Research Evidence about Income Inequality Spirit Level Book

This book is said to be a ground-breaking, empirical mountain of evidence. It contrasts with trickle down theory (giving tax breaks to the rich and corporations) to help society. I have not read the book so I am not sure if trick down is mentioned in it. I have seen other authors, in news articles, write that this book has a great deal of support against trickle down.

In the book, The Spirit Level, one reviewer states that on “Based on thirty years of research – Its findings are that almost every modern social and environmental problem” have more probability to happen in less in a less equal society (where the difference between rich and poor is greater). “This is one of the most important areas of social and political research – the issue of inequality goes to the heart of the political divide between left and right.”

Note: Bolding is added by me in the quotes above and below. .

The authors, Wilkinson and Pickett, use vast amount of data from many European countries with a few other countries. The findings are that based on comparing inequality factors in many areas, such as “ill- health, lack of community life, violence, drug problems, obesity, mental health problems, long working hours and big prison populations.” that the countries with less disparity in income fare optimally in their economies or societies.

The link above is a summary. I have gathered some information in this post by reading other links. The reviewer of the above link sounds unbiased. In the summary (above link), a video is presented and two links for supporters and detractors of the Spirit Level thesis.  In the summary’s conclusion, they write, that they are unsure whether to rely on the Spirit Level’s data and that people who are fighting inequality are more likely to believe it and those on the right are likely to criticize it. I find the statement about doubting the “data” as nonsense. Scientifically done studies by sociologists, over thirty years, are bound to have some or a great deal of merit. Yes, there may be faults and flaws. Nevertheless, as a social scientist, I tend to trust other well-trained social scientists who present the data.

This link, below, states that Wilkinson’s and Pinkett’s thesis is not peer reviewed but in the book there are peer-reviewed studies. It is stated  that the book was written for the mass market.

 I am of the opinion that in our complex societies, that if governments do not align their policies to assist the greater good, then a possible path toward an unstable society is extremely dangerous.

That is the main thesis behind the political movement that I advocate. Reasonable decisions and voting for non-rich politicians is the path to reasonable governing in the USA, in my analysis. The average voters must step up to run for office and to make decisions that help their lives, not politicians intent on lining their pockets. 

The US has a much greater amount of income inequality compared to other countries in the world,  per a C.I.A. (US Central Intelligence Agency) report. Central Intelligence Agency. “World Factbook, Country Comparison.” Accessed March 2, 2018. rankorder/2172rank.html. The citation is in my book.

Here is the link for the you tube video There are other You Tube videos about the book.

I just watched it and listened to it. It is cute with puppet-like characters. I did notice that in the middle that the authors or whoever made the video mentions the word “fact” about the behavioral or sociological conclusions. At the end, however, the word “almost” is used regarding that friendlier, more equal societies have less societal problems (e.g. teenage pregnancy, mental illness, depression). I think it was likely made by the publisher of the book to sell more books. At the end of this video, it is added that one needs to read the book.

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