A good companion to Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century is The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better written in 2009 by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson. It provides a discussion of several national qualities of life measures and how it relates to the degree of income inequality in a country.
Please look at these 12 plots showing correlations between 12 factors (y-axis) and income inequality (x-axis) with 23 “developed” countries. The twelve factors compared to income inequality are:
Teenage Birth Rate
Health and Social Issues (list given)
While direct causation is difficult to prove, factors that have high correlations often vary together vs time feeding off each other.
The US scores the 2nd highest in income inequality (Singapore greater).
The US scores the worst (what most people would say is worse) in 8 out of the 12 factors (of the 4 that we were not worst on, 2 we were very close to being the worst).
Care to guess where we are not near the bottom? - no peeking.
Want to bring up other factors where the US might not fair so badly? Please do - bring DATA.
I have not given up on America but neither am I in denial of these facts. And I’m advocating massive change.