In the article “Inequality Has Been Going On Forever … but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Inevitable”, David Leonhardt gives his understanding of current wealth condition. He quoted Thomas Piketty’s word “Inequality has risen throughout much of modern history, with the notable exceptions of wars, depressions and their aftermath, when everyone was forced to rebuild from a more equal place.” This is a part of his article’s viewpoint, which is although it is legal and moral to earn money to increase personal assets, the increasing of assets is not equal and this unequal is increasing. It is true that having more money will grant more ability than having little money. Image that a person who are able to spend 10 dollars on lunch, what class will this person meet; now image a person who are able to spend 100 dollars for one meal, which class will this person meet? It is easy to apply this pattern to other situation. Wealthy money is something that many people are eager to become. Indeed, wealthy individuals with large amounts of money may not be able to bring the same satisfaction as wealthy experiences, friends or family. Still, the benefits of affluence include eliminating some of the concerns in life. Wealth may eliminate the focus on housing because you can afford a house that suits your needs, regardless of cost. When buying cars, furniture, clothing and food, as well as providing the best university education funding for your child, unlimited choices can find other advantages of wealthy. As for poor people, it goes to opposite. The poor are hard, and you struggle every day, make tough economic decisions, and try to find ways to make a living. You often have to do something that might be considered a necessity by some people. Most people think that being broken is very bad and has no advantage. After what is written upward, it shows clearly that despite the concept of most people that having great amount of assets is legal, but not completely moral right, or, it could be said that being too rich is a kind of guilty.
However, opinions has contradiction of prediction of future. David’s main point of his article is that although he commit equity is being broken and the gap between equity and current condition is becoming wider, he insist, “To say that something is likely, or even natural, is not to say that it is inevitable.” In other word, he thinks people could “alter the course of inequality”. It is true that the world has changed a lot and many things people though before has changed. Nevertheless, it is not true that what can be done before can be done again in the future. It is impossible that everyone will be rich in the future. Even if people can reach today’s consumption level of rich people, there will still be things designed and could only be paid by future rich people. It is a contradiction that everyone is rich. If everyone has the same income or wealth level, then no one will be rich. It could be assumed that if people are equal, then there is no unequal thing, so the words of equality and inequality are meaningless. How do people distinguish the rich? Since everyone is very rich, and then this is the norm, how do people realize this? On the other hand, it could say that most people are rich today. In other words, people’s standard of living today is significantly higher than the competition 1000 years ago. Almost everyone has a magic machine that suits themselves. Even the richest people in the middle Ages did not have such a thing. Therefore, the condition in future will not be as David’s word of “To say that something is likely, or even natural, is not to say that it is inevitable.”
To be more convincing, take a step back and we assume people could anyway get rich in future, it is still impossible as long as the political system which benefit the world a lot, capitalism still running the mainstream, it is still impossible to be equal. Thomas Piketty, a French economist who specializes in the study of income and inequality between the rich and the poor, who is also the Director of Teaching at the Higher School of Social Sciences and a professor at the Paris School of Economics. “Inequality has risen throughout much of modern history, he writes, with the notable exceptions of wars, depressions and their aftermath, when everyone was forced to rebuild from a more equal place.” David had also quote his word in his article. Yet although David had contacted Thomas to discuss about this question, obviously he get wrong completion.
Piketty pointed out that the current growing inequality of wealth would further intensify and now jeopardize the future of capitalism. Capitalism requires wealth inequality, using this centralist argument to stimulate risk and effort; trying to prevent its government from killing the geese that lay golden eggs by taxing wealth, capital, inheritance and property. Piketty surveyed 200 years of data to prove they were wrong. He believes that capital is blind. Once its return – investment from buying and selling real estate to new car factories – exceeds the actual increase in wages and output, as they have always done in history (except for several periods from 1910 to 1950), then inevitably in the overall output model, capital stocks will grow at a disproportionate rate.
Wealth inequality has grown exponentially. This process has become worse by inheritance, and in the United States and the United Kingdom, it has become worse due to the rise of luxury “super managers.” Piketty writes that executive compensation has nothing to do with real value – for example, continental Europe and Japan have much lower pay. Instead, it has become an Anglo-Saxon social norm, allowed by the ideology of “elite extremism”, essentially a selfish greed to keep pace with other rich people. This is an important factor in Piketty’s thinking: increasing wealth inequality is not static. Society can indulge it and challenge it.
Inequality in wealth in Europe and the United States is roughly twice the income inequality – the top 10% of wealth accounts for 60% to 70% of all wealth, but only 25% to 35% of all income. However, this concentration of wealth is already at the level before the First World War and can be traced back to the late 19th century, when people might wish to inherit the dominant factors in economic and social life. There is a repetitive interaction between wealth and income: ultimately, huge wealth increases unrealized rental income and income, further exacerbating the process of inequality. The vitality of capitalism was undermined, but other forces joined to undermine the system. Piketty pointed out that the rich effectively protect their wealth from taxation and gradually increase the proportion of the total tax burden of middle-income earners. In the UK, the highest 1% of all income tax payments may be true, but income tax only accounts for 25% of all taxes: 45% from VAT, GST and National Insurance paid by the general population. Ordinary taxpayers are increasingly burdened with paying for public goods such as education, health care, and housing, and taxpayers do not have enough funds to support them. As a result, wealth inequality has become a factor of slowing down, innovating aversion, deteriorating economic conditions, more difficult working conditions and degrading public services. At the same time, the rich are getting richer and more detached from their society: not because of merit or hard work, but simply because they are fortunate enough to grasp the return on capital than wages.
In conclusion, whatever happens in future, as long as there is no world war three or other great changes happens, rich people will constantly get richer and poor people will still be poor. There may be more property in poor people’s hand, but on the scale of total property of society, poor people are actually getting poor as always. However, as Simon Kuznets said in his article “Economic Growth and Income Inequality”, “The paper is perhaps 5 per cent empirical information and 95 per cent speculation, some of it possibly tainted by wishful thinking”, articles which are willing to forecast can’t really be that certain and precise. As personal expectancy, no one do not want to be rich, while the world is also definitely not running on a person’s will.
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