The World We Want: Equality and Equity?

02/01/2013 at 11:51 am Leave a comment

The discussions about a better Ireland in a fairer world increasingly centre on the degree of inequality in our societies.

Some years ago, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Equality (!) and Law Reform famously claimed that inequality is inevitable, and indeed desirable. More recently, however, even the traditionally ‘laissez-faire’ World Bank found that too much inequality is not a good thing.

The World Bank stresses the difference between ‘equity’ (fairness in the sense of equality of opportunity and the avoidance of absolute deprivation) and ‘equality’ (the distribution of goods and income levels). However, the Bank also claimed that inequality is inherently a political issue that the bank, as an a-political organisation, should not be talking about.’

Others would argue that it is impossible to talk about sustainable development without becoming ‘political’. This Dóchas blog post argues that poverty by itself is political, and this article makes the case that a fairer Ireland requires a fairer world, too.

inequality

The UN’s research arm points to the fact that over the past 20 years, income inequality has worsened across the globe. In the book ‘The Spirit Level’, Pickett and Wilkinson famously showed that the problems facing poor communities are worse in societies with bigger income inequalities. In other words, greater equality makes societies stronger.

Others also found that the issue of Inequality should be at the heart of our discussions about the future global agreement on how to develop our societies:

And what do you think?

Let us know here: http://worldwewant.ie/join-the-conversation/share-ideas

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Entry filed under: MDGs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Irish EU Presidency – key websites Ireland’s EU Presidency is an opportunity to shape the thinking on how to end world poverty

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