Equality Often Misunderstood
Freedom, democracy, equality. Those are the buzzwords you hear from liberal-leaning social politicans. But what are they really?
Freedom is a need. It is nice to have. More freedom is not better when it causes others more suffering than happiness gained from the added freedom. (You can also just say “fuck others’ suffering” and shorten your nation’s life expectancy.)
Democracy is a form of government. It is a tool used to fulfill public interest. One of such interest is peace. It seems like people like to uphold democracy way more than to improve it. I think it’s good to upgrade this tool often, since the world changes fast in recent times.
Equality is cry from the weak, appeal to empathy, request for help. It says something seriously wrong is happening.
So fix that wrong thing. Not inequality. Fix the wrong thing. And dear reader, I urge you to do the same. Although “equality” is good to have, it is not the exact problem. Here are some better slogans I thought up for you.
- The poor dies from lack of health care
- The poor dies from plague due to government thinking COVID is a plague
- The poor dies
In a sense, to “make sure everyone has enough money to live a ok life” is better than simply to “reduce wealth inequality”.
With the definitions stated, here are some of my other thoughts on this topic.
Wealth Inequality. What to do?
Tax income up to 70% (or even up to 90% now that automation is more capable).
Do Georgism for land.
Most other “main-stream” measures are less effective at coping than sleep. (Not much exagerrated. If you do the two above, you can sleep.)
What if my government is incompetent
If your government isn’t providing a service that it should be, do it yourself. Join others in providing the service to the public.
If your government tries to deter you with violence, fight back. How to effectly fight back is a whole nother topic that I am not qualified to talk about here.
Or, you can do nothing. It’s your life.
What if you want more wealth equality even with heavy taxation? Then, we need to welcome the Four Horsemen of Leveling: warfare, revolution, state collapse and plague. With dramatic climate shift, we might see two more members added to the list: natural disaster, and famine (although they don’t level as much).
The Economist: Is society incapable of tackling income inequality peacefully?
Walter Scheidel: No, but history shows that there are limits. There is a big difference between maintaining existing arrangements that successfully check inequality—Scandinavia is a good example—and significantly reducing it. The latter requires real change and that is always much harder to do: think of America or Britain, not to mention Brazil, China or India. The modern welfare state does a reasonably good job of compensating for inequality before taxes and transfers. However for more substantial levelling to occur, the established order needs to be shaken up: the greater the shock to the system, the easier it becomes to reduce privilege at the top.
COVID shows that trust on government is important. Also, rapid response to events is important.
I really don’t want to rely on the four horsemen to achieve those goals.