It’s a common comment to hear that Inequality is somehow inevitable: there’s nothing that can be done: it’s just human nature. So enforcing equality would result in an overwhelmingly authoritarian state, at the cost of human rights, etc.
This is simply not true: there are already successful examples of developed countries which have found the right balance between greater equality and individual rights. And the research shows their social outcomes are far better than the UK’s.
There are two main ways of reducing income inequality:
1. The Japanese Model: Smaller differences in pay before tax by restricting earnings;
2. The Nordic Model: Redistribution through taxes and benefits (ie. Tax & Spend).
In the UK, we have historically been averse to Tax & Spend. But there does now seem to be a groundswell of public opinion for limiting earnings – for example, the current interest in ‘bankers’ bonuses’ and high boardroom pay, etc
There are a huge range of policy initiatives which the government could take to diminish inequality, if there were sufficient popular support pressing for change.
We will be blogging about some of these trends and initiatives on this site. For now, you can find more detail on this subject here.
If you are still doubtful about whether you as an individual can make a difference, click here and here to see two examples of popular movements that succeeded against overwhelming opposition to win the day.