Photo credit: Franco Folini
What if we could create a social system where no one is outrageously rich and no one is miserably poor?
No matter how smart or capable you were, you would not be able to accumulate more assets than a certain pre-determined amount.
No matter how bad you had it, you would always have a roof over your head, food on your table and access to basic health care.
There would still be richer and poorer people, but not the extremes that we have today.
Would you take such a deal?
I’m not asking you if such a system is POSSIBLE. This is not a discussion on why communism failed in Eastern Europe or on whether socialism is better than capitalism. I’m asking you to assume that such a system IS possible and whether you would want to live in such a world or not.
I raised this question at a recent dinner party we hosted. It’s an interesting question to ask my real-life friends, because we live in Silicon Valley, where people basically come to make a few million bucks by starting and selling, or funding, or working in high-tech companies.
My real-life friends presented two point of views:
1. Yes, of course I would want to live in such a world. It represents a just social system that preserves human dignity and prevents poverty as well as greediness.
2. No. A system like that would kill entrepreneurship. People would not have the drive to create and invent, because more often than not, that drive is NOT a drive to help the world but a personal drive to succeed.
What do you think?