This is coolbert:
The great leveler? Inequality as in the sense of economic inequality! That disparity of wealth between the richest and the poorest in a society extreme, often exceedingly so!
Thanks to the First Things blog and the entry by Peter J. Leithart copied to a great extent in entirety.
"War and Inequality"
"Inequality can be reduced, but historically, 'only four things . . . cause large-scale levelling'"
ONE OF THOSE FOUR THINGS BEING WAR!!
"During the twentieth century, inequality was reduced largely through war: 'mass-mobilization warfare was the defining underlying cause of the unprecedented decrease in inequality seen across much of the Western world between 1910 and 1970 (though the merry old Great Depression lent an unusual helping hand). By demanding sacrifice from all, the deployment of national resources on such a scale under such circumstances provides an unusually strong case for soaking the rich. . . . Income taxes and property taxes rose spectacularly during both world wars (the top income-tax rate reached 94% in America in 1944, with property taxes peaking at 77 percent in 1941). Physical damage to capital goods slashed the assets of the wealthy, too, as did post-war inflation. The wars also drove up membership in trade unions—one of the war-related factors that played a part in keeping inequality low for a generation after 1945 before it started to climb back up in the 1980s'.”
Understand also that while the rich become poor [or poorer], the poor do not necessarily become rich, or even wealthier for that matter. Just that the gap become the most wealthiest and the poorest folks becomes LESS!