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Published by jack elliot

 

People don't hate wealth, they hate inequality.

 

They hate the fact we have increasing child poverty when people a mile down the road want for nothing.

Unfortunately, when people become very wealthy many go to extensive lengths to avoid tax and opt out of our progressive tax system. We barely tax unearned wealth so those who start wealthy, stay wealthy.

It's those who get wealthy then try to pull the ladder up and prevent anyone else climbing out of poverty that should be reviled.

 

The UK is one of the most unequal societies in Western Europe, only above Lithuania on some indicators, and with very uneven wealth distribution. Whether the public takes a benign view of the wealthy or not is irrelevant to the huge inefficiencies that occur when wealth is concentrated in relatively few hands, not least in the effect on tax revenue. Tax avoidance (ie theft) by the wealthy is rampant by the UK based wealthy (including businesses), while the City and government collude in this. The privileges wealth can buy from education to health undermine public provision on most people depend. So there is good reason to be at least vigilant about the rich, and it the job of government to influence the distribution of wealth in favour of the many instead of encouraging wealth acquisition for the few by income and corporate tax cuts.

 

Economic inequality is part of the reason this country is so horribly divided and part of the reason for brexit. High economic inequality damages more or less everyone's health; it's associated with lower average lifespan and less social cohesion. The extreme wealth of the richest also damages democracy, in that the rich have far more access to politicians, have the wealth to own much of our media, and can buy political influence, both above board and covertly, in ways the average person can only dream of

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