This video by Inequality Briefing shows – with cute and simple animation – how (in)equal the UK is today. The richest 20% have 60% of the wealth, while the poorest 20% have 0.6%! Pretty shocking, if you ask me. The three-minute video also shows what people think the actual distribution is, and what they think it should be in an ideal world, according to a recent survey of 2,000 UK citizens. On their website they say that inequality in Britain has been on the rise for 30 years now, and if it keeps going at this rate, we’ll have the inequality situation of the Victorian age by 2034.
As I wrote in my last post, high income inequality is associated with higher levels of numerous health and social problems and lower levels of trust, educational achievement and even life expectancy. A more equal society would be healthier and happier for everyone, even the rich. As the video shows, people think there should be a little bit of income inequality. It makes sense for jobs requiring specialist skills and lots of training to offer bigger salaries. It makes sense to reward people for hard work, and talent.
But it does not make sense to have the top fifth of a society 100 times richer than the bottom fifth.
It’s not fair, sure. But neither is it good for the country. This level of inequality is socially divisive and causes extreme class tension.
Let’s get equality on the policy agenda.