The article by Robert Reich on the unequal distribution of wealth in the US is profoundly correct and on target. It is strongly supported by data in a recent book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. If you examine differences in average income between the rich and the poor in the United States and other countries throughout the world, there is a striking correlation between differences in average income and mental health and drug use, obesity, educational performance, teenage births, violence and respect for authority, crime and imprisonment, social mobility and confidence in government and social institutions. Clearly, the outcome for each of these parameters worsens in a manner that is directly related to difference in average income. Changes in that respect accelerated during the 1980s, and have continued to increase progressively from then to the present.
Jul 8 2010 - 1:03pm