The Spirit Level Documentary
Posted on: Thursday 21st June 2012
This is your chance: the film which will change the political debate and make the world a better place. Its message: equality works. Tax the bankers, cut the pay of the people at the top and pay more to the nurses, the cleaners, the MacDonald’s worker, the supermarket check-out staff, (well, let’s be frank – 90% of us) and the world will be a happier place, the economy will be more successful and we will live longer.
The gap between rich and poor is at its highest level for 30 years. Over the last year there have been protests from Cairo to New York to London - now it's time for action, and a documentary is the most powerful way we can raise awareness and mobilise people.
WHAT IS THE SPIRIT LEVEL?
“The Spirit Level” is an award-winning book which uses rigorous analysis of 25 years of research to show how a more equal society is better for all of us, including the rich. It shows how nearly all social ills - stress, poor educational performance, high crime rates, unwanted teenage pregnancies - are more common in those societies with a big gap between rich and poor.
It has been published in over 20 countries, has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK and won first prize in the Bristol Festival of Ideas. Lynsey Hanley in the Guardian said, It’s impossible to overstate the implications of (this) thesis", The Economist stated “It is a sweeping claim, yet the evidence, here painstakingly marshalled, is hard to dispute”. The New Statesman listed it as one of their top ten books of the decade. It’s impact has been so great that it has provoked numerous attacks from organisations that support low taxes for the rich such as the Taxpayers’ Alliance (“we oppose all tax rises”) and Policy Exchange (“the most influential think tank on the right”)
WHY IS EQUALITY IMPORTANT?
Inequality has suddenly become an issue politicians and commentators are talking and writing about, even the International Monetary Fund. Min Zhu, a deputy managing director of the IMF said in November 2011: “We see concerns about the link between tax and social justice almost everywhere we look. In the Occupy movement; in the Arab spring; in the debates on George Bush’s tax cuts in the U.S., on how to distribute the pain of austerity in Europe.” Min was saying this at a time when the IMF published a report saying that taxes should be used to reduce inequality, which their report showed was bad for economic growth.
The argument is being heard right now, with battles over austerity in Greece, and Obama saying “no challenge is more urgent” than inequality in the US.