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Ireland's Great Wealth Divide 2015

  • Ended
  • 2015-12-17T00:00:00Z
  • 1 mins
  • Documentary

The recession has been tough for everyone. Or was it? A small minority of people with cash, with assets, with influence have done immeasurably better out of the recession and it really bugs us. You've got the hyper-rich and the rest of us - and the gap in between is growing.

David McWilliams will take you to the root of that unfairness and inequality, the one rule for us and another for them. Making money is a good thing but too much in the hands of just a few does very little for the rest of us.

There is no trickle down.

This concentration of wealth is reversing the positive work of the last century where social mobility, access to opportunity, the growth of the middle class and a more even division of the spoils has been one of the great successes of our Republic. David is going to explain what is happening, more crucially, why it is happening and, ultimately, what can we do about it.

It is not just being envious - capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty and create opportunities for everyone than anything else has in the last 200 years. David argues that inequality of opportunity which this gap creates is dangerous: economically, psychologically and politically.

Economically dangerous because wealth doesn't trickle down, or encourage prosperity.

Psychologically dangerous because it causes status anxiety, stress, impossible aspirations, anger at the power that comes with great wealth and the powerlessness that comes with poverty.

And politically dangerous - austerity encouraging populism and revolt all over Europe and a disillusionment with mainstream politics.

This all begs the question: has capitalism lost the run of itself when the top 1 per cent of wealth generators controlling, on balance, too much of the world's wealth. Is this acting as a drag on possible growth and opportunities?

David will suggest a radical solution at addressing this that does not require new taxes but addresses the imbalance and will incentivise people and give them a greater stake in our economy.

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