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Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Forms of Exploitation and Sources of Inequality within Capitalism
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Forms of Exploitation and Sources of Inequality within Capitalism

18 pages · 3.92 EUR
(October 2016)

 
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Introduction:

At least nominally, capitalism embodies and sustains an Enlightenment agenda of freedom and equality. Typically there is freedom to trade and equality under the law, meaning that most adults – rich or poor – are formally subject to the same legal rules. But with its inequalities of power and wealth, capitalism darkens this legal equivalence. As Anatole France (1894) noted ironically: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." But this does not mean that legal equality is unreal or unimportant. On the contrary, legal systems enshrining such equality have been beacons of prosperity.

Evidence gathered by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009) shows multiple deleterious effects of inequalities of income and wealth. Using data from twenty-three developed countries and from the separate states of the United States, they observed negative correlations between inequality and physical health, mental health, education, child wellbeing, social mobility, trust and community life. They also found positive correlations between inequality and drug abuse, imprisonment, obesity, violence, and teenage pregnancies. They suggested, but did not establish in detail, that inequality creates adverse outcomes through psycho-social stresses generated through interactions in an unequal society.


quotable essay from ...
Jan Beaufort, Frank Decker (Hg.):
"Eigentum, Zins und Geld" nach 20 Jahren
the author
Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Martin Hodgson
Geoffrey Martin Hodgson

Research Professor of Business Studies an der University of Hertfordshire, und editor-in-chief des Journal of Institutional Economics. Hodgson ist einer der führenden Vertreter der modernen Institutionenökonomie und einer der Gründer des World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR).

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