Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger , documents the disastrous impacts of income inequality on modern societies, creating vastly higher rates of crime, teen pregnancies, obesity, and mental health problems.
He’s been featured in a previous post, but in this video he joins in a discussion with William Watson, Chair of the Economic Department at McGill University, University of Arizona sociologist Lane Kentworthy, Canadian Liberal Party MP Bob Rae, and University of Toronto political scientist Sylvia Bashevkin.
Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School, is both an economic historian and an epidemiologist.
For esnl, one compelling revelation of Wilkinson’s research lies in its establishment of a clear linkage between two of the issues most often deplored by conservatives — teen pregnancy and crime — and the economic policies that form the core of their ideology.
Were conservatives both pragmatic and genuinely concerned with those issues, they would be led to the inescapable conclusion that their core ideological drive, stripping the market of any regulatory control and abolition of the progressive income and inheritance tax systems, defeats the very moral behaviors they profess to hold sacred.
If you want less crime and fewer pregnancies, work to control the vast disparities of wealth which have risen sharply in this nation since the days of the Reagan counterrevolution.
There was a time when a Republican president could call for national health care and a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans. But that was Nixon, whose policies in those sectors would be to the left of most modern democrats.
And as for that war thing, its becoming obvious that Afghanistan will become Obama’s Vietnam.
Is Equality Good for Us? [50:46]