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Is inequality to blame for all social ills?

There is a growing academic and even political consensus about how damaging inequality, not just poverty, can be. But things may not be as simple as they seem

The Spirit Level By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (Allen Lane, £20)

Unjust Rewards By Polly Toynbee and David Walker (Granta, £7.99)

Francis Bacon once said that money is like muck: of no use unless it is equally spread. It’s a view that would be wholly endorsed by all four of the authors under review, although for rather different reasons.

For Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, whose The Spirit Level has been making policy waves on both sides of the Atlantic, the problem with inequality is not so much its unfairness as its effects on the wider society.…

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