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Redistribution of wealth

On 2015/02/16 I flippantly wrote the following on Facebook:
"How to fix the budget? Take Gina and Clive's money and put it all into government revenue. [Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer are two of the wealthiest and most prominent Australians.] We could afford to give them an old age pension or an unemployment benefit so they would not suffer any hardship."
The more I thought about it the more the idea appealed. A posting did the rounds of Facebook a while ago. It showed a photo of a double decker bus and said that the world's 80 most wealthy people (who would all fit on the bus) have more wealth than the world's 3.5 billion poorest people. Perhaps that's true, perhaps it's not, but something needs to be done about the unfair distribution of wealth on this planet.

Written 2015/02/17, modified 2017/04/30 – ©
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com
 
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Research has shown that a level of wealth above that sufficient to provide basic needs produces very little increased happiness. On the other hand there is no doubt that grinding poverty, malnutrition and starvation certainly do cause misery.

There can be no doubt that wealth is terribly unevenly distributed in twenty-first century society.

Surely taking a large part of the wealth from the obscenely rich and giving it to the poor would not necessarily make the rich less happy, but it would certainly relieve some of the misery of the very poor.

This follows the principle of utilitarianism in ethics. Utilitarianism has rightly been criticised because it can justify harming a few in order to improve the lot of the many, but if great wealth does not increase the happiness of the very wealthy then where is the harm in reducing that wealth?

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