08 February 2011

Debating the Spirit Level

Exploring the idea that economic growth no longer makes us happier or healthier, but reducing inequality does...

Sourced from
RSA, 2 February 2011

Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson, Peter Saunders and Christopher Snowdon debate the influential book The Spirit Level and ask whether the benefits of egalitarianism can be statistically proven?


  1. The Spirit Level laid out thirty years of research beautifully; it's the attempt to justify greed that is ugly and does not hold up under scrutiny. For, if you travel into the inner city of any major US or UK city, you see the despair in the eyes of children who know that they are being discriminated against because the size of their parent's wallets is too small. Children are not born with despair in their eyes over lack of money.

    Your attempt to water down Wilkinson's research [and denigrate it] can only be likened to the Grinch who steals Cindy Lu's tree pretending he's going to "fix" it.

    In sum, it is clear by this symposium that you simply do not want to help your fellow man and no amount of statistics will cause you to think in other than a competitive manner.

    Pound your chest and steal the food from your neighbor's cave; it's all you know.

  2. Hi there

    I share stories I find on this blog, and posted this video precisely to highlight how the writers of the book refuted the claims made against their research, and - given there has been criticism directed against the book - its important to post this to show how they countered these claims.

    If your comments are directed at me personally, I find them a little aggressive (especially since I actually agree with your perspective), and think you might need to direct them to those in this clip who were challenging The Spirit Level.


Please leave your comment here. Please note these stories are posted for information rather than for debate; if you wish to disagree with something posted, no problem, but since I post both things that I do and don't support, it would be appreciated if the criticism was about the issue.