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What are some realistic and creative ways to reduce wealth inequality?

I am a a third year student completing a degree in Social Work in Hamilton, New Zealand. I am currently doing a paper on Social and Community Development where I have to consider a topic of interest and then form a plan based on a theoretical perspective to eliminate or reduce a social issue.

My chosen topic is: Then impact of wealth inequality on social cohesion within New Zealand.

I would love to hear some creative and realistic thoughts around reducing this social issue which is a rapidly increasing, world wide issue. If anyone is well versed around topics such as this, stating your political ideology/perspective/basis of your ideas would be a great help so that I am able to further research the good idea's!

The primary focus will be on reducing wealth inequality as by doing this, social cohesion will increase. Despite this, I do hope to develop a small scale plan to increase social cohesion as well to strengthen the assignment.

Thanks heaps in advance :)

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  • May 21 2013: A couple thoughts:

    1) On empowering the poor: Since New Zealand operates on the capitalist model, I would say that one route to narrowing the gap between rich and poor may be to empower the poor by creating programs to encourage small scale entrepreneurship. This may entail setting up a micro-loan system (Look up Muhummad Yunus, Grameen, Kiva) , educating people about basic business principles, and community building through social programs that would aim at reducing/eliminating the negative effects of poverty (drugs, crime) that would interfere with the healthy growth of a business community.

    2) Thoughts on social cohesion: Poverty carries a stigma. It is a vicious circle: poverty, crime, drugs, health problems, social and psychological problems....stigma (not necessarily in that order...I'm wingin' it!). To achieve greater social cohesion, I would think that this stigma would have to be overcome. One way would be to involve successful business people in the process. Another way would be to have community programs (sports, health, spiritual) such as you may find in a community center (at least here in Canada).

    You may also want to look up Gabor Mate. He is famous in Vancouver (at least) for his ideas on the subject.

    Hope this helped. Good luck:) KM

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