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WPV Kerry "Bill Kerry" (London, UK)

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The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
by Richard Wilkinson
Edition: Hardcover

50 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hopeful manifesto and a call to action!, 11 Mar. 2009
I actually think this book has a rather hopeful message. Whilst the scale of the problems caused by inequality are vast and sobering, it is made clear by the authors (who are known to me) that relatively small moves towards greater equality can yield great benefits - and it doesn't really matter how you achieve that greater equality, just as long as you do. This has profound implications for politics showing that tax and spend is not the only solution, narrowing the gap in incomes before tax can work as well. Therefore, a real chance for a broad political consensus in favour of equality exists here - a hopeful message if ever there was one.

The book also points out that all the levers necessary to move towards more equal societies already exist and can easily be grasped given political will. We don't have to aim for utopia, we don't have to have a full-blown revolution to massively increase well-being and sustainability throughout the world - and not just the developed world. The authors point out that more equal developed countries are more nurturing and collaborative, so they give far more to the developing world in terms of overseas aid and score better on the Global Peace Index and are more likely to abide by international treaties.

This book poses the big questions about what it means to be human and what we now need to do to survive. These are the big ideas that the world's current leaders are failing to seize upon. This is much more than an academic book; it is a call to action.

Bill Kerry.

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