4 Ways Inequality Harms Society

In a recent TED blog post, Harvard Prof. T.M. Scanlon lays out four ways, based on philosophical literature, that inequality harms society. They are:

  1. Economic inequality gives the haves too much power and control over the have nots, for example through the control of media or other industries
  2. Inequality can corrupt political institutions (…need I say more on this point?)
  3. Economic inequality undermines equal opportunity
  4. Workers whose work counts toward national income deserve a fair share of what they have produced

These points are based on certain moral principles put forward by Peter Singer and others, including the following:

  • we must make the poor better off
  • every life has equal importance
  • we must cooperate with our fellow humans in morally acceptable ways
  • the economic system itself must be justifiably fair to those who are worst off, and include them in competition and other activities

Clearly, our work is cut out for us: not only do we need to initiate actions that will restore equality for individuals, we also need to transform the economic system for more fairness. Previously, I wrote about The Next System, which outlines some ways to get us there. Another important way, is through Alchemus Prime’s win-win approach, which ensures that everyone, including Mother Earth, benefits from our actions.

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