Is inequality inevitable?
Wed Sep 02, 2020 · 119 words

Is Inequality Inevitable? (Scientific American) makes a compelling argument about wealth that I’ve always suspected but lacked support.

The key ideas I took away from Bruce Boghosian’s article are:

  1. The affine wealth model reveals the tendency towards wealth concentration or extreme inequality even if the outcome of a transaction is chosen randomly.
  2. If the transaction outcome is random, then luck plays a bigger role in amassing wealth than most people think.
  3. Wealth tends to flow upward.
  4. As a result, the free market is essentially a casino you can never leave.
  5. Fortunately, redistribution sets a limit on inequality, but it’s not necessarily a tax (see chi, zeta and kappa parameters of the affine wealth model).

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