When The Spirit Level was published in 2009 it caused quite a stir. Taking the results of hundreds of studies it showed that, contrary to the general assumption, health and social problems such as violence, mental illhealth, addiction, teenage births and educational failure do not have a simple relationship with poverty. Instead, the authors show that problems which are most common at the bottom of the social ladder are actually more common in societies where the difference in income between the richest and the poorest is the greatest. The UK has the fourth highest inequality of income distribution of developed countries. The authors conclude that, “The evidence shows that reducing inequality is the best way of improving the quality of the social environment ....... for all of us”.
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, the authors, are in great demand as speakers and, to share the load, Martin Wilkinson, Richard’s brother will be coming to Norwich to give a presentation on the book and to lead a discussion on equality, both in terms of the Quaker Testimony to Equality and more generally on how we in Britain should respond to the message of the book . Rupert Read will then offer a short philosophical and political response to “The Spirit Level”.
Material Inequality in Britain (Based on The Spirit Level: why more equal societies almost always do better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Saturday 25th June, 2-5pm at Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, NORWICH, NR2 1EW. All welcome – entry free
For further details contact Teresa Belton 01603 465851, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo from BBC documentary, "Poor Kids"
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