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.