Danny Dorling, Author, “Peak Inequality” Interview

Interview by Project Twist-It. A few years back I started using the phrase “peak inequality,” because it seemed as if the USA had reached a point where the inequality of wealth, income, and well-being of our people (measured by health conditions, lifespans, quality of housing and so forth) could not get any worse.

(Update, August 2022: We have all learned from the Covid pandemic that indeed, the peak inequality situation could indeed get worse. Much worse, it turned out).

Out of curiosity I used some search engines searching on the phrase “peak inequality.” Turns out that there was material available in the social-sciences literature, including a book with that same title, “Peak Inequality” by Professor Danny Dorling at Oxford University in the UK. So I began to search up his work, and found that he has, besides the book, a lot of material readily available on YouTube. Which is where I found this brief video which explains some key concepts of his diagnosis of the problem of the UK and USA, which he calls ” a pair of twins ” in terms of nations with very similar conditions being endured by our respective people. So here is a brief interview done by “Project Twist-It” a few years back. It should consume less than 10 minutes of your time to watch.

Key Take-Aways:

“The US and the UK are remarkably similar when it comes to poverty and inequality. Amongst the richest nations in the world, these are the two largest countries which are the most economically unequal, that have the highest rates of poverty. They’re almost like a pair of twins.”

“If you look at the take of the best-off one percent, in the United States it’s about 20% of all income; in the UK, it’s about 15%. Nowhere else, of any size in the rich world, touches these two countries in terms of how much the very best-off take.

If you look at the incomes on which the very poorest people are living, compared to the average, these are the two countries where you’re really living a kind of parallel, separate life, if you’re in the bottom 20 or 30 percent. You’re not like average people, and average people are not like better-off people. And better-off people are not like the one percent.