Why income inequality is bad news for all income levels
With most people still struggling from the Great Recession, it has baffled many a mind that rather than focusing their legislative efforts on creating jobs, folks in Washington decided to raise an almighty stink about a debt ceiling they repeatedly raised in the past with nary a blink of an eye. One of the biggest sticking points has been a refusal to raise taxes on any income level while cuts to the programs serving those who have seen their income dwindle over the last decade are sitting right smack in the middle of the table.
Ironically enough, the refusal to tax the rich at a higher level will do them no favors as research shows that the greater income disparity a nation has, the greater the suffering at all income levels in that society. If you think about it, if our economy can be impacted by a debt default in Greece, is it that unreasonable to think our lifestyle would be affected by suffering across the tracks?
Yves Smith at Salon.com takes a look at the numerous studies that have shown not only does money not buy happiness but it can’t even guarantee a healthier existence when those around you are suffering. As Michael Prowse at the Financial Times explained after his observation that while rich Americans live longer than poor, on average, citizens of less stratified countries like Greece live longer than Americans:
Unequal societies, in other words, will remain unhealthy societies – and also unhappy societies – no matter how wealthy they become. Their advocates – those who see no reason whatever to curb ever-widening income differentials – have a lot of explaining to do.
Governing for all.Posted by Kate Rinsema