Skip to main content

basu42_Keystone_Features_Hulton_Archive_Getty_Images Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
English

The Rich Can Fight Inequality, Too

Many wealthy people in the United States and elsewhere support the objective of curbing extreme economic inequality. They should not allow allow themselves to be silenced by right-wing accusations of hypocrisy.

NEW DELHI – When wealthy people espouse left-wing causes, such as redistribution of wealth, those on the right often label them hypocrites. “If you are so concerned about equality, why don’t you give up some of your own income first?” is the usual retort.

This response can have a powerful dampening effect. Most people do not like to think of themselves as hypocrites. So the wealthy are faced with a choice: either give away some of their assets and then campaign against inequality, or just keep quiet. Most prefer the second option.

This is unfortunate, because global inequality is reaching intolerable levels. What’s more, wealth tends to remain in families over time. Inequality is becoming dynastic, with some people born rich and vast numbers who are poor from the moment they appear on Earth.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/2tA1jgM;
  1. haass105_Gustavo BassoNurPhoto via Getty Images_amazon Gustavo Basso/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    The Amazon and You

    Richard N. Haass

    Sovereignty entails obligations as well as rights, and where compliance cannot be induced, pressure must be applied. And though positive incentives to encourage and enable compliance would be preferable, Brazil's government is showing that there must be sticks where carrots are not enough.

    2
  2. GettyImages-1151170958 ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

    The Meritocracy Muddle

    Eric Posner

    Although populism in Western democracies is nothing new, resentment toward elites and experts has certainly been on the rise. Does this trend reflect a breakdown in the system, or a system that is actually working too well?

    11

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions