Thursday, October 27

...just not that rich

Richard Wilkinson is a Public Health Researcher. He has a new book out, The Spirit Level, co-authored with Kate Pickett, in which he provides an exhaustive statistical analysis of the effects of income inequality in modern society. I could go on, but here - just watch this TED talk:

It drives me a bit batty when the chimps on MSM spout the party meme concerning the motives of #occupy participants, how they’re just jealous, how they just want more without having to work for it. Truth is, while some of the most affected by income inequality have joined the movement, most of them are too busy standing in line at soup kitchens. No, most of the people involved in #occupy are young or entering middle age and come from middle class homes and backgrounds. They tend to be educated. If their youth plays a factor in their involvement, it’s because the young can still afford to be idealistic – they haven’t been co-opted (yet) and aren’t as afraid of losing their precious stuff.

They’ve seen how much harder it’s gotten on their parents to maintain homes and families as adjusted incomes have remained frozen or shrunken, and they see how much harder it’s going to be in the future. They see how inequality leads to greater class/racial/gender conflict.

And they just aren’t as afraid of rocking the bus. When one is next in line to be thrown under said bus, there isn’t much to lose.

Anyway, I though it was interesting that Mr. Wilkinson’s data revealed such a dependable and constant relationship between income inequality and the failure of societies to be healthy. I love how the data shows that it isn’t the method of promoting greater equality that counts – just the greater equality itself. 

There was a sign at #occupy Vancouver:

For me, for most of the people I met there and talked to, it wasn’t about securing more for “me”. I’m a happy camper, and I live with my choices. Rather, it was about recognizing and acknowledging that the greed of the wealthiest comes at the cost of the most vulnerable, again and again and again.

Measured on that scale, we don’t really have much of a civil society at all. Measured on that scale, we have feudalism dressed up to look like freedom. Slavery with freedom's makeup on it.

p.s. Have you seen this?