Inequality Hurts the Rich Too

Here’s an excellent article by Yves Smith detailing why, “Income Inequality is Bad for Rich People” that is worth your time to read.

The reverse is also true. Social justice with progressive taxation is good for poor and rich alike – for the same reasons. Everyone benefits from an educated, healthy society with good infrastructure and public safety nets.

Here’s an excerpt:

But even more important is that high levels of income inequality exert a toll on all, particularly on health. Would you trade a shorter lifespan for a much higher level of wealth? Most people would say no, yet that is precisely the effect that the redesigning of economic arrangements to serve the needs at the very top is producing. Highly unequal societies are unhealthy for their members, even members of the highest strata. Not only do these societies score worse on all sorts of indicators of social well-being, but they exert a toll even on the rich. Not only do the plutocrats have less fun, but a number of studies have found that income inequality lowers the life expectancy even of the rich.

Although those who can afford it may feel that they can use their wealth to insulate themselves – that insulation is not very pleasant either. Smith writes:

You might argue: Why do these results matter to rich people, who can live in gated compounds? If you’ve visited some rich areas in Latin America, particularly when times generally are bad, marksmen on the roofs of houses are a norm. Living in fear of your physical safety is not a pretty existence.

Education, knowledge and compassion about the reality and existence of others is the way forward.

You may also like Are We So Different?, How Extreme Inequality Destroys the Economy and Demanding Social Justice.