More on Impact of Extreme Inequality

In the earlier post I talked about dangers of extreme inequality: economic problems, “oligarchization” of the political order, unrest. The Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Pickett argues that high degree of inequality – more so than absolute levels of per-person income – lead to lower societal trust, increased instances of mental illness, higher mortality, obesity, lower educational performance, higher crime and reduced social mobility. They show statistical correlation based on the data from the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, etc.

As any controversial topic, their study found detractors as documented in the link provided. Complex subjects always do. As the famous saying goes, “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Still, in the end the numbers and their conclusions appear to be valid: extreme inequality damages societies. I’ll re-iterate that this is not an argument for imposition of equality but rather a reminder that this pendulum have swung too far the other way. I think that most of us intuitively understand this.

One thought on “More on Impact of Extreme Inequality

  1. Inequality: The leftist, statist countries suffer the most inequality because those at the bottom are not only the poorest but they hardly possess any way to better their status. Current liberal policies are shrinking the middle class not because its members are becoming richer but rather poorer. Trying to make a populace more equal by distributing the wealth ends up doing the opposite because it buys the votes of the underclass while hurting the economy that would raise them. Redistribution has not helped the underclasses in any country that it has been tried but free market, lower regulation has helped more than anything else.

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