Friday, 29 January 2016

Inequality of come?

There's an article up on the Guardian website about inequality:

This is what I've posted on the thread.

"The best way to get to the root of wealth and wealth distribution is to look at how it's 'held'. (By the way, this article isn't about income inequality, is it? Some people on the thread seem to think it is.) The tiny number of people who own the wealth that we're talking about are not extremely well paid people. They are people who own assets...but what kinds of assets? Presumably it's a package made up of shares, physical things like buildings,and land, precious items, and a percentage claim on companies that they own or co-own and which can be valued as an asset. And there is also a chunk of money sitting in a bank somewhere that they can use.

They will have acquired all this through a combination of inherited wealth, and using money taken from one part of the package to buy the next bit. I suspect key stages in all this will have been through share dividends, selling shares that have increased in value, selling buildings that have increased in value and using that to buy even more valuable buildings and land.

We might then ask where does all this money(or 'value', or 'assets') come from? What produces it? Does it work mathematically, to say that they've done this all by themselves? Or does it need the work of others to produce some/most/all of it? Even when it appears that money can produce money (through lending or 'investing'), at one end of the chain involved, (i.e. who produced the goods and services that enabled money to come out at the end) involves people's work. More often than not, these are the people at the other end of the inequality map. They're the ones who haven't got this wealth.

That's the core problem with inequality. It's not that working people are or are not 'less poor' than they were a hundred years ago. It's that at the end of the process, they're not 'accumulating wealth' but the owners of shares, companies, land, buildings, plant, etc are."