Wealth distribution – the coming apocalypse?


The great issues of the day aren’t something Family Capital normally dwells on. But a new film soon to be released called The Divide highlights wealth inequality in the western world, and it’s probably something that families with capital should be just a little bit more aware of.

The film, released in late April, tells the stories of seven individuals striving for a better life in the US and the UK. By plotting these tales together, The Divide uncovers how virtually every aspect of their lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor.

Intertwined with the lives of the seven are commentaries from, not just the usual roll-them-out lefties like Noam Chomsky, but also some with a more right-wing perspective like the former economic adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Sir Alan Budd, and historian Sir Max Hastings.

Here’s what the director Katharine Round has to say about the film: “There is no data in The Divide. There is no voice telling us what to think or what to do. The Divide is about seeing, and feeling, how very personal psychological levers are pulled in all of us by the dramatic shifts of income and wealth occurring under our noses.”

OK, wealth inequality has been with us forever, and many of the themes in the film are nothing new. But it comes at a time when inherited wealth, often linked to businesses, is moving up the political agenda. Indeed, Family Capital has written about the subject this week in reference to inheritance tax related to businesses in Germany. And films like The Divide will ensure that inheritance, and its role in inequality, will move further up the political agenda. In countries where everyone has the vote, no one can ignore this…

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