Richard Wilkinson, is a professor emeritus of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School and co-founder of the U.K.-based think tank The Equality Trust. He has an interesting theory about narrowing the income gap in Canada and that merely taxing the rich more will not address the real problem.
From an article today on the Huffington Post:
Since his book the Spirit Level came out in 2009, many policymakers have started paying attention to the social epidemiology professor’s ideas. This week, amid a cross-Canada speaking tour, Wilkinson met with officials in the government of Ontario.
As one such official told HuffPost, the meeting was an attempt to understand Wilkinson’s research on poverty and income inequality.
“It is a different way of looking at the issue. He’s got very interesting conclusions, so it behooves us as policymakers to listen and to figure out how it actually feeds into the work we do,” the official said.”
All of which suggests that discussion about income inequality is becoming more mainstream in Canada, where the gap has grown significantly in recent decades. Though Canada remains far more equal than the U.S., the rich-poor divide is deepening at quicker pace.
When it comes to closing the gap, Wilkinson said the major barrier in developed countries is “a misguided self-interest among the very rich.
At the end of the article there is a slideshow demonstrating ten facts about income equality. These facts are discussed more fully at his website:
When looking at the role of different countries in international trade agreements it looks as if the proposals supported by more equal countries are less dominated by attempts to serve their own economic interests at the expense of other countries. Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands have also contributed many times more in total (not just per head) than has the USA to the World Trade Organisation’s Global Trust Fund set up to finance technical assistance to developing countries.
There are translations of the material into French and Italian.
There is a graph on the website that shows the percentage of national income spent on foreign aid over the gap in income equality. Canada lies somewhere in the middle with the US dead last. I wonder if this is what really needs to be recognized by all governments instead of spending so much time, money and effort on nonsense such as FBAR and FATCA.