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How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

Posted on Oct 30, 2011

Richard Wilkinson and partner Kate Pickett ran the data and came to the conclusion that the national income of a country is insignificant to its social well-being when compared with income inequality. Wilkinson says, “If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark.”  —PZS



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By MSA, November 1, 2011 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Truthdig for recognizing the political importance of this speech. More
than the social and health impacts of inequality, it points out that all of our
national goals are pointless. “Economic growth,” “increasing the tax base,”
“creating wealth,” are all ridiculous goals that don’t help our society at all.

The biggest way to improve our society is to make sure everyone shares resources
and shares knowledge.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 1, 2011 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

Re:  Lafayette, October 31

The reason most Americans hate paying their taxes is
because they feel they don’t get anything in return. 
They see teachers, police, firefighters, roads,
bridges and the like but that’s IT.  We’re talking
about TRILLIONS of dollars here.

They don’t feel that they get their MONEY’S WORTH. 
That’s the real issue.  And I agree with them. The
Government doesn’t need ANY MORE of the lower 80% of
the population’s taxes AT ALL.

Tax the rich one percent. Get out of the wars. Stop
subsiding corporations. Stop subsidizing the rich so
they’ll buy jet planes. No more $400 hammers from Joe
Blow’s buddy…...and on and on.

It is the allocation of the revenue that ires most
people AND that the richest among us (including
corporations) receive sweet deals even when they
don’t pay their fair share.  For this reason, people
simply don’t want to throw good money after bad.

The government doesn’t need one red cent to provide
single payer healthcare. By simply reallocating revenue
it could easily be paid for.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

You want European Social Democracy in America?

Stop bitching-in-a-blog and get your asses out to militate for Progressive Values:
* Higher taxation to support a Universal National Health Service as well as nearly free tertiary education that obtains for students the skill-sets that will lead to a decent job at decent wages,
* Higher taxation to mitigate the obscene foolishness of TopManagement and their bent for short-term profits, profits, profits. (We all live in the long-term.)
* Enhanced Social Investments that put people to work on improving the lives of ordinary citizens, rather than some World Beating product (that will get built in China anyway).
* Less trickery in the manipulation of politicians who spend their lives as politicos because they haven’t the foggiest notion of what else to do with themselves. (I appear on TV so I must exist! Really!)
* Less of a bent to mess with foreign countries out of the bizarre notion that American Democracy must be shoved down their throats - because it was preordained by God as the World’s Greatest.

Yes! - we, the sheeple, we can! Upset the AppleCart and change the rules in our favor!

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

“If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark.”

And freeze your you-know-whats in winter? Ya gotta be kidding!

Denmark is certainly a nice place. Nicer places exist, however. France, for instance.

Much nicer food, great Health Care, fine wines, great Health Care, attractive people, great Health Care.

Get it ... ?

PS: The American Dream has always been about making a million bucks and retiring from the scene. There’s no way in hell anyone in Denmark is going to do that nowadays. Besides, in heavily taxed Scandinavia, most of those who can afford it leave to for the sunnier climes of Spain or the south of France.

But to bring up a family, any place in Scandinavia is the right place - or Europe, for that matter. Less crime, less mind-boggling TV, more homogeneity of classes, less bling-bling and some really nice people.

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By Truthidog, October 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Go to Denmark?  No, I disagree.  Let’s bring the
Denmark model (back) to America.

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By BrooklynDame, October 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

It’s no surprise that economic inequality harms societies; stability that is needed
for future growth comes only when there is some level of balance.  In a system
where many at the bottom are needed to support those few at the top who, in
turn, do not help to further the gains of those at the bottom, failure is inevitable. 
In this country, we simply have history repeating itself.  We didn’t learn from The
Great Depression.

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By gerard, October 31, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

The nut we are trying to crack is that the elites at the top of rich societies REFUSE TO ADMIT that
“Economic Inequality Harms Societies.” In fact I suspect that they hire “think tanks” to rig power-point presentations that “prove” the opposite of this video. Thus the “filthy rich” can avoid having to face the high cost of being shamed into justice.

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By jess, October 31, 2011 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The new “steel ” industry?
a downsized steel attachment called a mailbox that screws to the side of a building .

what a tax haven looks like check out the “itunes” mail box

…”Transparency hiding money for tax purposes is no longer acceptable.

HOARDING UNDETECTED offshore assets At a time when many governments are forced to ask their citizens to accept higher taxes and reduced public services, everyone must pay their fair share….”

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