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The Gap Between Rich and Poor

There is an interesting distinction between the fact and the fiction, and when you hear people talk about THE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR it's clear there is a curious misconception going along with some truth mixed in.

It is factual that some people are rich and some people are poor. This sounds like A FACT, but it isn't; it's two facts. The first fact is that some people are rich. That's good! Wouldn't you like to get rich? It would be good, and there are many advantages to being rich. Besides, being rich shouldn't upset anyone. The other fact is that some people are poor. That's a problem, and something needs to be done about it.

It's only when the two facts are combined that the anomaly occurs as "the difference between rich and poor". The two facts were ok on their own, but put them together and there's a misconception. Let's compare this to the two facts about people's health. Some people are in good health, and some people are sick, but you wouldn't say there is a "gap between well and ill". It would make no sense.

Part of the confusion comes because of a knee-jerk reaction by some people who have a simplistic view in which somehow it would be fairer if the wealth was "shared out". You can see a similar thing with the fake degrees where everyone, regardless of intellectual ability, can get a qualification. You can see the problem, can't you: If qualifications were handed out regardless of merit, it would not be worth anyone trying to get a quality qualification and to better themselves.

The first problem which occurs if you try to share out the money is that there isn't actually enough money around to make the poor people very much richer even if you liquidate all of the rich people. You don't need to take my word for this; get the figures and do a calculation.

The second problem with the sharing-out approach is similar to the qualification issue, that what happens is that if you make everyone equal then there is no incentive to try harder. Human nature being what it is, the capitalist system ends up getting people to work much harder for their own interests in pursuit of the elusive richness than it is possible to get out of them by a collectivised enforced labour system.

Another reason why you can't make poor people richer by making rich people poorer is because of the spending habits of different people. On average in a Westernised society, rich people tend to hang onto a proportion of the money, whereas poor people tend to spend as much money as they find. It may seem obvious, but this is part of the reason some people are rich and some are poor to start with!

Although there is inequality of wealth, that's not a problem. Also, it's not a problem that some people are rich. The fact that some people are poor, that is a problem. The problem is poverty. That's where something needs to be done. The key feature to the solution is not giving away money, but allowing people to make money. These days it is known as FAIR TRADE

Some countries have a lot of poverty. You can see this if you travel around even as a tourist. One of the things a country can do (about the poverty) if it's being classed as a "third world" country, is for it to become a tax haven. This is interesting as the next point casts the "gap between rich and poor" misconception in a very curious light. If a country attracts rich people to move there, then even if they pay no tax, their presence in the country makes the country richer and starts to solve the poverty problem. How can this be? Rich people buy things, goods and services, and when they spend money it starts to lift the local economy. Also, a business moving to a region provides employment locally. So, by having more rich people moving into an area there is immediately a bigger difference between rich and poor, and yet the consequence is an alleviation of the poverty to some extent.

As the real problem is the poverty, not the difference in wealth, the problem is starting to be solved by introducing more wealthy people!

Another problem might be described as "the gap between clever and stupid". It would be quite odd if it was described that way, and it wouldn't do anyone any good if the inequality was solved by discouraging cleverness. What would be more positive towards a solution would be to solve the problem of the stupidity. By having a vastly better education available, the result will be less stupidity in the long term. However, in the short term it would mean the intelligent people becoming even more clever, producing a bigger gap.

If you still have your doubts about the misconception of the "gap between rich and poor", ask yourself whether your priority is to improve your own wealth and those of other people, to get rich, which is a positive aim, or whether it's something more instinctive. Now buy a Lottery ticket and ask yourself how your philosophy would change if you won. For example, what would you say to people who hadn't won?