“..I subscribe to George Orwell’s view that “On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.”
But if man is “mostly good”, I ask myself, why is it so easy to look around at the world and find so much to be troubled by?
Wars, waste, famine in one part of the world – obesity in another -
- excess consumption – a financial system that’s out of control – and so on.
My particular bête noire is the unequal distribution of wealth.
There are all sorts of manifestations.
Across generations – for the first time in history – my and the next generation is poorer than its parents.
Yet, with man advancing, surely this shouldn’t be so?
Most people in London under the age of 30 don’t believe they’ll ever own a house – that’s awful.
We see it across nations.
The richest 400 people in the world have assets equivalent to the poorest 140 million.
We see it within nations.
The wealthiest one per cent of Americans pocket one-quarter of the country’s income.
Through property, bank accounts, investments and art, they control as much as half of total US wealth.
That share of wealth has doubled in the past four decades.
We even see it within institutions with the high-flying City boss who earns 1,000 times more than some lowly cashier in the same bank.
If man is, as Orwell says, “mostly good” how has the distribution of wealth become so skewed?
I would argue that it’s our systems that are at fault.
Yet they are so big and entrenched there’s nothing much anyone can do to change them – beyond superficial reform.
The biggest villain of all is our system of money…”
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