Articles on Social inequality

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The Western Distributor project announced by the Andrews government will benefit Melbourne’s suburban residents in the west and north, but inner-city elites are mobilising against it. AAP/Melissa Meehan

Inner-city bias: the suburbs need a fair go

It's a project that creates benefits for Melbourne's western suburbs and the state as a whole. But the inner-city elite don't like it and recent experience suggests their opinion holds sway.
Tax policy appears to be one driver of inequality. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

What factors influence income inequality?

An analysis of what's known as the Gini coefficient offers some clues on what makes one society more unequal in terms of income than another.
Mapping health outcomes and life expectancy against train stations reveals stark inequalities across cities. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Your local train station can predict health and death

Where you live affects your health and life expectancy. This makes it possible to map health outcomes against train stations, so that you can readily see the inequalities across cities like Melbourne.
When our political institutions are market-driven, they risk becoming a democratic shell that no longer serves the people, as the European Union experience is showing. Theophilos Papadopoulos/flickr

Democracy that bows down to the market is a false compromise

Democracy’s problem is not the crisis but the triumph of capitalism. Democracy has become market-conforming, resulting in whole sections of society lacking meaningful representation.
Most of us can’t bend it like Beckham, for various reasons. But is that necessarily the worst thing? Reuters/Ben Nelms

Why equality of opportunity is neither possible nor desirable

Rather than hold on to the idea of equality of opportunity, it might be more accurate to say that we don’t really support it because it comes at too high a price.
Mixed-income developments replace Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Homes: Old Town Village West townhouses rise in front of the last remaining towers (since demolished) in this 2009 photograph.

Mixed income public housing: mixed outcomes, mixed-up concept

For decades, public housing stood as the most architecturally visible and politically stigmatized reminder of urban poverty in many American cities. Originally built to accommodate an upwardly mobile segment…
Better speech and brighter horizons. John Stillwell/PA Wire

Preschool attendance boosts language in disadvantaged children

All children with early language problems are at increased risk of struggling at school, and having reduced employment opportunities and life chances, but the risk of early language problems is disproportionately…
Activists dressed as musicians and wearing masks depicting leaders of the members of the G7 protest against wealth inequality in Brussels in June. Reuters

The wealthy suffer from an ‘empathy gap’ with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality

Wealth and income inequality have many causes, and it’s pretty much beyond dispute that any well-functioning capitalist society will have some degree of disparity between the richest and the poorest. It’s…

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