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Reply #64: The "truth" of the matter is the OPPOSITE of that [View All]

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #53
64. The "truth" of the matter is the OPPOSITE of that
This interview with Edward Wolff, Professor of Economics at NYU illustrates that for us:

MM: Apart from the absolute level of wealth of people at the bottom of the spectrum, why should inequality itself be a matter of concern?

Wolff: I think there are two rationales. The first is basically a moral or ethical position. A lot of people think it is morally bad for there to be wide gaps, wide disparities in well being in a society.I think there are two rationales. The first is basically a moral or ethical position. A lot of people think it is morally bad for there to be wide gaps, wide disparities in well being in a society.

If that is not convincing to a person, the second reason is that inequality is actually harmful to the well-being of a society. There is now a lot of evidence, based on cross-national comparisons of inequality and economic growth, that more unequal societies actually have lower rates of economic growth. The divisiveness that comes out of large disparities in income and wealth, is actually reflected in poorer economic performance of a country.

Typically when countries are more equal, educational achievement and benefits are more equally distributed in the country. In a country like the United States, there are still huge disparities in resources going to education, so quality of schooling and schooling performance are unequal. If you have a society with large concentrations of poor families, average school achievement is usually a lot lower than where you have a much more homogenous middle class population, as you find in most Western European countries.

So schooling suffers in this country, and, as a result, you get a labor force that is less well educated on average than in a country like the Netherlands, Germany or even France. So the high level of inequality results in less human capital being developed in this country, which ultimately affects economic performance.

More: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/America/Wealth_Divide...

(This in addition to poorer health outcome and higher crime rates).
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