The last oxfam report states that 82% of the created wealth in 2017 went the 1% richest people on earth. More than noticing inequality of wealth, this report demonstrates an inequality of income. It shows that the richest people are also the one that earn the most. A meritocratic framework may justify why there are poor and rich people. By saying that rich people deserve to be rich because they worked the hardest. It is harder to justify why the richest should also collect the very most of the income. Why a rich person would deserve to get richer?
Many has proposed to increase the taxes on the richest people as a solution. Many has also been against this idea because Taxes targeted to the richest feel sometimes for them like a theft. It would be a mistake to think that inequality only disadvantage the poorest. A wealthy individual can loose everything by living in a society made of poor to very poor people. At a certain breaking point the poor will take everything to the richest by force if necessary. So by sharing its wealth, the richest can guarantee the non-rebellion of the poor masses. In other words, it can be purely egoistic to share richness. Yet the a posteriori redistribution of wealth seems like a hard pill to swallow. I believe that sortition could offer an a priori and more efficient solution.
Two humans with different amount of incomes. Credit CC-BY Romain Cazé.
Conall Boyle discusses extensively in multiple scientific articles how sortition could introduce more fairness in the distribution of wealth. Notably, he talks about a community of miners that adopted sortition. After a certain period of time the mining area were redistributed with a lottery. At first sight it might seem disadvantageous and would make more sense that the « best » miners, explore the « best » spot. Moreover, setting a new mining rig takes time and it could appear as a waste of time and energy. The main justification from the minors was the fairness of this measure. I think that even if this method seems only fair it is also the most productive. The « best » varies along time often in a non-deterministic fashion and rotation gives the possibility that the « best » goes to the « best » spot. Rotation also favors new way of exploiting the mining spot and could further increase productive. All in all, a community might consiously accept a method because it seems fair and unconsciously accept it because of its efficiency.
Thank you for reading! If you have any comment or counter-arguments on how sortition could help to reduce income differences?