The picture is of Richard Wilkinson, the driving force behind the Spirit Level. The video embedded below gives you access to his (and Kate Pickett’s) analysis of inequality and its correlates and consequences.
I have been banging on about the disaster that is growing inequality for four years. It amazes me that there is not a wider, more responsive audience. I believe ‘The Spirit Level’ was once recommended reading for Labour MPs but it has not been taken up with any verve by the spineless Miliband or his colleagues. In this book is the largest body of empirical evidence for fairer distribution of income in society – together with some alarming correlations showing what happens in unequal societies – like the UK. We are the third most unequal society in the world, after the US and Portugal.
This Christmas one of the biggest stories has been the number of working people having to resort to foodbanks. Can you imagine the humiliation and shame? Even though working, often long hours, they cannot feed their families. Nick Cohen in the Observer takes the Tories to task on this, but I think it applies to the whole barrel of rotten apples that is the Westminster establishment. http://bit.ly/1cJJ5Kw
Even the Church of England, hardly a radical force, has spoken out repeatedly against low wages and economic inequality.
In the ‘Culture of Complacency’ JK Galbraith suggests that as long as 75% are ‘comfortable’ there will be no unrest or change in the status quo. We must be nearing a point where the number of those ‘uncomfortable’ rises above the 25%. As the continuing – and worse – cuts bite, tension is certain to rise and strikes, protest & riots become more likely. Just this week we have seen both the firefighters and the lawyers striking!