I wonder if instead of dividing the world into poor, middle-class, and rich, we’d be better off sorting the world into people who create more wealth than they consume and people who consume more than they create. There might be a lot of power in that model. Let me explain why.
When we sort the public into wealth classes, we are lured into endless debates on who deserves what and who is stealing from whom. That can’t lead to anything good. But imagine instead we focused on dividing people into net creators of wealth versus net consumers. The creators and consumers of wealth would be found in each wealth class. The goal would be to have more creators and fewer net consumers of wealth.
Scott’s fundamental shift in thinking has several psychological principles at play, but the largest one is competition. I don’t mean the capitalism form of competition, but the one that is innate in us as humans, that pushes us to want to do better.
This change in terminology and analysis focuses more on what we do, not what we have, and that is the type of change that can shift governments and economies.
Will it happen? Probably not – but it’d be a great starting place. Class warfare is never a good thing. There are bad apples in every class, and you need every level for a society to function.