Author Archives: Mohammed Amin

Discussing inequality requires precise language

When mathematicians discuss categories such as groups, rings and fields, they are all agreed about exactly what they discussing. Unfortunately, much political debate today degenerates into a dialogue of the deaf, because we fail to define our terms precisely enough.

This is particularly true with the subject of inequality in society. Let me illustrate.

Country A – an unequal dystopia

In country A, the top 1% own over 6% of total wealth, and the top 10% own almost 49% of total wealth.

This contrasts dramatically with the bottom 50% of the population. They own only 1.5% of total wealth.

Indeed, the bottom 30% of the population own absolutely nothing, while the 1.5% of wealth mentioned in the previous sentence is owned by those in the population range 31% – 50%.

Who could possibly justify such an unequal society? Isn’t Country A is rigged against the poor?

Country B – an egalitarian utopia

In country B, there is no inheritance. Everyone has the same life expectancy.

Everyone attends university until the age of 21, without incurring a penny of debt, and then starts work.

Country B is so equal that every person starting work at age 22 earns exactly the same salary. Each year they get an identical pay rise.

Everyone saves exactly the same proportion of their income. They also achieve exactly the same return on their investments.

Everyone works until the age of 70 when, they die, and the state takes 100% of their assets because no inheritance is allowed.

This society is so equal that only the most extreme socialists would envisage creating imposing such equality by government edict.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 20 Comments
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