14. Great wealth inequalities: an issue of form; actually, a measure that proves it is winning. A crucial future social issue will be the handling of the wealth of people such as Bill Gates. It is a crime against humanity that they are so rich while so many other people are so poor. They have more economic power than many nations, and are effectively new emperors. Their existence is an affront, and a great barrier, to our goal of equality.

Society took a great step forward when it recognized that the inheritance principle for political power was invalid; that such power should not be passed from father to son. But we have yet to draw the same conclusion regarding economic power; that great wealth should not be inheritable.

It is also noteworthy that such distortions are exacerbated by the behavior of the individuals involved. The question must be asked: why don't more people with great wealth and power (and fame) do more to help? Why don't they make their voices heard for the benefit of all human society, and all life? Why can't they leave behind their personal selfishness, their greed, to always want more and more and more?

A way or ways will have to be found to distribute their excess wealth. The obvious means is through taxes (estate taxes for the extremely wealthy should be increased, not eliminated), and this represents an evolving function of government, although - again - it is linked to the basic role of protection. We need to be protected from the wealthy, and the simplest solution to this is the redistribution of their assets.

(Regarding estate taxes, we should not forget that they traditionally were imposed in recognition of the fact that much great wealth was accumulated in the early stages of national development, through crime and corruption. Similarly, Bill Gate’s wealth derives from the crime of Microsoft’s monopoly.)

In addition, and as this makes clear, no one should be allowed to control, personally, any utility, at least any utility which enjoys a market monopoly. These are public resources; they should be owned by everyone. More generally, we must recognize that the goal of equality is inconsistent with any great accumulations of power, either political, military or economic.