Monetary policy is a blunt tool which certainly affects the distribution of income and wealth, although whether the net effect is to increase or reduce inequality is not clear.
The product of extraordinary wealth allied to a taste for the sumptuous.
We citizens of the affluent countries tend to discuss our obligations toward the distant needy mainly in terms of donations and transfers, assistance and redistribution: How much of our wealth, if any, should we give away to the hungry abroad?
The fact is that, except for those very few whose wealth is overwhelmingly or entirely inherited, the more affluent have usually worked harder than the less affluent.
While admiring the pleasing evidence of wealth, we become complicit in - or, at the very least, recognize the extent to which we, too, are beneficiaries of - an economic system we routinely deplore.
In Greece, Italy and, to a lesser extent, France, unsustainable tax cuts and spending sprees added to households' estimates of their private wealth relative to their wage income.
Modern sociology is virtually an attempt to take up the larger program of social analysis and interpretation which was implicit in Adam Smith's moral philosophy, but which was suppressed for a century by prevailing interest in the technique of the production of wealth.
Wealth is being generated off the back of oppression and abuse.