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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 22 2013: A good topic sharing...I will continue focusing on it.
    • May 22 2013: A good topic, but the question presumes people truly want wealth equality. On the surface, people say they want things. But, in reality, they are not willing/able to create wealth or equality. People are created differently, and some of our differences include desire/ability/circumstances. I don't think any social program will change people's competitive spirit. Rather, I would suggest that the real issue is creating an environment where rich and poor can just get along with each other. How is that accomplished? No easy task. Bringing people together for common interests that don't involve money is a start (such as family, the environment, etc). Yet we realize that wealth can creep into any issue, since its a way for some to compete. Wealth is often just an outward expression of those who have played the game of life well. Money is the scorecard. I too wish that someone could install harmony where it is needed. Spelling bees are fun, and don't cost much.
      • May 26 2013: .
        Robert,
        Yes, people do indeed have a competitive spirit. We make much of competition in our society. But, we also have a co-operative spirit too. We make little of this in our society.

        Let me suggest that were we to make more of our co-operative spirit to ensure that all have the basic income necessary to obtain a decent standard of living and THEN engage in competition for the "goodies," we'd have it made; security plus competition!

        Remember too, competition must, if it is to be a true competition, be relatively fair. This means that we do not put a whole healthy well-trained competitor up against an ill, one-legged, untrained competitor. The "assets" of each competitor must be relatively equal.

        In economic terms this means that if one competitor starts off in life with a huge economic advantage, it is ridiculous to pit him against another whose start in life was/is in poverty. That isn't competition - that's just slaughter. That the occasional poverty stricken competitor actually puts up a good showing is used as an example of how all could do so. This is bull-twicky. In almost every instance where this has happened, that unexpected good showing is the result of the poverty stricken competitor getting much assistance from outside his wealth level.

        In real life, that doesn't happen very much at all; the poverty stricken stay that way. Wealth is NOT "an outward expression of those who have played the game of life well." It is the MEANS by which they've been able to "play the game" at all! Those without it can only cheer from the sidelines (if they can even afford a ticket to the "game of life.")
        • May 28 2013: I see your point of view. However, unfortunately for all of us, humans are not "relatively equal." If they were, I suppose we would not be talking. I'm focusing on differences in ability and desire. A teacher may be smarter than a successful business person, but have no desire to compete for economic wealth. Being a teacher is all the wealth they need. Regarding "assets", well that too varies widely just like one's ability or desires. If you take away the assets from people with ability, and transfer them to the poverty stricken, those with ability will find a way to recapture their assets.

          From a policy perspective, its important to set laws that add fairness where needed (such as minimum wage, safe working environment, national health care, social security, etc). An ethic of the region's economic system should include provisions to improve those who need it. Just as we educate our kids, the system can educate those who need business skills. Perhaps the education can be paid through a sales tax, and offered through the local colleges/trade schools.

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