Inequality Matters

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  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 36.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
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Concentrated Wealth

Extreme inequality undermines democracy, the economy, public health and culture. Concentrated wealth translates into political power to further shape elections, legislative priorities and rules in favor of global corporations and the already wealthy. This in turn leads to the kind of economic distortions that caused the 2008 financial collapse. In the lead up to the collapse, the bottom 70 percent of the U.S. population responded to stagnant wages by borrowing beyond their means, while the top 1 percent engaged in reckless speculation on highly rated but essentially worthless securities in financial markets freed from essential regulation and public oversight.

Inequality is a disaster for public health. It leads to a breakdown in the social solidarity required for healthy communities.  Social epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson observes that among the 30 richest countries, "the USA has the highest homicide rates, the highest teenage pregnancy rates, the highest rates of imprisonment, and comes about 28th in the international league table of life expectancy,...because it also has the biggest income differences." The resulting competition for income and status erodes democracy and community, creates extreme physical and psychological stress harmful to human health, and drives excessive consumption and environmental abuse.

In high income countries like the United States, increasing economic equality through redistribution is far more important to increasing general well-being than growing aggregate economic output.