Monday, October 31, 2011

Correllation between income inequality and social problems

In this video, British sociologist Richard Wilkinson argues that there is a relationship between income inequality (the gap between the rich and the poor) and lots of social problems, like violence, unhappiness, and even mental illness.

Given that the income inequality in Guatemala is so great (the rich are REALLY rich and the poor are REALLY poor), what do you think of the argument set forth in this video?


  1. I was looking around for Guatemala's rankings in income inequality, and I was able to find some information in this website (I don't know if it is the most reliable, I probably wasn't looking hard enough):

    According to this page, Guatemala ranks at #13 in the list of countries with the highest income inequality. The richest 20% are roughly 15 times more wealthy than the poorer 20% of the country.

    I was happy when I watched this video, not because of the fierce problems that Mr. Wilkinson presents, but the fact that it's the one of the only sound answers to the questions I've had concerning the inequality that I see in Guatemala, and in my native country, other than "there's just too much poverty there."

  2. Edie,

    I should really put you in touch with my friend Deva, who lives in Washington DC. Not only is she married to the smartest person I know and is super crazy smart herself, she also focuses a great deal of her time and energy on transitional justice issues (the connections between inequalities and social problems like Mr. Wilkinson addresses here). She's the one who shared this video with me and she is certainly not someone who just throws up their hands and says, "there's just too much poverty here."

  3. You he kinda looks like Mr.Rutherford a british mr.Rutherford.