What we think we know is often incorrect or optimistic. Take financial inequality as an example.
We think the rich have 58% of the wealth, but actually the rich have 84% of the wealth. And what do most people think the rich should have? 32%. We don’t expect equal distribution of wealth, but we want it to be much more fair than it is.
These estimates hold true for all sorts of people: liberals and conservatives, professors and laborers, men and women. We all underestimate how rich the rich are, and we all want them to have a smaller, and more fair, piece of the economic pie.
How to bring about a more fair economic situation is, as TED speaker Dan Ariely calls it, the Action Gap.
Here is a TED talk by Dan Ariely on this.
1973 marked the beginning of #ExtremeGreed, when businesses stopped sharing productivity gains with workers, and started hoarding almost all of the new wealth.
You can see it very clearly in the graph: up until 1973, when productivity increased then people were paid more.
Starting in 1973, employees continued to generate increases in productivity, but businesses decided to keep the extra profit.
If the top 0.1% weren’t so greedy, people would be earning 40 to 80% more today, and many of our world’s problems would not exist – including rising education costs, failing bridges and infrastructure, and labor unrest.
#ExtremeGreed is real and a purposeful choice of those controlling wages.