Michael Norton (of Harvard Business School) and Dan Ariely (of Duke) have released results (pdf) from a series of experiments they did in 2005 on the subject of wealth inequality. They asked individuals in a nationally representative online panel to (1) estimate the current US distribution of wealth and (2) “build a better America” by describing what they thought would be the “ideal” wealth distribution.
The key findings: First, respondents dramatically underestimated the current level of wealth inequality. Second, respondents constructed ideal wealth distributions that were far more equitable than even their erroneously low estimates of the actual distribution. Most important from a policy perspective, we observed a surprising level of consensus: All demographic groups — even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy — desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.
Some day you will die.
Lying on your sick bed about to breathe your last, you will be assailed by every kind of pain,
Your mind will be filled with fears and anxieties and you will not know where to go or what to do,
Only then you will realize you have not practiced well.
The skandhas/aggregates (matter, sensations, conceptions, impulses and consciousness) and the four elements in you will quickly disintegrate, and your consciousness will be pulled wherever your ancient, twisted karma leads it.
Impermanence does not hesitate.
Death will not wait.
You will not be able to extend your life by even a second.
How many thousands times more will you have to pass through the gates of birth and death.
If these words are challenging, even insulting, let them be an encouragement for you to change.
Do not accumulate unnecessary possessions.
Don’t give up.
Still your mind, end wrong perceptions, concentrate and do not run after the objects of your senses.
Be determined not to let your days and months pass by wastefully.
Zen Master Guishan, “Encouraging Words”