There is no answer other than YES.
Inequality is an inevitable product of capitalist activity, and expanding equality of opportunity only increases it — because some individuals and communities are simply better able than others to exploit the opportunities for development and advancement that capitalism affords. The advent of capitalism gave individuals more control over and responsibility for their own lives than ever before — which proved both liberating and terrifying, allowing for both progress and regression.
Despite what many on the right think, however, this is a problem for everybody, not just those who are doing poorly or those who are ideologically committed to egalitarianism — because if left unaddressed, rising inequality and economic insecurity can erode social order and generate a populist backlash against the capitalist system at large. Recent European elections hint strongly that this is happening.
In recent decades, developments in technology, finance, and international trade have generated new waves and forms of insecurity for leading capitalist economies, making life increasingly unequal and chancier for not only the lower and working classes but much of the middle class as well.
The right has largely ignored the problem, while the left has sought to eliminate it through government action, regardless of the costs.
Neither approach is viable in the long run. Contemporary capitalist polities need to accept that inequality and insecurity will continue to be the inevitable result of market operations and find ways to shield citizens from their consequences — while somehow still preserving the dynamism that produces capitalism’s vast economic and cultural benefits in the first place.
Formal or informal barriers to equality of opportunity, for example, have historically blocked various sectors of the population — such as women, minorities, and the poor — from benefiting fully from all capitalism offers. But over time, in the advanced capitalist world, those barriers have gradually been lowered or removed, so that now opportunity is more equally available than ever before.
The inequality that exists today, therefore, derives less from the unequal availability of opportunity than it does from the unequal ability to exploit opportunity. And that unequal ability, in turn, stems from differences in the inherent human potential that individuals begin with and in the ways that families and communities enable and encourage that human potential to flourish.
Capitalist societies, by contrast, have been oriented toward innovation and dynamism, to the creation of new knowledge, new products, and new modes of production and distribution. All of this has shifted the locus of insecurity from nature to the economy.
Rising inequality, meanwhile, has been compounded by rising insecurity and anxiety for people higher up on the economic ladder. One trend contributing to this problem has been the financialization of the economy, above all in the United States, creating what was characterized as “money manager capitalism”
How are we to rectify the imbalances?
A useful starting point might be the rejection of both the politics of privilege and the politics of resentment and the adoption of a clear-eyed view of what capitalism actually involves, as opposed to the idealization of its worshipers and the demonization of its critics.
We need to distinguish between growth and development: we need a
Earth will be unable to support human life when there is only standing room on the planet. Humans will die out when our sun burns out, or when the universal temperature is a few degrees above absolute zero.
I agree there is a possibility that for a few centuries or millennia, human ingenuity will allow continued material growth, but to hold this as certain or even probable is nothing but blind, irrational faith and hubris.
No matter what happens Wealth will have to find a new way to be distributed worldwide. Some support a Wealth Tax which is totally farcical. It is Impossible to set up, too porous, too expensive, too open to manipulation politically, and otherwise. Will never be accepted in the USA or growing Economies. Will be seen as unfair, unjust, damaging, and impossible to collect.
There is only one solution. See my blog ” Just Look what could be achieved if we could re-focus greed” There is no other solution other than capturing the very essence of Capitalism to contribute to the world as a whole so that we protects the values of our existence on a Planet that is increasingly crying for help.
Our inability to locate the exact instance of an occurrence does not imply it will not occur or has not occurred—-say, the moment when human DNA first appeared, or the cardinality of the continuum. It is time to place a 0.05% AID COMMISSION ON ALL FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRANSACTIONS OVER $20,000.