January 3, 2022

#BattleFest2021: Is levelling up really levelling down? The great inequality debate

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IS LEVELLING UP REALLY LEVELLING DOWN? THE GREAT INEQUALITY DEBATE

A new #BattleFest recording from the Battle of Ideas festival 2021: https://www.battleofideas.org.uk/session/is-levelling-up-really-levelling-down-the-great-inequality-debate/

This debate was run in partnership with the Ayn Rand Centre UK.

So equality of opportunity – or perhaps more radically, allowing everyone (more or less) to have the same income – is a no brainer. If the economic consequences of the pandemic are that the poor seem to have got poorer while the wealthy have done even better, tackling this disparity should be a priority for policy. But is equality really all it is cracked up to be? While everyone would agree that poverty is a bad thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should get the same. Even those on minimum wage in the UK are much better off than people in poorer but more equal countries. People vary in how talented, skilful and hard-working they are, but would people take risks or slog to get qualifications if there were no material benefit to themselves?

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