Predistribution of Wealth

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Discussion

By Kate Raworth and George Monbiot, as interviewed by Thomas de Groot and Sophie Bloemen:

The Predistribution of Wealth

By Kate Raworth and George Monbiot, as interviewed by Thomas de Groot and Sophie Bloemen:

"Raworth’s Doughnut offers another major discursive shift that politicians and economists alike should take heed of. “These days, most progressive economists and politicians talk about redistribution and taxes. What they are really doing is just accepting that the system is the way it is, and that taxes are needed to even it out, from those that have a lot to those that do not have enough. They debate what the top tax rate should be, or what a minimum living wage should be. But we should go beyond redistributing income, to predistributing the sources of wealth creation. Do we agree that fundamentally, wealth lies within the potential of every human being? Then everyone should have a stake in the sources of wealth creation.” Access to knowledge is access to means of wealth creation. We don’t have to own the idea, we collectively add to the idea, we share it, we remix it, and by doing so, we collective create new ideas.

Predistributive measures are those that prevent the rise of economic inequalities before they occur, as opposed to state measures that try to mitigate them after the fact, through taxation and other similar actions. Examples of predistributive design of economic systems, Raworth claims, are abound. “We have just left behind us a century of corporate ownership. The worker used to get a wage and the capitalist would get his dividend. Thanks to the decentralisation of the means of production, we now see the potential for small-scale employee-owned enterprises. There, the return on the business stays with those who did the work.”

Access to knowledge is another good example, Raworth says. “Access to knowledge is access to means of wealth creation. We don’t have to own the idea, we collectively add to the idea, we share it, we remix it, and by doing so, we collectively create new ideas.” (https://www.commonsnetwork.org/ourcommons/)