UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 14, 2009

BOOKSELF: INEQUALITY IS BAD EVEN FOR THOSE AT THE TOP

THE SPIRIT LEVEL
Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

John Carey, Sunday Times, UK - This is a book with a big idea, big enough to change political thinking, and bigger than its authors at first intended. The problem they originally set out to solve was why health within a population gets progressively worse further down the social scale; they estimate that together they have clocked up more than 50 person-years gathering information from research teams across the globe. Their eureka moment came when they thought of putting the medical data alongside figures showing the extent of economic inequality within each country. They say modestly that since dependable statistics both on health and on income distribution are internationally available, it was only a matter of time before someone put the two together. All the same, they are the first to have done so.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This book supports strain theory that economic inequality causes psycho-sociall ill-being but how do decide that well-being in Scandanavia and Japan is high given that Denmark, Sweden and Norway have extremely high suicide rates as does Japan?

June 1, 2009 10:55 PM  

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