THE SPIRIT LEVEL WHY GREATER EQUALITY MAKES SOCIETIES STRONGER

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The Spirit Level

Author : Richard Wilkinson
ISBN : 1608191702
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 28.81 MB
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This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies. The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.
Category: Social Science

The Spirit Level Delusion

Author : Christopher Snowdon
ISBN : 0956226515
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 84.27 MB
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Do Cubans live longer than Americans? Are Scandinavians happier than the British? Do Oscar winners live longer than other actors? Does capitalism cause mental illness? Does inequality lead to murder? Would higher taxes make us slimmer, more trusting and more charitable? The Spirit Level Delusion shines the light of reason on some of the extraordinary claims made in favour of big government in the twenty-first century. Several books (The Spirit Level, Happiness and Affluenza amongst others) have called for a radical shift in power from the individual to the state based on the supposedly devastating effects of wealth, economic growth and inequality. By examining all the available evidence, Christopher Snowdon tests the theory that 'more equal' countries are healthier, happier and more successful. Through a sober assessment of the facts-including some inconvenient truths-The Spirit Level Delusion shows that the theory not only lacks empirical support but also fails the basic test of believability. "If you haven t read a book that made you laugh out loud on the bus or the Tube in a while, try Christopher Snowdon s superb release, The Spirit Level Delusion. But the book s subtle humour is not the reason I am recommending it. The Spirit Level Delusion is, above all, a book that delivers and goes well beyond the promise of its subtitle 'fact-checking the left s new theory of everything'... It may well be that the next big battle for a free society will be fought against the new anti-wealth egalitarianism. Christopher Snowdon has provided defenders of freedom with powerful ammunition." Kristian Niemietz, Institute of Economic Affairs "Snowdon picks so many holes in the theory that were it a building it wouldn t be passed as structurally sound by the most crooked of third world local government surveyors... I wish that everyone who espoused The Spirit Level would read The Spirit Level Delusion, which explains just how dubious the science behind this grand theory is." Ed West, The Telegraph "The Spirit Level Delusion not only successfully and dramatically undermines much of the evidence in The Spirit Level, but also takes on the other fashionable opponents of economic growth... His engaging discussion unpicks the evidence of the anti-growth brigade and demonstrates that it is selective and partial. This book is excellent tube reading . Philip Booth, City AM
Category: Political Science

23 Things They Don T Tell You About Capitalism

Author : Ha-Joon Chang
ISBN : 1608193586
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 47.27 MB
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Thing 1: There is no such thing as free market. Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet. Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst. Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer. If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon Chang knows the answer: We didn't ask what they didn't tell us about capitalism. This is a lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists-the apostles of the freemarket-have spun since the Age of Reagan. Chang, the author of the international bestseller Bad Samaritans, is one of the world's most respected economists, a voice of sanity-and wit-in the tradition of John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Stiglitz. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism equips readers with an understanding of how global capitalism works-and doesn't. In his final chapter, "How to Rebuild the World," Chang offers a vision of how we can shape capitalism to humane ends, instead of becoming slaves of the market.
Category: Business & Economics

The Impact Of Inequality

Author : Richard Wilkinson
ISBN : 9781595586605
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.70 MB
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Comparing the United States with other market democracies and one state with another, this book offers irrefutable evidence that unequal societies create poor health, more social conflict, and more violence. Richard Wilkinson, a pioneering social scientist, addresses the growing feeling—so common in the United States—that modern societies, despite their material success, are social failures. The Impact of Inequality explains why inequality has such devastating effects on the quality and length of our lives. Wilkinson shows that inequality leads to stress, stress creates sickness on the individual and mass level, and overall society suffers widespread unhappiness and high levels of violence, depression, and mistrust across the social spectrum. The evidence he presents is incontrovertible: social and political equality are essential to improve life for everyone. Wilkinson argues that even small reductions in inequality can make an important difference—for, as this book explains, social relations are always built on material foundations.
Category: Social Science

Time For Outrage

Author : Stéphane Hessel
ISBN : 9781455509713
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 82.79 MB
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This controversial, impassioned call-to-arms for a return to the ideals that fueled the French Resistance has sold millions of copies worldwide since its publication in France in October 2010. Rejecting the dictatorship of world financial markets and defending the social values of modern democracy, 93-old Stéphane Hessel -- Resistance leader, concentration camp survivor, and former UN speechwriter -- reminds us that life and liberty must still be fought for, and urges us to reclaim those essential rights we have permitted our governments to erode since the end of World War II.
Category: Political Science

The Great Divergence

Author : Timothy Noah
ISBN : 9781608196340
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 30.33 MB
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For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly unequal. This steady growing apart is often mentioned as a troubling indicator by scholars and policy analysts, though seldom addressed by politicians. What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has till now been treated as little more than a talking point, a rhetorical club to be wielded in ideological battles. But this Great Divergence may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes-a drastic, elemental change in the character of American society, and not at all for the better. The inequality gap is much more than a left-right hot potato-its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence, based on his award-winning series of articles for Slate, surveys the roots of the wealth gap, drawing on the best thinking of contemporary economists and political scientists. Noah also explores potential solutions to the problem, and explores why the growing rich-poor divide has sparked remarkably little public anger, in contrast to social unrest that prevailed before the New Deal. The Great Divergence is poised to be one of the most talked-about books of 2012, a jump-start to the national conversation about the shape of American society in the 21st century, and a work that will help frame the debate in a Presidential election year.
Category: Business & Economics

Injustice

Author : Daniel Dorling
ISBN : 9781847427205
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49.80 MB
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Danny Dorling claims in this timely book that in rich countries inequality is now caused by unacknowledged beliefs which propagate it. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in its call to action, this is essential reading for everyone concerned with social justice.
Category: Social Science

Ill Fares The Land

Author : Tony Judt
ISBN : 1101223707
Genre : History
File Size : 50.33 MB
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Something is profoundly wrong with the way we think about how we should live today. In Ill Fares The Land, Tony Judt, one of our leading historians and thinkers, reveals how we have arrived at our present dangerously confused moment. Judt masterfully crystallizes what we've all been feeling into a way to think our way into, and thus out of, our great collective dis-ease about the current state of things. As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America - the guarantee of a basal level of security, stability and fairness -- is no longer guaranteed; in fact, it's no longer part of the common discourse. Judt offers the language we need to address our common needs, rejecting the nihilistic individualism of the far right and the debunked socialism of the past. To find a way forward, we must look to our not so distant past and to social democracy in action: to re-enshrining fairness over mere efficiency. Distinctly absent from our national dialogue, social democrats believe that the state can play an enhanced role in our lives without threatening our liberties. Instead of placing blind faith in the market-as we have to our detriment for the past thirty years-social democrats entrust their fellow citizens and the state itself. Ill Fares the Land challenges us to confront our societal ills and to shoulder responsibility for the world we live in. For hope remains. In reintroducing alternatives to the status quo, Judt reinvigorates our political conversation, providing the tools necessary to imagine a new form of governance, a new way of life.
Category: History

Families In Poverty

Author : Karen Seccombe
ISBN : UOM:49015003154912
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.91 MB
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Families in Poverty: Volume 1 in the "Families in the Twenty-First Century Series," 1/e Karen Seccombe Meenan, "Portland State University" (HEPM ID: 4935242) Susan J. Ferguson, "Grinnell College" (HEPM ID: 8391990) ISBN: 0205502547 Poverty is a social problem and finding solutions requires us to look closely at our society, laws, and social institutions. "Families in Poverty" brings together the best and most recent quantitative and qualitative data to examine poverty among U.S. families and the problems poor families face, and discusses how solutions to poverty do exist. Some major topics found in the text include: Trends in poverty in the United States Discussion on how poverty is measured and defined Critiques on several explanations of poverty Consequences of poverty on children and adults Labor market issues such as unemployment, minimum wage, employer-sponsored fringe benefits Programs in the United States designed to eliminate or reduce poverty
Category: Social Science

Killing The Competition

Author : Martin Daly
ISBN : 9781351510165
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25.99 MB
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Criminologists have known for decades that income inequality is the best predictor of the local homicide rate, but why this is so has eluded them. There is a simple, compelling answer: most homicides are the denouements of competitive interactions between men. Relatively speaking, where desired goods are distributed inequitably and competition for those goods is severe, dangerous tactics of competition are appealing and a high homicide rate is just one of many unfortunate consequences. Killing the Competition is about this relationship between economic inequality and lethal interpersonal violence.Suggesting that economic inequality is a cause of social problems and violence elicits fierce opposition from inequality's beneficiaries. Three main arguments have been presented by those who would acquit inequality of the charges against it: that "absolute" poverty is the real problem and inequality is just an incidental correlate; that "primitive" egalitarian societies have surprisingly high homicide rates, and that inequality and homicide rates do not change in synchrony and are therefore mutually irrelevant. With detailed but accessible data analyses and thorough reviews of relevant research, Martin Daly dispels all three arguments.Killing the Competition applies basic principles of behavioural biology to explain why killers are usually men, not women, and counters the view that attitudes and values prevailing in "cultures of violence" make change impossible.
Category: Social Science