Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Morality and Wealth

Socioeconomic factors can have a significant impact on moral issues. For example, a study conducted in the US in 2008 measured the correlation between wealth and divorce rates, and found that people with an income above $75.000 and a college education only have 22% divorce rate compared to 39% in the group with income below $20.000 per annum. Further benefits of wealth can be derived from crime statistics indicating that crime rates are inversely correlated with GDP albeit others find a positive correlation.

More comprehensive analysis shows that the crime rates increase with inequality of wealth distibution. Comparing List of countries by income equality and List of countries by intentional homicide rate gives a visual indication of the importance of wealth distribution. Because of this correlation, some advocate the Redistribution of wealth, possibly to be achieved via taxation. However, the justification of wealth distribution is a matter of debate between philopsophers, social scientists and politicians  Aritstotle in his Nicomachean Ethics talks about generosity as a virtue and claims that is better to be wasteful than stingy with regards to dealing with money.