What are the unintended consequences of economic inequality?
The unintended consequence is that sooner or later the society breaks apart.
The giant Ponzi-scheme works only if the bottom part of the pyramid is healthy enough that it keeps producing and consuming to deliver the profit for those on top. But when they become “too depleted” to perform their slave role and have nothing to lose anymore, we reach the usual civilization-ending explosion which keeps repeating itself through history.
It is very interesting how the “ruling classes” can’t stop and sustain a level, where — in theory — the “lower classes” could still have enough to keep producing and performing in this Matrix. In theory, we could live in a society where there is inequality — since we are all different, we have different circumstances and we have different abilities and needs when we contribute to society.
But our egotistic, exploitative nature makes us addicts, we simply cannot stop.
We keep wanting more, hoard, accumulating everything until we destroy everything including ourselves like cancer.
This is why the vicious cycles won’t stop and we will reach the civilization-ending explosion more frequently and each will be greater, most devastating than the previous, unless we change our nature and start building Human societies, a new civilization on new foundations.
If we learned how to build a civilization on Nature’s blueprints — living within the optimal parameters of natural necessities (each according to their own necessities) and available resources while operating everything through mutually responsible and mutually complementing cooperation, then we will have a society where we would still have differences, striation, but also possible, free social mobility and each would be happy with their place as they themselves determine and accept where they belong.
Nature’s evolution — not any Human ideology, philosophy, artificial construct — demands from us this transition, change. Otherwise, we remain incompatible with Nature’s integral system with all of the negative consequences.