Why do we tolerate inequality? The answer, according to a new study by economist Eugenio Proto, is for the slight chance to prosper:
“It seems that even if people believe they have just the tiniest of chances to become the next Bill Gates, it’s enough to keep them tolerant of obvious inequality,” says Proto. [...]
“When you look at it rationally, it makes no sense that people are placing such a disproportionate value on that first one percent increase in opportunity,” says Proto.
“But that slight increase in fairness seems to have some kind of symbolic meaning. It appears people are happy to accept extreme inequality when they have this tiny carrot dangled in front of them.