The Equality Effect - NI 504 - July/August 2017
The Equality Effect
A note from the editor
Holding on to hope
Why should we hold out any hope for greater equality when the very richest people in the world are taking more and more? Pessimistic reactions are commonplace. But there is often great pessimism just at the point when a great injustice becomes apparent – when it becomes widely accepted that it is an injustice and people start to correct it.
The evidence that inequality is harmful comes largely from the rich world. In the 1960s affluent countries were so similar that it was not possible to see the negative effects of greater inequality. But since then some have become much more unequal, providing us with outcomes that illustrate the harm so well.
Today, for many people – especially in the most unequal of countries such as the US, Brazil, the UK and South Africa – the idea that your children and their children might live more equitable lives can seem like a pipe-dream. But evidence from the more equal affluent nations – as well as from a growing number of poorer countries where inequalities are now falling – shows what is possible. This evidence is fully laid out in my new book The Equality Effect.
Elsewhere in the magazine Ana Palacios’ remarkable photo reportage from Togo and Benin brings to life efforts to ensure a safer future for trafficked children. And our Making Waves profile of Indian activist Prafulla Samantara demonstrates how not giving up can sometimes bear fruit.
Danny Dorling for the New Internationalist co-operative.