The Price of Inequality – Part II

November 2nd, 2012

This is the second in our series on the price of inequality. This week we explore the impact on societies where the gap between the top and bottom of the economic system is great. We find that social challenges, from high rates of incarcerations to greater infant mortality rates to obesity, abound as the gap widens. This phenomenon is true whether we look at it between developed countries or among the 50 U.S. States. We also look at the impact of inequality on the U.S. Educational system. Finally, we talk with a former Canadian prime ministerial candidate to understand what there is in Canada’s societal model that may help us demand the best solution for the U.S.

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Richard Wilkinson

Richard is a British researcher of social inequalities in health and the social determinants of health. He is Professor Emeritus of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham. He is also Honorary Professor at University College London and Visiting Professor at University of York.

He is best known for his book, with Kate PickettThe Spirit Level, first published in 2009, which claims that societies with more equal distribution of incomes have better health, fewer social problems such as violence, drug abuse, teenage births, mental illness, obesity, and others, and are more cohesive than ones in which the gap between the rich and poor is greater.

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William Schmidt

William is a University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University. His current writing and research concerns issues of academic content in K- 12 schooling, teacher preparation and the effects of curriculum on academic achievement.

He is co-author of Inequality for All: The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools. William  is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

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Ed Broadbent
Ed is the founder of the Broadbent Institute. The Broadbent Institute arose from Ed’s concern for the impact of inequality in Canada. He was a university professor when he ran and won election to the Canadian House of Commons, in which he served for 21 years. He is the former leader of the New Democratic Front Party, which he lead for four national elections.

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