A new book has been causing a bit of a stir in policy circles in the UK – ‘The Spirit Level’ is not another diatribe for or against God, as the name might suggest, but a book about equality.
The main message is fairly simple – affluent societies tend to suffer social ills like mental health problems, drug use, physical health, obesity, educational problems, teenage births, violence and crime in direction correlation to how equal or unequal they are. And people are unhappier too. Once you get above about $25,000 per capita GDP, the relationship between rising affluence and rising welfare disappears and is replaced by equality rather than affluence. Continue reading