Mike,

Inequality is only inherent to ignorant human societies; it’s absolutely not a requirement and absolutely not a necessity.

The term “better off” is extremely arbitrary.

Better off to a homeless person living in India might mean having a blanket during monsoon season so that he doesn’t die of hypothermia at night (this actually happens).

Better off to a middle-class family in the United States might mean having a car or credit card that’s paid off.

What we need to look at is living standards, quality of life, and basic human rights. Can there be equality in those regards? I believe the answer is yes. In the future, “better off” for everyone could simply mean living a life where you’re happy and where you’re doing something you love.

There are entire societies that don’t eat meat not because they choose not to but because it’s not affordable. As more of the world develops and societies merge, those in the developed world will be looked at for guidance. Their actions and choices will be copied (this is already happening — look at how westernized much of the world is becoming).

If we, as individuals and affluent societies, are not setting an example that is sustainable for the planet as a whole, then everyone will suffer the consequences in the long-term. It’s not enough to ignore the changes that are already happening and attempt to hold into the old norms (inequality, class systems, etc.). Once upon a time, slavery was the norm. “Who would do all the work if we didn’t have slaves?”

Inequality doesn’t provide motivation for change. A desire for improvement, for growth and discovery, for peace and happiness, for security and legacy — that’s what provides motivation for change. It just so happens that right now inequality is unfortunately riding alongside those, so it appears to be the driving force.