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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.

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