The argument for much needed reform surrounding income inequality in the US, as well as the rest of the world, is stronger than ever. With 1% of people in the world having 35.6% of all of the private wealth, it is abundantly clear that there is a growing dilemma, and many people have proposed solutions. This is all well and good in telling us what we can do to curb inequality and what works best, but solely answering the questions of what and how, does not capture the entire picture.
Why should we be concerned with battling the rise of income inequality? Why becomes ones kryptonite in an argument for the disadvantaged in the world. This is because we are often only able to fall back on the moral argument. The argument that says that its just not right. That people don't deserve to live in poverty, that people deserve enough food on the table and a house over their head.
Unfortunately, in politics, the moral or ethical argument does not always carry the weight it should. Now one can complain about this, or one can find the answer to why. Why should the rich and the poor, the well off and the disadvantaged, strive for more income equality?
On the contrary to popular thought, more equal societies tend to generate better lives. Depression rates are higher among developed countries, such as the U.S. The developed world uproots the very reality from which we came. Society was founded off of community, off of a TRIBE. The Native Americans understood that together we are stronger than any one could ever be alone. The Native Americans grasped the true nature of what it means to be vulnerable, to depend on others, and the strength that living like this creates. The developed world has created a bourgeoisie where white picket fences part the very ground we live on, isolating us from our neighbors, our community. The rich and the well off do not need other people because there is nothing too much for them to handle. In other words, when everything is laid in front of you, no collective community effort is needed to deal with adversity. The developed world does not need a tribe. In the end, this alienates them from the rest of society and raises depression rates, creates a dysfunctional society, and social exclusion. Do you think it is a coincidence that the increased gap in income inequality positively correlates to the rise in terrorist activity, and possibly the most powerful terrorist cell we have yet to see in ISIS? This increase in terrorist participation is because society continues to socially exclude people from society. Or how about the fact that cop killings look like the ones from Compton that were first televised? Cops used to patrol and protect their neighbor hoods. Now the destroy and ravage our communities. What about the inflamed racism in the U.S, deemed as backlash against the Obama administration? The division in this country due to the growing disparity in income inequality is destroying and dividing our social beings and the social structures we understand as community and society. This growing gap is negatively affecting everyone rich and poor, because it is eroding our TRIBE.
Addressing income inequality then becomes about mental health and social adhesion to create a better, happier and safer place to live in. It is not just morally right, but beneficial to everyone. The rich, the poor and everyone in between.