The Situationist

The Situational Effects of (In)Equality

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 29, 2010

Here is an intriguing (40-minute) interview with Richard Wilkinson co-author of the book The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger and co-founder of The Equality Trust.

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For a sample of related Stiuationist posts, see “The Situational Consequences of Poverty on Brains,” For a sample of related Situationist posts, see “Inequality and the Unequal Situation of Mental and Physical Health,” The Interior Situation of Intergenerational Poverty,” Rich Brains, Poor Brains?,” Jeffrey Sachs on the Situation of Global Poverty,” “The Situation of Financial Risk-Taking,” “The Situation of Standardized Test Scores,”The Toll of Discrimination on Black Women,” The Physical Pains of Discrimination,” The Depressing Effects of Racial Discrimination,” and The Cognitive Costs of Interracial Interactions.”

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3 Responses to “The Situational Effects of (In)Equality”

  1. Brian said

    It’s easy to see why so many people have fallen for this charlatan – the clipped English accent, the faux-disbelief at his ‘findings’. No mention of him being a life-long socialist, or that his book is a load of pseudo-scientific trash.

  2. Robert said

    My impression is that economic inequality isn’t actually a high priority for liberals, except in the abstract. Try asking a sushi-eating liberal if she would rather live in (a) New York City; (b) San Francisco; (c) Salt Lake City. Then look up levels of inequality in the three cities. Museums and plays will trump being able to live in a relatively egalitarian society. Liberals feel like they’re in a cultural backwater outside of any American city without billionaires. After all, universities and arts have always been funded as indulgences of the ultra wealthy.

    Ask a liberal if she’d rather go back in time to the 1950s or 1980s, and then look up income distributions throughout the two decades. You won’t be able to recall anything positive about the 50s without eliciting some kind of grimace, while an invitation to an 80s dance night will be met with exuberance. The middle class was created in the late 40s and 50s, and Gilded Age inequality finally reversed. Yet liberals (other than Michael Moore) have de-emphasized these triumphs of unions and blue collar workers out of history, while the civil rights movement a decade later (liberating far few people) is endlessly pounded into our skulls. Anyone who prioritized economic equality would consider the 50s a high point of American society, but liberals find our formerly egalitarian country boring.

    In the last Democratic presidential primary, only John Edwards gave serious emphasis to inequality and poverty. The two candidates ahead of him surrounded themselves with Wall Street/DLC/corporate globalization insiders, and beat him badly, due to identity politics.

    For liberals, a society having cultural excesses and the right skin pigmentation will trump equality every time. That’s why we ignore their rants.

  3. Jordan said

    Robert, I’m a liberal and I live in a town in Kentucky with a population of 11,000. I’m very happy here. I have no interest in living in New York City. The 80’s was the Reagan Era, why would we want to go back to that? No, thanks.

    But please, don’t let me come between you and your moronic stereotypes.

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