[ the actual title of this page:]
http://Great-Liberal-Insights.org/SocialEquilibrium.html"

 

Equilibrium:
society's best medicine

What is the single most important change that those of us who want to improve the world should be working on? The environment is crucial, so is arms control. Some would say that politics, war and peace, race relationships, are what matter most. Others believe that spirituality and/or religion are the keys to world improvement.
        This webpage was inspired by the work of British social scientists who used a book they called "The Spirit Level" to promote the case for what I personally believe might best be called "social equilibrium", i.e. the more fairly and equitably that any social entity's resources are distributed among its members, the better life will be in just about every respect, not just for the poorest or weakest members of that community, but even for its most powerful and most prosperous members.
        While this endeavor began in England, it has since been extended worldwide and now features - not only comparisons between different nations of the whole world, - but comparisons between the different states of the United States of America.
        Although several years have past since this page was published, its insights are as significant today as they were then.

In addition to the book, these scientists also maintain the EqualityTrust.org.uk web site where they have provided a wealth of information, including many of the outstanding charts that support the case made in their book.
        Before re-publishing the charts here, however, I took the liberty to make a few improvements, such as the font used on the names of the countries to make them more legible. (I wish I could have been able to do the same for the two-letter abbreviations for the states of the U.S.A., but that proved too difficult).
        Some of these charts may look very similar to others at first, but they differ either because they deal with states as opposed to countries, or because they emphasize the variations that occur among geographical entities as a result of the absolute amount of wealth in those entities,  as opposed to variations resulting from differing levels of distribution of wealth within entities.

Would you like a better future
for the children
of the world and/or your state ?

    [ Clicking on the blue underlined links below should bring you to that specific topic. Once visited, the links will become purple: ]
  1. See why the rate of infant mortality in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  2. See why the rate of infant mortality in each state isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.
  3. You would think, wouldn't you, that the the level of child well-being in each country would depend most on the wealth (average income) of each country.  But this graphic shows that it doesn't.
  4. See why the general well-being of children in each country is affected most by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  5. See why the rate of childhood violence in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  6. See why the Educational scores in each country aren't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  7. See why the school dropout rate in each state isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.
  8. See why the teenage birth rate in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  9. See why the teenage birth rate in each state isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.

    Would you like improved health
    in the world and/or your state ?

  10. See why the rate of obesity in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  11. See why the rate of mental illness in each country isn't affected by the amount of its wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.

    Would you like much less crime
    and less money wasted on imprisonment
    in the world and/or in your state ?

  12. See why the rate of drug abuse in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.
  13. See why the rate of imprisonment in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each country.
  14. See why the rate of imprisonment in each state isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.
  15. See why the murder rate in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each country.
  16. See why the murder rate in each state isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.

    How would you like to
    live longer & happier yourself ?

  17. See why as this graphic shows, one's lifespan isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of one's country.
  18. See why the rate Life expectancy in unequal States isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.
  19. See why the level of trust/distrust in one's country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each country.
  20. See why the level of trust/distrust in each state isn't affected by the amount of its wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.
  21. See why the amount of upward social mobility available in each country isn't affected by the amount of its wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among its inhabitants.
  22. See why the rate of Innovation rates in each state isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of each state.

    The BIG Picture (Summary)

  23. You would think, wouldn't you, that the level of social problems in each country would depend most on the wealth (average income of those communities? But this graphic shows that it doesn't.
  24. You would think, wouldn't you, that the overall extent of health and other social problems in states would vary with the average income of each state's inhabitants? But this graphic shows that it doesn't.
  25. Instead, as this graphic shows, the extent of social problems in each state is affected much more by the distribution of wealth among the inhabitants of each state.
  26. This graph shows the time line of how the gap between the rich and poor has been increasing over the past 30 years or so in the USA.
  27. This graph shows the time line of how the gap between the rich and poor has been increasing over the past 30 years or so in the Great Britain.
  28. Finally, here is the excellent summary the authors themselves provide in their book, "The Spirit Level".
  29. Here are the ultimate sources for the data illustrated in the graphs on this page and in "The Spirit Level" book.

from MOST down to LEAST Balance / Equilibrium : Income inequality world-wide


1) Worldwide, Infant mortality rates
are higher in more unequal countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the extent of infant mortality in those nations.

Infant mortality in unequal nations

2) Stateside, Infant mortality is
are higher in more unequal states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and
the rate of infant mortality in those states.

Infant mortality in unequal states

3) Worldwide, Child well-being in rich countries
is unrelated to average incomes

The well-being of children is not that much greater in countries with greater average incomes than in poorer countries.

Child well-being unrelated to wealth in Countries

4) Worldwide, child well-being
is better in countries with the least income disparities.

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the extent of child well-being in those nations.

Child well-being suffers in unequal nations.jpg

5) Worldwide, children experience
more conflict in more unequal societies

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and a variety of childhood violence in those nations.

Childhood troubles rates higher in unequal Nations

6) Worldwide, educational scores
are higher in more equal rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and educational scores in those nations.

7) Stateside, more children
drop out of high school
in more unequal states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and the school dropout rate in those states.

Dropout rate higher in unequal States

8) Worldwide, teenage birth rates
are higher in more unequal rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the teenage birth rate in those nations.

Teenage BirthRates in unequal nations

9) Stateside, teenage pregnancy rates
are higher in more unequal US states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and the teen pregnancy rate in those states.

Teen pregnancy higher in unequal States

10) Worldwide, more adults are obese
in more unequal rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the obesity rate in those nations.

11) Worldwide, the prevalence of mental illness
is higher in more unequal rich countries

There doesn't seem to be much of a connection between the wealth (average income) of the various nations, and the extent of mental health problems in those nations :

Mental illness in unequal nations

12) Worldwide, drug use is
more common in more unequal countries

The rate of drug abuse in each country isn't affected by the amount of wealth, as much as by the distribution of that wealth among the inhabitants of those countries.

Drug Abuse worst in unequal nations

13) Worldwide, rates of imprisonment are
higher in more unequal countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the rate of imprisonment in those nations.

Imprisonment rates higher in unequal Nations

14) Stateside, more people are
in prison in more unequal US states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and the rate of imprisonment in those states.

Imprisonment rates higher in unequal States

15) Worldwide, homicide rates are
higher in more unequal rich countries

       Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and murder rates in those nations.

Murder rates higher in unequal nations

16) Stateside, homicides are
more common in more unequal US states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and the murder rates in those states.

Murder rates higher in unequal States

17) Worldwide, life expectancy is
longer in more equal rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and one's lifespan in those nations.

Equality good for longevity

18) Stateside, life expectancy is
related to inequality in US states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and one's life expectancy in those states.

Life expectancy in unequal States

19) Worldwide, levels of trust
are higher in more equal rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the level of social trust in those nations.

Levels of trust in unequal nations

20) Stateside, levels of trust
are higher in more equal US states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and the level of social trust in those states.

Trust levels better in equal States

21) Worldwide, social mobility
is higher in more equal rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the rate of upward social mobility in those nations.

Social mobility rate higher in unequal Nations

22) Worldwide, more equal societies
are more innovative

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the rate of Innovation in those nations.

Innovation rates higher in unequal Nations

23) Worldwide, health and social problems are not related
to average income in rich countries

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various nations of the world and the extent of social problems in those nations.

Nations Social Problems vs Wealth

24) Stateside, health and social problems are
only weakly related to average income in US states

There doesn't seem to be much of a connection between a state's health or social problems and the wealth (average income) of states.

Social problems in States unrelated to wealth

25) Stateside, health and social problems
are related to inequality in US states

Notice how the trend line suggests a strong correlation between the degree of income imbalance in the various states of the union and the extent of health and other social problems in those states.

Social problems in unequal States

26) In the USA the widening gap between the incomes
of the richest and poorest 10% 1975 2 2004

The two graphs below provide a historical perspective of what has happened over the past 30 years or so in the world's two leading English speaking nations:

Widening Income Gap USA

27) in Britain, the widening gap between the incomes
of the richest and poorest 10% 1975 2 2005–2006

Widening Income Gap UK

28) What greater contribution could we make
to the world's well-being than the following ?

"The relationships between inequality and the prevalence of health and social problems shown in earlier chapters suggest that if the United States was to reduce its income inequality to something like the average of the four most equal of the rich countries (Japan, Norway, Sweden and Finland), the proportion of the population feeling they could trust others might rise by 75 per cent – presumably with matching improvements in the quality of community life, rates of mental illness and obesity might similarly each be cut by almost two-thirds, teenage birth rates could be more than halved, prison populations might he reduced by 75 per cent, and people could live longer while working the equivalent of two months less per year."   (p. 161)

Concern about social imbalance is not new. Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say about it :"The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislatures cannot invest too many devices for subdividing property… Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on."

( http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=967 ):

The inspiration for this web page is the outstanding work
of EqualityTrust and the book in which
their extensive research was published:

SpiritLevelTrust

Sources for The Spirit Level

There is much more where this came from, at
Great Liberal insights
and/or
Liberals Like Christ
Contact  
email image
Ray@Great-Liberal-Insights.org