Wealthy or worker?

I've been thinking about a problem with our society quite a lot lately, this problem is the fact that a very small number of people control a very large portion of the resources in our society.

According to this page the richest 20% of the population in the USA control 84,3% of the wealth (1997), this same site also points out that the top 1% of the population controls almost 40% of the wealth, this is a lot of money. A lot of people, me included, feel that this is quite unfair as a lot of this money is in many ways in herited and it is very hard for someone born into a poor family to reach the top twenty percent of the population.

This unfairness in wealth distribution is not something that is unique to the United states, it's a phenomena present in most countries in the world. There are some countries that try to keep this "wealth gap" from get ting too large but this is of course not popular with those who have a lot of wealth (and therefore influence), if you have a lot of money chances are you do not want to lose it.

One possible solution to this problem could of course be to increase taxes as as income increases, this method is in use in very many countries. Personally I don't consider the actual wealth gap as much of a problem as what the rich do with their money. If every billionare out there spent his or her money on things that would make the world a better place then the wealth gap wouldn't be a problem. However, despite some high-profile billionares using part of their wealth for altruistic purposes many simply do this to avoid high taxes.

Another problem with letting a small elite decide how to distribute resources is that many of them grew up distanced from regular society and that this way many resources are controlled not by the people but by a handful of individuals who most likely don't agree with the population at large. If more "ruthless" taxation was done then this money could be used by the government (which is hopefully elected by the population) to benefit th e citizens of the country in question (or in a perfect world, the population of the whole world).

So I suppose my conclusion is that I wish that there were more equal opportunities in the world than there are today, today what you can become is largely dependent on who your parents are, if your parents are rich you can choose to spend your life relaxing and letting others make sure you make more money while if you are born into a working-class family you'll probably consider yourself lucky if you ever own your own home and car, if you don't want to work yourself to death your best chance at a relaxing lifestyle is most likely to move somewhere where you can sleep on the beach and don't need to work since the food grows on the trees around you...