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Thank you for your illumnating post and you are correct about the problems with the US as well as the UK are about inequality of income. You can trace the decline in real wages for the majority of people in both countries almost exactly to the decline in collective bargaining (unions etc) and the rise of the financial sector and their ability to lobby with vast amounts of concentrated funds (bribes).

Not only does the inequality of income effect the economy but the actual quality of life; where people in Greece who earn much less median per capita than the US or the UK have a longer average lifespan. The following link is to a review of a book about the inequality of income by an English professor who has spent years researching the effects.

The title of the column is :Inequality kills
What counts is not wealth or poverty, says Polly Toynbee after reading Richard G Wilkinson's The Impact of Inequality, but your place on the social ladder

Link is :

http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1538373,00.html

The inequality of income is caused by the loss of the underlying ethos which is 'social justice'. Whether its healthcare, education, not caring for those less fortunate as long as I have mine; we have lost this cardinal principle of what used to be the goal of the US. The first step is to enact a 'Federal living minimum wage' as opposed to the minimum wage. It has been done in the US in a few different areas but it needs to be done nationally. Clean up the corruption; force the national and local media legally to have extensive debates broadcasted naionally and locally for all elections and try as best as possible to set small contributions and outlaw soft money. Otherwise, the present trend will destroy the US and UK societies and we will be back in the plantation owner/slave days with 1% of the societies controlling 99%. It is already up to to high a percentage.

by An American in London on Tue Dec 4th, 2007 at 04:50:25 AM EST

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