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Approaching Equality

What Can Be Done About Wealth Inequality?

Roger A. McCain

Drawing on some recent research (especially that of Piketty and his associates) and on older ideas (particularly from Sir Arthur Lewis), Roger McCain proposes policies that, together, would aim to reverse the observed tendency towards the concentration of wealth in market economies, thus ‘approach equality.’ The shortcomings and dangers of rising wealth inequality are discussed, both from the point of view of increasing instability and of equalitarian values.
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Chapter 8: To each according to need

What Can Be Done About Wealth Inequality?

Roger A. McCain

Extract

The famous slogan “to each according to need, from each according to ability” stems not from Marx but from the democratic socialist Louis Blanc, and Marx dismissed it as obsolete. Nevertheless programs of distribution according to need played a key role in the class-compromise that characterized successful developed countries in the twentieth century. The logic of “need” is discussed. Since needs are satiable, it may be that distribution according to need will play less part in the future, but health needs are an apparent exception.

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