The Bad Society

by Robert Skidelsky Robert Skidelsky, a member of the British House of Lords, is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University. 20.07.2012


Since the late 1970s, the post-tax income of the richest fifth has increased five times as fast as the poorest fifth in the US, and four times as fast in the UK.........

....concentration on economic growth is an extraordinarily inefficient way to increase general prosperity, because it means that an economy must grow by, say, 3% to raise the earnings of the majority by, say, 1%.........

The attitude of indifference to income distribution is in fact a recipe for economic growth without end, with the rich, very rich, and super-rich drawing ever further ahead of the rest. This must be wrong for moral and even practical reasons. In moral terms, it puts the prospect of the good life perpetually beyond reach for most people. And, in practical terms, it is bound to destroy the social cohesion on which democracy – or, indeed, any type of peaceful, contented society – ultimately rests.

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