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 : 46.37 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 : 65.7 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

Social Determinants Of Health

Author : Michael Marmot
ISBN : 0191578487
Genre : Medical
File Size : 78.59 MB
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Social Determinants of Health, 2nd Edition gives an authoritative overview of the social and economic factors which are known to be the most powerful determinants of population health in modern societies. Written by acknowledged experts in each field, it provides accessible summaries of the scientific justification for isolating different aspects of social and economic life as the primary determinants of a population's health. The new edition takes account of the most recent research and also includes additional chapters on ethnicity and health, sexual behaviours, the elderly, housing and neighbourhoods. Recognition of the power of socioeconomic factors as determinants of health came initially from research on health inequalities. This has led to a view of health as not simply about individual behaviour or exposure to risk, but how the socially and economically structured way of life of a population shapes its health. Thus exercise and accidents are as much about a society's transport system as about individual decisions; and the nation's diet involves agriculture, food manufacture, retailing, and personal incomes as much as individual choice. But a major new element in the picture we have developed is the importance of the social, or psycho-social, environment to health. For example, health in the workplace for most employees - certainly for office workers - is less a matter of exposure to physical health hazards as of the social environment, of how supportive it is, whether people have control over their work, whether their jobs are secure. A similar picture emerges in other areas ranging from the health importance of the emotional environment in early childhood to the need for more socially cohesive communities. Social Determinants of Health should be read by those interested in the wellbeing of modern societies. It is a must for public health professionals, for health promotion specialists, and for people working in the many fields of public policy which we now know make such an important contribution to health.
Category: Medical

23 Things They Don T Tell You About Capitalism

Author : Ha-Joon Chang
ISBN : 1608193586
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 36.19 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 Fair Society

Author : Peter Corning
ISBN : 9780226116303
Genre : Science
File Size : 87.54 MB
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We’ve been told, again and again, that life is unfair. But what if we’re wrong simply to resign ourselves to this situation? What if we have the power—and more, the duty—to change society for the better? We do. And our very nature inclines us to do so. That’s the provocative argument Peter Corning makes in The Fair Society. Drawing on the evidence from our evolutionary history and the emergent science of human nature, Corning shows that we have an innate sense of fairness. While these impulses can easily be subverted by greed and demagoguery, they can also be harnessed for good. Corning brings together the latest findings from the behavioral and biological sciences to help us understand how to move beyond the Madoffs and Enrons in our midst in order to lay the foundation for a new social contract—a Biosocial Contract built on a deep understanding of human nature and a commitment to fairness. He then proposes a sweeping set of economic and political reforms based on three principles of fairness—equality, equity, and reciprocity—that together could transform our society and our world. At this crisis point for capitalism, Corning reveals that the proper response to bank bailouts and financial chicanery isn’t to get mad—it’s to get fair.
Category: Science

Unhealthy Societies

Author : Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Richard G Wilkinson
ISBN : 9781134872800
Genre : Health & Fitness
File Size : 39.39 MB
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Among the developed countries it is not the richest societies which have the best health, but those which have the smallest income differences between rich and poor. Inequality and relative poverty have absolute effects: they increase death rates. But why? How can smaller income differences raise average life expectancy? Using examples from the USA, Britain, Japan and Eastern Europe, and bringing together evidence from the social and medical sciences, Unhealthy Socities provides the explanation. Healthy, egalitarian societies are more socially cohesive. They have a stronger community life and suffer fewer of the corrosive effects of inequality. As well as inequality weakening the social fabric, damaging health and increasing crime rates, Unhealthy Societies shows that social cohesion is crucial to the quality of life. The contrast between the material success and social failure of modern societies marks an imbalance which needs attention. The relationship between health and equality suggests that important social needs will go unmet without a larger measure of social and distributive justice. This path-breaking book is essential reading for health psychologists, sociologists, welfare economists, social policy analysts and all those concerned with the future of developed societies.
Category: Health & Fitness

The Great Divergence

Author : Timothy Noah
ISBN : 9781608196340
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 41.54 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

Globalization Economic Development And Inequality

Author : Erik S. Reinert
ISBN : 1845421620
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 37.38 MB
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"Members of the anti-globalization movement will find the explanations given in this book insightful, as will employees of international organizations due to the important policy messages. The theoretical interest within the book will appeal to development economists and evolutionary economists, and policymakers and politicians will find the explanations of the present failure of many small nations in the periphery invaluable."--BOOK JACKET.
Category: Business & Economics

Falling Behind

Author : Robert Frank
ISBN : 9780520957435
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 77.53 MB
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With a timely new foreword by Robert Frank, this groundbreaking book explores the very meaning of happiness and prosperity in America today. Although middle-income families don't earn much more than they did several decades ago, they are buying bigger cars, houses, and appliances. To pay for them, they spend more than they earn and carry record levels of debt. Robert Frank explains how increased concentrations of income and wealth at the top of the economic pyramid have set off "expenditure cascades" that raise the cost of achieving many basic goals for the middle class. Writing in lively prose for a general audience, Frank employs up-to-date economic data and examples drawn from everyday life to shed light on reigning models of consumer behavior. He also suggests reforms that could mitigate the costs of inequality. Falling Behind compels us to rethink how and why we live our economic lives the way we do.
Category: Political Science

Families In Poverty

Author : Karen Seccombe
ISBN : UOM:49015003154912
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 72.53 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