From Darwin to Eternity

Evolutionary moral psychology.

Is Equality Boring?

Income inequality apparently leads to diverse social problems, from obesity to murder. So why don't Americans prioritize it as an economic problem? Maybe they just think equality sounds boring. Read More


I think it's because we have this idea that if you work hard you get rich and if you haven't worked hard you're poor. We watch people like Ophra or Chris Gardener and say "see if you work hard ANYONE can make it." That's the myth and wealth redistribution would be an acknowledgment of the fact that we cannot make it alone. It flies in the face of our individualism and stinks of socialism which thanks to the Cold War we all know is the worst thing ever. We've ALL seen the results of wealth redistribution - fall of Soviet Union (not really true, but it's part of our national story). So while we want to change inequality, we don't agree with the proposed solution to it. You approached it with the premise of if we care about inequality we will support wealth redistribution. I reject your premise entirely. I think what you have is a conflict of ideals and with that conflict comes a feeling of hopelessness because everyone is so caught up in that very premise/solution that they cannot think of another one. I think we need to change the system that allows people to become so incredibly rich while making others incredibly poor. It is disgusting that a bank can break into a woman's home thinking it was their reprocessed home, take all her things and then refuse to pay retail value for them. It is despicable corporations are considered people under the law. It is troubling that Super-PAC's even exist to determine the outcome of our elections. It is incredibly disturbing that our congress is allowed insider trading so that they make public policy a way to make themselves rich. It is a travesty that our manufacturing has been shipped overseas and now people are out of a job and the new employment that has been created are minimum wage jobs that cannot even pay the basic bills. People who work hard do deserve their paychecks, but why cannot we have employment available that gives them a livable wage?

The "Occupy" events were created

The "Occupy" events were manufactured by leftists in the U.S. for the purpose of getting Obama re-elected. Notice how they just disappeared after the election? If one looks at that movement you will see all the usual suspects supplying money and leadership to get the loser activists with no jobs out there to make a show. The media amplifies it and all the sheeple eat it up. Election won, power retained, status quo maintained, no need for Occupy anymore. The losers go back to welfare and college, and well, being losers.

Income Redistribution is Theft

Involuntary income redistribution is theft, plain and simple. That is why at least the few rationally moral Americans left hate it. Charity is good, and when people can choose their own way to help, they often choose highly efficient charities that do the most good and that don't support the social problems the government creates. Years ago I read that the government gets only 36 cents of every dollar it steals for welfare to the people needing help (many of which truly are just lazy - I went to college in a poor town and it was shocking to say the least.)

Income 'inequality' is a non-issue. Who will decide what is equal? I know people who have worked 80 hours a week for decades to build their own company. I could never do that, so I work 50 and vacation a lot. Are you saying that I should make as much as my hard working friends who risked all on their company and eschewed relationships and hobbies to do it? Should my brother-in-law who works 10 hours a week, plays in bands and lives subsistence level make as much as I do? Most sane people would say no - at least I hope they would.

No, the problem in America is NOT income-equality, it is more education-equality, work-equality, effort-equality, self-responsibiliity-equality. Everyone I know who works hard and is responsible makes a good income. Of course it is different depending on how the market values the service, but if you want to switch careers you can do that if you choose. The excessive taxes and regulations here have done more damage to the employment picture than anything else. As usual, the government is the cause of the problem and more of it will make it worse.

Take a good look at America - almost everywhere you see strongholds of Liberalism you will see more poverty, more despair, more inequality, more victim, more violence. The richest in America are the hollywood elite, almost exclusively Liberal. The most violent towns? Chicago, Washington DC, New Orleans - they have the most gun violence, the most poverty and are completely controlled by Liberals. Liberals dominate in education in American and it is a MESS!

Income "Inequality" is merely one more symptom of modern Liberalism. Reduce Liberalism and the inequality will lessen.

I agree.

Well said.

I would also like to add that America was founded on socialist principles which favored the European elist first and common Europeans second. Wealth distribution is socialism, socialism is based on the illusion of priviledges. When people feel privileged to anything, they really don't put in the effort to attain it.

The true solution to inequality is to buy out of a system that doesn't work for you. If more people bought out of the dog eat dog mentality, and regarded each other with dignity, a culture of kindness would become more of the norm and inequality would become much less of a problem.

Income inequality is a problem and the solution is....?

Another problem
(France is great at income redistribution and now that's its debt pump is finally maximized it's economy is collapsing).

The solution to most problems is simply another problem so there is no easy fix.

I don't think Americans are ignoring this rather than aware that it is not an issue that can be legislated without worst consequences.

Michael Burke wrote:

Michael Burke wrote: Americans’ respect for competition and financial success reflects some of the core values that energize them and give meaning to their lives, and if these values lead to dysfunctional levels of inequality, that is a price that they currently seem willing to pay.


I'd put a different slant on your thought.

There's a huge block of American wannabes. They have the greed; they have the desire; they just don't have what it takes to get rich. The system has them in debt up to their ears but they don't want to give up their fantasy of wealth.

I think it's a lack of genuine self-confidence. My guess is that they have a terrible fear of being ordinary.

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Michael Price, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the psychology department at Brunel University, West London. He is also the co-director at the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology.


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