There's a large body of work out there that inequality is rising (Picketty) and evidence that progressive redistribution doesn't damage growth in the long run (IMF) up to a certain point.
IMPORTANT: It also follows that if current trends occur then large segments of the population will not benefit from modern society as much as they could; thus, less people are able to rise up and create tomorrows economy (poor people don't become scientist and businessmen). We will not achieve full employment and overall,in the long run, society will have a lower level of growth, development, and technology.
A society which does not address this issue in a rational way will not attain the maximum benefits of our human capital and potential to produce, making us all worse off.
"Equality" in this question pertains to social and economic equality, not equality before the law (equality of individual rights). Social and economic equality is also known as egalitarianism. Those who are interested can find an overview of the Objectivist view of "Egalitarianism" under that topic in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.
Equality is not a value for man at all if it is brought about by governmental policies that violate individual rights. This is a moral and political issue, not an economic one. The economic aspects will take care of themselves if individuals are left free to pursue their own interests by their own means under a system of consistent protection of everyone's individual rights. The economic result will be inequality, precisely in accord with differences in initiative and success in production and trade. That kind of economic inequality actually benefits everyone who participates in the system, but benefit to others is not the essential moral justification of individual rights, as the literature of Objectivism points out. Individual rights leave everyone free to rise as much and as far as his own effort can achieve. Refer also to the topic of "Pyramid of Ability" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.
Wealth is continually created by man when he is relatively free to produce and trade; wealth is not a static quantity waiting only to be looted and "redistributed." Wealth created by some is not wealth taken away from others, nor does it prevent others from creating their own wealth in proportion to their ability.
(In the recent past, this questioner has equated consistent adherence to principles, even rational ones, with dogmatism. The questioner and anyone else who is interested should ask seriously what the differences are between dogmatism and consistent adherence to rational principles. Refer to the topic of "Dogma" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon. Ayn Rand observes, in part: "I have found that Objectivism has its own protection against people who might attempt to use it as a dogma." She goes on to explain why. Refer also to "Social Theory of Ethics" in the Lexicon for Objectivism's rejection of that ethical viewpoint.)
answered Jun 01 '14 at 18:17
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