The lottery of birth
The lottery of birth

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The lottery of birth

4.2.3 Inequality and the 1%

Described image
Figure 12 A horse drawn carriage passes Occupy London protesters outside St Paul’s Cathedral during the Lord Mayor’s Show on 12 November 2011 in London, England.

Professor Danny Dorling, geographer, a leading academic in the field of inequality in the UK gives a rather grim picture of current state of inequality in Britain in 2014, particularly wage inequality which was the highest in Europe in 2015 (Eurofound, 2015).

Dorling makes some interesting observations about the 1% (his latest book is Inequality and the 1%), about the kinds of occupations of people at this level of earnings and about the urgent need to redress the balance if a society is to thrive.

While inequality across the 99 per cent has reduced since the financial crash of 2008, what he calls the ‘super rich’, the top 1%, have pulled away. He suggests that the super rich 1 per cent have a peculiar perception of what they, and those around them earn and have, and that it is difficult to change people’s minds when perceptions are fixed.

He goes on to suggest that to see where the UK is heading, we should look either to the USA or back to England in the early twentieth century, when levels of inequality were very high.

You can watch an excerpt from a lecture by Danny Dorling in the further reading section.

You will think about the inequalities research by Sen, Piketty and Dorling in the next section.

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