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Survey - How Americans view wealth and inequality

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At www.bbc.co.uk

There have been lots of questions and discussions recently about inequality and economists often argue about what is the right level of inequality to have in society. But Mike Norton, professor at Harvard Business School, and I decided to take a different path and we decided to ask people what inequality they would want. Now, there are lots of ways to ask this question and we used the philosopher John Rawls. Rawls said that 'a just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you'd be willing to enter it in a random place'. And it's really a beautiful definition. He called it a veil of ignorance, because if you're very wealthy, you might want the wealthy people to have lots of money and the poor to have very little; and if you are very poor, you might want the poor to have more money and the wealthy to have less. But in Rawls' definition, you don't know where you'll...

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At www.bbc.co.uk

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