Around a year ago I read a book which fundamentally changed my political and economic thinking. After reading The Spirit Level and how economic inequality harms society my views have changed dramatically. I even spoke at the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference about it and this was before the Occupy Wall Street type demonstrations had begun to happen.
I’ve always felt in my gut that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong and The Spirit Level proves it. Author Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.
Currently Scotland is deciding what kind of future it wants and this will include which economic model it wishes to follow. The instinct amongst most Scottish politicians is to go the Scandinavian route of redistribution via high taxes. Some countries like Sweden do well because they have ways of redistributing wealth but others like Japan do well because they don’t have smaller income differences before tax. Hope you enjoy this video.