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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 27 2013: Thank you for asking this question. It kind of builds on some thoughts triggered by other discussions I've seen here: What makes a good judge? And the role of global companies in local economies.

    In a free society wealth accrues to those who serve it most efficiently. That is because every time a person lets go of their money, in a free society, it is because they choose to. For example: Michael Jackson got rich because people chose to give him money for his music.

    Wealth inequality stems from high barriers to efficient social service (in a form that people can choose to support by freely giving money in exchange for the service).

    Let"s look at what these barriers to efficient service might be:

    1) Vocabulary- When someone hires somebody to do a job, they want them to 'get it' without a lot of explanation, or doing it wrong several times in attempt after attempt. That is not efficient.

    2) Certified know how- how long does it take to learn how to do something? With YouTube it is faster than ever before. If you look at the Mastery tools they use on Khan Academy, there is a path to certification there. At least hints of a path. Certified know how is a more spelled out definition of education. There you have vocabulary, again.

    3) Access to raw material at competitive prices - If someone is committed to serving society, they will need more than just know how. They will need access to a supply chain. A free, fair and public market, where prices paid are public knowledge (no price discrimination). Everyone needs to know, "This is worth that" so they can make efficiency decisions on what raw materials to use or how far to travel, or how long to wait. The Internet helps here but the software could be constructed to be a little more 'directional' for the users.

    4) A path to reputation -When I was choosing what to do, my dad said, "Business is about who you know. Engineering is about what you know. You don't know anybody. You better go into engineering." See 2.

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