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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 31 January 2010


The Times' Antonia Senior on the inequality gap:
Who wants equality if it means equal poverty?
It doesn’t matter that the gap between rich and poor is growing. What matters is that you can go from one to the other.
She makes a similar point to what I said about capitalism a couple of posts below.
As long as the poor have not been getting poorer, which they clearly have not, and everybody’s standard of living is rising, why does it matter that the rich are getting richer? So what? Of the top twenty billionaires in The Sunday Times Rich List, more than half are self-made. Why do we begrudge them their success?
Couldn't agree more, but it's depressing how many people don't see it that way and how many of them end up in government or in government sponsored positions with a mandate to try and change it. The name of Harritwit Harperson springs irresistibly to mind. It's not really necessary because these people make themselves pretty easy to spot but I've thought of a litmus test.

Imagine we have a magic wand with two interesting and unique features: it's double ended and can be used only once. If you hold one end and wave the other it will magically make everyone twice as wealthy as they are, which naturally means that the gap between the most and least wealthy will double too. Held the other way around so that the opposite end is waved and it will magically redistribute all the wealth in the country so that everyone has an exactly equal share.

Remembering that we get only one shot at this, which end should be waved?
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