As libertarian economist Milton Friedman said, a society that aims for equality over liberty, will have neither. The reason being that if you keep taking from the wealthy to give to the poor, you take incentive that people need to make money. Because government will just jack it away from them. If society aims for liberty so people can live their own lives and essentially govern themselves and be as successful as their skills and production will allow, people who are better educated, more inventive, more creative, more strategic, more productive, will be more successful in life than people who aren’t. As they should be, because they put in the work to make that happen. Thats called capitalist economics, liberal capitalism, or liberal economics, even, where people can make as much money and be as successful as they can essentially can be. To have a strong economy, people have to have the incentive to be successful, or they won’t be.
But what we can have is an economy where we have equality of liberty. Where everyone has a shot to be as successful in life by getting a good education. And then putting those skills to work the best that they can. No economic system is perfect. Everyone comes with plus’ and minus’. The trick is to have an economic system that works the best. Where the plus’ outweighs the minus’s so much, that system is worth having. A progressive tax system is part of that, but not to the point that you tax wealth so much, that you take incentive away to create wealth in the first place. But a tax and educational system that encourages people to make money and for wealth to be created, instead of punishing those activities. And not having more incentive for people to be dependent on government for their financial survival.
There’s so such thing as true equality in any economic system. Where everyone is equal at least in a good way. In any economic system, where’s there’s a substantial amount of economic freedom, so people can make a good living, some people are going to make more money than others. Because we aren’t all equal economically, some people just bring more skills to the table than others. In a classical socialist economy where the state owns the economy, everyone might be equal economically, but they are all poor, unless they have a good government job. Take Cuba for example, but even they have moved to open up parts of their economy to privatization.