Forthcoming Meetings

Wednesday 2nd of May
Discussion of income inequality, Sheffield Fairness Commission and future campaigns, at the next Equality Group meeting.
7-9pm at Sheffield Quaker Meeting House

Wednesday 9th of May
Fairness Commission on poverty, with Richard Wilkinson (co-author of the Spirit Level) speaking. There will be an opportunity to meet up with Richard beforehand – venue still to be confirmed.
Pre-meet from 5pm, commission meeting from 6pm.

A Spirit Level for the Fairness Commission

A few of us went to the first Sheffield Fairness Commission armed with copies of the Spirit Level, which was mentioned by Danny Dorling and Jack Czauderna in their presentations of evidence. The meeting was very interesting, with good speakers and questions from the commission – although sadly there isn’t any chance for input from the plebs gallaries. Income inequality will be at the forefront in the next meeting, but it was good to see such a strong message in another theme. See the full report.

News and Links

“A great supply of money from the richest five per cent and a great demand to borrow among the remaining 95 per cent creates the type of debt burden we are seeing right now. The state has borrowed money, at home or abroad, to finance the consumption of the less affluent.” – an IMF economist outlines how inequality causes credit crunches

“fair is what provides the greatest average happiness. That principle is good for the majority of people. The problem with averages is that things can still be unfair for some. The majority might be deliciously happy because the minority get cooked up for them in a big pie.”, Fairness in the fabulous Now Then (I may be biased)…

“the highest average cash gain occurs in the second-richest tenth of the income distribution. As a percentage of income, the gain is roughly the same from just below the middle to just below the top of the income distribution, with the bottom and the very top gaining by less than this” – the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that the raising the personal tax allowance isn’t all that it has been spinned
Meanwhile, the minimum wage gets more minimal, with no increase for those below 21 and 11p for everyone else…

“Though the findings might seem to suggest that low social rank, or a decrease in social rank, can lead to reduced immune health, the team said it was “encouraging” that the effects can be counteracted by a change in the social environment.” – The latest research (albeit with monkeys) shows how social rank (and, for us, income inequality) impacts on health

“How many people know that 90 per cent of taxpayers in Britain could be better -off and the country could save almost £200 billion a year in pay and people would have differentials between their income levels which were no greater than those enjoyed in 1970?” – Danny Dorling proposes austerity for the rich

And finally…

With all the talk about bankers being paid too much, perhaps they should take heart that they were not viewed as negatively as after the 1930s crash (well that’s up to 2008 at least…)