Is there such a thing as an optimal state of wealth distribution? What do we consider to be an optimal state of wealth distribution?
Certainly it exists, but what it is depends on what your values are. If you find inequality inherently objectionable, as seems fashionable, then you might support any measures that reduce the gap between rich and poor, even if it means destroying wealth without helping any poor. If instead you wish to improve the welfare of the poor (assuming, perhaps, that the rich can take care of themselves), then you might support policies that have a track record of relieving poverty.
I suspect that a lot of people value associating themselves with the team that has the best cheers and the vilest enemies and announces the best-sounding intentions.
Can this be engineered at all?
I do think we have a lot of power to alter outcomes, but perhaps with less accuracy than we imagine. Centralized, top-down power structures can scatter benefits but give a lot of leverage for the existing wealthy to increase their bottom line. Decentralized, individually-directed behavior seems to promote the greatest improvement in individual welfare, but it doesn't guarantee success for everyone.
Predicting the future is difficult. If our best guide is the past, then I would observe that incorrect predictions of looming disaster have been the norm for ages. What resources do you think would become more scarce (reversing almost every long-term trend) due to global warming? I don't think many crops would be affected by sea level change; there is plenty of land that is now too cold to farm; additional atmospheric carbon dioxide is not exactly bad news for plants.
Some weird disastrous techno-singularity does not seem likely, but technology is going to be highly disruptive somehow. I don't believe mass unemployment due to robots is likely either; to date greater automation has led to more jobs. Natural disasters including pandemic make for good drama, but these are also fortunately rare. Probably the best way to identify the greatest risk to future progress is to look at the past. Maybe Venezuela is a warning sign; socialists are not exactly laughed off the stage.