Thursday, June 20, 2013

Inequality is better

Here's an interesting slant on inequality from the Institute of Economic Affairs:

Earlier this year, the Work Foundation published a study of inequality in Britain that threw up some uncomfortable findings for those who believe that income differentials are the root of all evil. The hypothesis put forward in The Spirit Level is that greater income equality fosters health and happiness while inequality is a direct cause of misery and unrest. ‘If you want to live the American dream,’ says Spirit Level co-author Richard Wilkinson, ‘you should move to Finland or Denmark’. But why travel so far? Inequality varies greatly within countries and so, since wealth disparities are most visible at the local level, moving to a more equal city should yield benefits.
The Work Foundation shows us exactly where these pockets of egalitarianism are. The most equal city in Britain turns out to be Sunderland, followed by such places as Bradford, Peterborough and Burnley. The least equal city is London, followed by the likes of Reading, Guildford and Milton Keynes. For the most part, inequality is concentrated in the wealthy south east of England and, as the study notes, ‘cities with high median wages almost always tend to have high inequality.’ The more equal cities, on the other hand, ‘tend not to be very affluent’. This trade-off between wealth and equality will come as no surprise to economists, but it is reassuring to know that the wealth in the less equal places trickles down.



JC said...

Which all goes to show that old sayings get reproven, eg, "Misery loves company" comes to mind.

Imagine a small town where everyone gets paid about the same.. its considered to be one of the happiest and equal towns in the country till along comes a millionaire who builds a mansion.. suddenly the town has inequality and is plunged into despair.. yeah right.

Human nature being what it is the only way you can have equality is to *force* it on people and the main reason to force equality is to allow the rise of an elite.


Anonymous said...

What a fucking waste. Move bludgers to a nice - i.e. nett tax paying - area and are they any better off? no.

better to leave them in the slums where they belong.

IF the bludgers were better off by associating with their betters, better schools / hospitals / houses / etc then it would show that redistribution worked

the fact that the bludgers were no better off out of the slums proves it doesn't. What's more I bet if you asked the nett-tax-paying neighbours about the bludging chavs that you forcibly moved into their community - they'd be very clear that having bludgers around had significantly damaged the values they prize - adding insult to injury that they are paying for the bludgers to come in and trash their community and property values.

better all around that the bludgers are left in the slums.

even better if there are some free-loaders - public sector workers, sickos, ACC bludgers etc mucking up the nice part of town that they get dumped quickly into the slums - increasing the values of those citizens with real worth, and who knows perhaps even helping out the slums a little.

NZ doesn't have a shortage of "affordable housing".
NZ has a shortage of slums.