View Full Version : Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies

Harry Miller
11-21-2011, 09:06 AM
In this video Richard Wilkinson examines the relationship between income disparity and longevity plus a host of social problems.
His research concerns only modern societies and not poverty-stricken third world ones.
First he shows that there is no correlation between a country's average per capita income and the problems mentioned above.
But income disparity within a country is strongly correlated with these problems with a wide disparity leading to more problems.
What I found interesting is that the mechanism used to lower income disparity didn't seem to matter.
Sweden and Japan both have low income disparity and both are low on the scale of problems.
Japan has low taxation and achieves its position by having a small range of before tax incomes.
Sweden has a large range of before tax incomes but high taxation and consequent redistribution narrows the gap in incomes.
He does offer an explanation for why this may be the case but I'll let you watch the video to find out.

Harry Miller
11-21-2011, 09:44 AM
That's true. I don't think many Americans will be moving to Denmark to live "The American Dream"

Harry Miller
11-21-2011, 10:13 AM
Would you agree that US culture has changed since The Eisenhower years? If it has is it because income disparity has increased?

Jim Mahan
11-21-2011, 10:27 AM
Do Sweden or Japan have political parties like our conservatives that cater to the disparity, favoring the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class?