On Saturday The Equality Trust held its first ‘Inequality Today’ event. The event included some fantastic insights into the state of inequality in the UK in 2013, with presentations by Professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson as well as Danny Dorling. 

Kate Pickett discussed new research into the effects on economic inequality on health and social outcomes. She highlighted research that shows that people are happier in more equal societies and more agreeable in more equal US states. She also pointed towards the extraordinary rise in narcissism as a result of growing inequality. 96% of Americans think they are above average drivers, compared to just 66% of people in Sweden, a far more equal society. Kate also commented on the increasing number of economists now looking at the link between inequality and economic crises. 

Richard Wilkinson continued this theme by mentioning the increased attention that inequality is now receiving, even from established central organisations. He mentioned that the EU, UN, WHO and ILO as well as many others had asked for talks on ienquality. Richard also argued that the political pendulum in this country is swinging back towards a broader public and political concern with inequality. He argued, for example, that most people now accept their boss may earn more than them, but not hundreds of times more, as is often the case. Richard finished by calling for the extension of democracy into the economic life. Richard’s presentation can be found here

And Danny Dorling delivered ‘Sandcastles in the Sky,’ a devastating presentation on the link between property and inequality. Danny noted that the UK now has the most unequal housing distribution on record, with the richest 10% having five times as many rooms per person as the poorest 10%. He also highlighted the huge increase in children in private rental homes in recent years, and the fact that many had found their families regularly moved on by landlords looking for higher rents, with severe consequences for those children being uprooted.  

Thanks to all our speakers and the many attendees for making the event a success. 

The Equality Trust staff