8 October 2012

Why tackling inequality in the current financial situation remains important

Two different views and researches on the importance of cohesion and reducing inequalities. A study conducted by NCoC in partnership with other organisations, explores the relationship between civic engagement and economic resilience. It finds that the density and type of nonprofit organizations in a community, as well as its social cohesion, are important predictors of that community’s ability to withstand unemployment in a recession. The study identifies two main types of civic health that seem to matter most. One is the role of nonprofit organizations. The number of nonprofits per capita and the degree to which they directly engage local residents are both related to the unemployment rate. The other factor is social cohesion: interacting with friends and neighbors. Each type of civic engagement is separately valuable for preventing unemployment increases.
Nobel Prize winner and previous World Bank chief economist, Prof. Joseph Stiglitz was interviewed by the  German weekly The Spiegel on the raising inequality in the United States:  "the American dream has become a myth. The life chances of a young US citizen are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in any other advanced industrial country for which there is data. The belief in the American dream is reinforced by anecdotes, by dramatic examples of individuals who have made it from the bottom to the top -- but what matters most are an individual's life chances. The belief in the American dream is not supported by the data." In June, Stilglitz published a book on the same topic "The price of inequality: how today's divided society endangers our future". Stiglitz focus on the financial and econonimical aspects leading to inequality, but he uses several health examples in his book.