There’s a book I’ve heard about that I’m hoping helps push the inequality awareness barrow a little further this year.
Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis by Max Rashbrooke is due out in May. The ideas surrounding the inherent unhealthiness (social, but also actually physical & mental) is slowly (much slower than the UK) getting traction here. The Living Wage campaign will no doubt feed into that as well. I hope this book pushes things a bit further so we can start making sure that all parties present policies that are socially sustainable, rather than just about maximising GDP and minimising government debt.
Treasury’s thinking would appear to need a bit more work, as they seems to equate equity with social mobility. Social mobility is in itself a good thing, but having some people up high and some people down low is still injustice, even if they can switch places with their parents. The greater point that increased mobility is always (so far) a consequence of improved inequality also seems to have escaped them – despite the obviousness that the wealthy will be able to afford better education, nutrition, societal participation and all those other lovely -tions that mean you’re far more likely to succeed in life.
But hey, it’s great to see that neo-liberal bulwark start to think a little outside the square…