Summary of Is the Solution to Extreme Wealth Inequality Really – Alaska?

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Is the Solution to Extreme Wealth Inequality Really – Alaska? summary
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When the world’s eight richest people hold the same amount of wealth as half of the remaining seven billion, it is clear that extreme income inequality is a fact of life. Economists and experts all have their ideas on how to narrow the wealth gap, but as writer Scott Santens notes in this enlightening article, the US state of Alaska may be on to something. Its Permanent Fund Dividend allows all Alaskans to reap the financial benefits of the state’s natural resources. And therein perhaps lies the seed of new ways to tackle wealth inequality. getAbstract recommends this intriguing report to politicians, economists and anyone looking for inequality solutions.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why wealth inequality has been on the rise,
  • Why Alaska’s system of distributing an annual cash dividend to its citizens helps curtail income inequity, and
  • How rents paid to the public on natural and social assets can help close the wealth gap.
 

About the Author

Scott Santens is a writer, blogger and advocate for a universal basic income.  

 

Summary

French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that serious income inequality occurs simply because wealth creates even greater wealth more quickly than economic growth does. Matt Rognlie, a student who investigated this idea, posited that land ownership is actually responsible for almost all the growth in wealth. When someone invests in real estate, the benefits ultimately accrue solely to the owner, yet the value of land comes from the people and everything else surrounding it. A new “land-value tax” might help reduce inequality by providing a source of funds for wealth redistribution. But that measure alone would fall short of correcting the problem.  

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