The Spirit Level Delusion
There is a sad little book doing the rounds at the moment: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better arguing for "more progressive income and property taxes and more generous benefits, we also need policies to reduce differences in incomes before taxes and benefits. That means higher minimum wages, more generous pensions, running the national economy with low levels of unemployment, better education and retraining policies, increasing the bargaining power of trade unions."
"Preventing excessively high incomes and concentrations of wealth at the top is as important as pulling up the incomes at the bottom, and the first clearly provides the means for the second."
If we did this in the UK:
- Murder rates would halve
- Mental illness would reduce by two thirds
- Obesity would halve
- Imprisonment would reduce by 80%
- Teen births would reduce by 80%
- Levels of trust would increase by 85%
Unsurprisingly among the candidates at the election Claire Perry - Devizes Con - signed the Equality Pledge to work towards this nirvana.
The Lab-Lib-Celt Alliance loves it because it is "Scientifically Proven" by "Real Scientists". Who would be so cruel as to disagree?
Christopher Snowden that is who. He has been Fact-checking the Left's New Theory of Everything
And he has written a book "The Spirit Level Delusion" which will be published on 17th May 2010.
The book launch will be held at the Institute of Economic Affairs on 11th May at 6.30pm. To attend please RSVP here.
I have read the book, not only is it comprehensive in its demolition, it is well written, amusingly thorough and easy to digest. Even El Clegg would be able to understand it. I will send a copy to my new "Conservative" MP, though whether Ms Perry will be able to grasp its evidence is an open question
We are going to hear a lot more about how limiting growth and reducing inequality will make everyone happier and how we must legislate to make this happen. You need the evidence to show it is guff, you need this book.