Yes Magazine: Could We End Wealth

Yes Magazine, February 27, 2023, Could We End Wealth

No one should have a billion dollars. Yet there are now nearly 1,000 billionaires in the United States alone, according to Visual Capitalist, with a combined net worth of more than $4 trillion. Billionaires are a byproduct of an upside-down economic system. Wealth inequality is often seen as a problem that can be solved by spreading wealth more equally. But that solution bypasses the central problem of what wealth—as opposed to income, or just “lots of money in the bank”—really means in a consumer capitalist society. In such a society, wealth is not only the accumulation of economic power, but it is also a marker of importance, status, and privilege.

There are several ways of eradicating the system that allows wealth to concentrate in the hands of fewer people. Attempts to stimulate economic growth—often through the tax code, but also direct investment by the government—usually benefit just the top 10% of household incomes, says Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, the chief of membership, policy, and equity at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an association of more than 600 community organizations working to increase the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. 

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