The Spirit Level – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Sorry to interrupt the music yet again but I read a really interesting article in the Guardian this week about the book “The Spirit Level” by Richard Wilkinson (retired professor from Nottingham medical school) and Kate Pickett (University of York) which highlights the damaged done to societies by inequality.

“… they argue that almost every social problem common in developed societies – reduced life expectancy, child mortality, drugs, crime, homicide rates, mental illness and obesity – has a single root cause: inequality.

And, they say, it’s not just the deprived underclass that loses out in an unequal society: everyone does, even the better off. Because it’s not absolute levels of poverty that create the social problems, but the differentials in income between rich and poor.”

The links between inequality and social problems discussed in “The Spirit Level” were brilliantly illustrated in this graphic accompanying the article.