Spirit Level documentary: how economic inequality is bad for the world

Here's a 2-minute preview of "The Spirit Level," a documentary based on the the bestselling book about the way that income equality is better for society, and how 30 years of economic policy has made everything much, much worse. The doc is funded by a successful Kickstarter, but they're still looking for pre-orders.



  1. “The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone”
    Everyone?  Rich Uncle Pennybags disagrees.

    1. The truly galling thing is that Rich Uncle Pennybags would actually be better off in a world where he was less obscenely rich and others weren’t obscenely poor.

      It strikes me that perhaps part of the problem is that obscenity itself has been typecast, ghettoised into something conservatives feel about sex.

      Obscenity is real, it’s prevalent, has almost nothing to do with sex, and it’s plenty to get pissed off about.

  2. About twenty years ago, CBC’s Ideas program had a series of programs about health – the title of the series completely escapes me.

    They discussed that for heart disease, the only, single, solitary factor that had epidemioligists could confidently point was ‘the difference in income between the richest and the poorest people in your society’.  And that it held true for the rich as well as the poor.

    1. Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick (http://www.unnaturalcauses.org) first broadcast in 2008 had a premier episode (“In Sickness & In Wealth) going over much of this kind of ground with many of the top epidemiologists in the field.

  3. Headline: “income inequality is bad for the world”
    Paragraph: “income inequality is better for society”

    Can it be both?  Is one a typo?

  4. We have the greatest economic disparity in the US than we have ever had.  So why do the Republicans keep harping about how taxation and regulation is killing prosperity? I must be missing the point somewhere.

    1. There are a few points to that one, I think.

      1. Republican wingnuts are more concerned with perceptions than reality, evidenced by a blithe disregard for science. They live in a paranoid fantasy world constructed in an echo chamber.

      2. It’s arguable that if the majority of them were to become acquainted with the relevant facts, they’d still want to see more inequality rather than less, because of all the associated rhetoric that plays to the ‘rugged individualist’ shtick they’ve been indoctrinated with.

      3. Or, if you don’t want to risk over-intellectualising it, you can just write them off as evil fuckwits who’d cut off their nose to spite their face; more dominion isn’t enough.

      1. …My use of the word ‘dominion’ got me thinking:

        That’s precisely what Republicans are ostensibly not in favour of, but given the amount of privatised dominion that stems from the commercial-in-confidence Republican way of doing business, it seems that what they’re actually not in favour of is democracy.

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