What Is Inequality?

Episode 50 · June 16th, 2021 · 58 mins 18 secs

About this Episode

Hosts Scott Jones and Chris Kutarna explore the timeless question: “What’s the nature of equality?” In the context of the tax rate revelations from Pro Publica, Scott and Chris explore the history of equality and what it means today.

The Hosts
Chris Kutarna is an author, speaker, facilitator and founder of basecamp (@onecampfire) and the Neue Geographical Society (@braveneueways). He challenges the world to brave new ways, breaking old maps and making new ones towards a shared horizon of a better world.

Scott Jones is a podcaster (Give & Take), speaker, theologian and consultant. He weaves his knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture to bring listeners on a conversational journey to something entertaining, informative, and oftentimes enlightening.

[00:00] - Intro
[05:15] - The leap to Pro-Publica
[07:35] - What is the nature of inequality?
[11:28] - Fairness & Economic Inequality
[17:50] - What about communism?
[19:25] - Wealth inequality is a drag on an economy
[23:20] - Systemic social inequality
[28:35] - Imago dei: dignity & material inequality
[35:32] - The pandemic & global inequality
[40:30] - Dysfunctional inequalities
[47:21] - Marx got it wrong?
[53:18] - TLDR; We need new maps

The Timeless Outputs
The more money they have, the more people can go beyond the “Veil of Ignorance” and actually advance their political interests with that money. And, the way society rewards wealth via decreased taxation has depleted the once rare, vibrant middle class in the US. It doesn’t stop at the wealthy, but despite the highest corporate tax rates in the world the taxation loopholes in the US mean that large corporations pay hardly any taxes at all. All of this to further concentrate wealth among the most wealthy.

When wealth is hoarded by the wealthy, it becomes stagnant. When wealth is more equally distributed, it moves through economies. For example, when money is in the hands of people who don’t yet have houses, they buy houses and that money flows through the economy creating jobs and stimulating growth. Whereas the wealthiest of the world have large pools of money sitting in accounts, removed from local economies.

It seems like the difference between economic and social inequality is that there’s a dominant understanding that a little bit of economic inequality will always be present. Whereas, social inequalities are more clearly unacceptable even in small amounts. So, economic inequality has become a slippery slope - accepting little by little until we’ve landed to today’s deep inequality.

What to do next?
Follow the Brave New Thinking Clubhouse: Scott loves Clubhouse. A lot.

Subscribe & don’t miss an episode: If you join June 14’s Brave New Thinking Clubhouse, you might get a mention.

Definitely watch Snowpiercer: It’s a Netflix Original. Just, do it.

And, consider the outputs: Ask yourself the questions Scott & Chris found in the conversation.
Start a conversation with your family, friends, or colleagues. Life is a team sport.

The Socials
basecamp @onecampfire
The Neue Geographical Society @braveneueways

Chris @ChrisKutarna
[email protected]

Scott @ScottKentJones
[email protected]

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