From a nation which in the past has prided itself on our classlessness and equity, Australia is now ranked fifth highest among 23 wealthy countries in a measure of financial inequality. Inequality does not have to be an inevitable consequence of social progress. There are several levers available to policy makers to arrest the detrimental changes which have recently been most evident in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia and which have been largely avoided in the Scandinavian countries and Japan.