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Is our society becoming egalitarian? Show more Show less
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Egalitarianism is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. It is generally the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. Society is changing... and we ask the question: are we becoming more egalitarian?

No, our society is not becoming egalitarian Show more Show less

Wealth inequity continues to grow, authoritarian rulers enforce social divides, war continues, and poverty abounds. There is progress in many parts of the world, but society is not becoming more egalitarian.
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Wealth inequality contributes to a lack of opportunities

There is a huge economic divide, with the richest owning 44 percent of the world’s wealth. An egalitarian society is unattainable as the massive economic gap continues.
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The Argument

When one pictures a truly egalitarian society, wealth is divided equally, with job opportunities and education available for all members of society. In reality, society is far from that vision. Economic inequality has been on the rise for decades and continues to grow as the wealthiest individuals own almost half of the world’s wealth at—44 percent. Though recent economic growth in various parts of the world like Asia has resulted in lifting some of the population out of poverty, the difference in income between the wealthy and the poor remains highly disproportionate.[1] The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, owning about 30 percent of the entire world’s net worth. When compared to other parts of the world, like Africa and Latin America, the wealth distribution ratio is utterly disproportionate, with Africa only controlling about 1 percent, and Latin America with 2.75 percent.[2] So how can society change this highly unbalanced distribution of wealth? Many argue that it is not about who you are, but where you are in the world that determines how much wealth an individual will obtain in their lifetime. In underdeveloped countries where there is a lack of education, there is also a lack of job opportunities. When almost half of the human population is living off less than $5.50 a day, it is hard to imagine a forthcoming egalitarian society.[3] Even in the wealthiest countries, like the United States, the poorest citizens still struggle. Job opportunities are scarce without proper education or skills. Also, advancements in technology are becoming a major factor in the depletion of jobs. Though technology is meant to help humanity as a whole, automation leaves fewer opportunities for those in need of a job.

Counter arguments

People living with low incomes is not the direct result of wealth inequality. Wealth disparity is inevitable, with some making millions while others are living off of minimum wage. This gap does not mean it’s the rich versus the poor when it comes to wealth distribution. The labor market is one of the significant factors that determine how much a person can make, with particular skills being more in demand than others, and as a result, pay a higher wage. Whether an individual is a skilled or unskilled worker, both face the fact that that technology may replace their jobs. Technological advancements have made it easier to perform tasks that workers were once able to do, resulting in a decrease in job opportunities, not just for the unskilled workers, but the skilled workers as well. The question of whether or not we can become an egalitarian society has little to do with wealth and employment, but rather, the structure of the labor market from now on.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://inequality.org/facts/global-inequality/
  2. https://howmuch.net/articles/distribution-worlds-wealth-2019
  3. https://www.oxfam.org/en/5-shocking-facts-about-extreme-global-inequality-and-how-even-it

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 15 Oct 2020 at 22:14 UTC

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