Equality, a true soul food (from Nick Kristof)

“Two distinguished British epidemiologists, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett … argue that gross inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments — and they cite mountains of data to support their argument….

“The heart of their argument is that humans are social animals and that in highly unequal societies those at the bottom suffer from a range of pathologies. For example, a long-term study of British civil servants found that messengers, doormen and others with low status were much more likely to die of heart disease, suicide and some cancers and had substantially worse overall health….

“So as we debate national policy in 2011 — from the estate tax to unemployment insurance to early childhood education — let’s push to reduce the stunning levels of inequality in America today. These inequities seem profoundly unhealthy, for us and for our nation’s soul”

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