Inequality

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The poor and the middle class will be the hardest hit if the South African government increases the value-added tax. Shutterstock

South Africa needs to raise taxes: why a VAT increase would be a bad idea

The South African government should weigh its decision carefully whether to increase value added tax (VAT) as indirect taxes fall most heavily on the poor and the middle class.
Most of us can’t bend it like Beckham, for various reasons. But is that necessarily the worst thing? Reuters/Ben Nelms

Why equality of opportunity is neither possible nor desirable

Rather than hold on to the idea of equality of opportunity, it might be more accurate to say that we don’t really support it because it comes at too high a price.
What does Lady Justice stand for? Wikimedia

What’s wrong with inequality?

One of the great issues of our day is inequality. Whether it is the Greek debt crisis, anxieties about Sydney real estate prices, the continuing resonance of “Occupy” and cries about the “1%”, or the publishing…
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby in the The Great Gatsby. Jay’s story has been used by economists to explain the combination of unequal distribution of income and less economic mobility. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Apartheid continues to cast shadow on equality of opportunity

Evidence on the ability, or lack thereof, of children to rise above the economic status of their parents shines light on the continued persistence of inequality, including in South Africa.
Rather than an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of economic advance, increased inequality that results from rent-seeking is arguably cancerous. Flickr/Gary Sauer-Thompson

This budget - like others before - will favour the rent-seekers

Our policy-makers know perfectly well how to reduce inequality and tackle political favouritism. The question is, will this federal budget even try?

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