Sunday, 26 February 2012

No Surprise Here…

All advance tickets have been snapped up for talk by a celebrated academic
Oh? On what?
… who believes that the inequality symbolised by bankers’ bonuses is at the root of almost every social problem.
Ah. Well, yes, of course they were snapped up.

Who doesn’t want to be told that it’s all someone else’s fault, and they should be held responsible?
Professor Richard Wilkinson, of Colton, near Tadcaster, who has travelled around the world speaking about his theory, is due to deliver his talk Inequality: The Enemy Between Us’to a sell-out audience at Clements Hall in South Bank tomorrow.

The academic suggests that the greater the gap between the rich and poor in a developed society, the worse off its people are overall.

Countries with higher levels of inequality, such as the USA, Britain and Portugal, suffer from a higher level of social problems including teenage pregnancy, crime rates, drug addiction, reduced life expectancy, mental illness and obesity, which has a negative impact on everyone within society, irrespective of wealth.

Countries without such a significant gap between rich and poor, such as Japan, Norway and Sweden, have lower rates of such social problems.
And we’ll just totally ignore the vast difference in history, and in social and cultural mores, between those two groups of countries. They can’t possibly have anything to do with it, right?
Speaking about bankers’ bonuses, Prof Wilkinson said: “The reason why we have become so unequal is those at the top have run away from the rest of us. It’s the rich running ahead and I think it has to be stopped. We have to deal with tax evasion. We also have to have employee representatives on company boards, as happens in most of Europe.

“The bonus culture is a reflection of a complete lack of democracy. These people feel they can do what they like and we must make them accountable.”
Do we make everyone accountable, then, prof, or just The Bankers?

Do we make the people who take out loans with loansharks accountable? People who overspend on their credit cards? People who lie about their income to get a mortgage?
The retired professor, who currently has a visiting professorship at the University of York, is the co-author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, along with Professor Kate Pickett, also of the University of York.
They have spoken around the world to audiences including religious groups, Government groups and charities.
Oh, I’m sure they have.

19 comments:

Antisthenes said...

I suggest it is unbridled socialism that is the root cause. Yes Norway, Sweden and Japan have a better track record but then there are multitude of reasons for that. Least of all is that they support free market capitalism and use the bounty from that to make a more equal society. Where as the UK left manipulate and hamper capitalism so that the conditions in the end only favours one section of society. As for the USA the living standards for all sections of society are much better than this idiot would have you believe although Obama is rapidly changing that with his socialist mind set. Anyone can use tractor stats to prove a pet theory when in fact they do nothing to give a proper picture of the actual situation which quite often are more complex and dependent upon a number of different factors.

Jiks said...

The problem is, we seem to be moving into the worst of both worlds, where high risk derivative gamblings wins by the banks are private, while the losses are taken on by the public via bailouts.

I know this won't be a popular opinion but a lot of our problems have been caused by the banks/politicians. The rules separating "investment" and retail banking were removed. The rules against derivative gambling were removed ... the banks promptly went nuts, created various massive bubbles, which then imploded and here we are today where every country is broke after bailing them out.

This is all going to end very badly.

Woman on a Raft said...

Clements Hall is a small building in York, not THE South Bank. The largest room seats 180 close-packed, the others are nearer to 30.

So it's not quite like filling the 02.

It's by no means clear that the tickets were been sold; "snapped up" may mean "given away to students".

You can get the presentation on DVD for £2, or watch it on Youtube.

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resources/video/inequality-the-enemy-between-us

(N.B. put half-bricks etc out of the way in case you experience terrible urge to chuck one. He's a graduate of the Richard Murphy school of presentation.)

The one idea I'm vaguely in favour of is that obesity could be halved. I'm taking this to mean my cellulite will be re-homed to Kiera Knightley.

James Higham said...

Professor Richard Wilkinson, of Colton, near Tadcaster, who has travelled around the world speaking about his theory

No relation to Ann Elk by any chance?

Gallovidian said...

It must be said that these banker chappies have never turned a sod or made a nail.

Anonymous said...

ahem http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=405805

Go after the vice chancellors, you worm, Wilkinson. No? Thought not.

Call me very rich Ed said...

Yes, the man is right: there is a huge gap growing between ordinary people and the greedy, grabbing rich.

Just look at who pulls in the top money. Journalists like Polly Toynbee, thespians like Sean Penn, politicians like any of the Liebore hoodlums (active or semi-retired), countless union leaders and self-satisfied dictators of left-wing countries... Yes, we have a huge problem with the difference in incomes.

But thankfully, the new rich are all socialists so they are really eager to share their wealth with us. However, must bea problem with Royal Mail as my fat share of all that caring, sharing lefty money must have got lost in the post.

Able said...

Oh let's not forget the extortionate amounts, that the caring-sharing academics who foist one lame excuse for education after another, like the 'professor are 'earning'!

I believe:

"that the inequality symbolised by bankers’ bonuses is at the root of almost every social problem."

can be changed to:

"that the inequality symbolised by lefty academics salaries is at the root of almost every social problem."

without any trouble and then actually have some truth to it

Lynne said...

When are we going to hear a lecture excoriating lefty academics who seek rent from taxpayers by stirring up righteously stupid class warriors?

Dick the Prick said...

Didn't the Japs get a little excitable in the 30's and 40's? I guess slavishly killing every other race just for kicks is equality but perhaps I need a powerpoint presentation to dispel my imperialist myopia or something like that.

Uncle Badger said...

Japan, Norway and Sweden are also tightly-knit homogeneous societies with little cultural diversity (to the point of being insular).

Still, perhaps the Prof is too clever to have thought of that.

Anonymous said...

"Inequality: The Enemy Between Us"

Academic in preaching to converted shocker. Ho hum. For all the damage that Brown's banking buddies have done, it's the enemy amongst us that concerns me more.

Somehow I sincerely doubt the same gullibles would be signing up to hear Robert Putnam's research.

Laban said...

To be fair, there probably IS a link, if not the one Prof Wilkinson would like to see. Japan is a monoethnic, monocultural society where social solidarity is high - witness the amazing recovery from the tsumani, a year on. It also has far lower wealth inequality.

Anonymous said...

The book "The Spirit Level", authored by this pair (Wilkinson and Pickett) was comprehensively "deconstructed" by "The Spirit Level Delusion" see link here www.amazon.co.uk/​Spirit-Level-Delusion-Fact-checking-ebook/dp/​B005JUPV6O

nuff said

Anonymous said...

"Japan, Norway and Sweden are also tightly-knit homogeneous societies with little cultural diversity (to the point of being insular)."

Take a look at the rape stats in Scandanavia, and then judge their success....

Anonymous said...

Are you sure norway and sweden are homogenous?
I thought they were righteously importing diversities at a good rate.
And suppresing dissent as is the custom.
Malmo?

Woodsy42 said...

How can this be? I was sure CO2 and global warming were responsible for all our social ills.

JuliaM said...

"Where as the UK left manipulate and hamper capitalism so that the conditions in the end only favours one section of society."

Indeed. The wrong one.

"The rules separating "investment" and retail banking were removed. "

Yup, that was a total disaster.

"It's by no means clear that the tickets were been sold; "snapped up" may mean "given away to students". "

Good point!

"Japan, Norway and Sweden are also tightly-knit homogeneous societies with little cultural diversity (to the point of being insular)."

Sadly, Sweden seems to be working on that bit. To their detriment.

JuliaM said...

"Japan is a monoethnic, monocultural society where social solidarity is high..."

Yes, it seems untouched by the diversity plague. I wonder why?

Perhaps we should lose a World War to find out?

"How can this be? I was sure CO2 and global warming were responsible for all our social ills."

:D