Equality is something that 90% of people in the street would probably say they were in favour of. Like the cliché "motherhood and apple pie" it's hard to be against it. But what do we mean by the term, and what would it's achievement look like at a local, national or global level? Is it worth working towards? Is it really desirable? Is it even a coherent notion?
At present the world's resources and political power are shared out in such a way as to massively favour rich Western countries like ours. The average person in the ten richest countries of the world spends in a single week more than those in the poorest ten earn in a year. And even in rapidly growing economies like India greater prosperity is allied with increasing inequality. Do we really want to even things out and just have our rightful share?
Should we conclude that we don't in fact believe in reducing inequality, but simply want to be attached to the moral intent without any serious plan to deliver it? Is there an economic solution that can enable greater prosperity but reduce inequality? Or must we urgently redouble our efforts to rectify the situation, accepting radical changes in our lifestyles?
In a particularly fascinating discussion hosted by the Institute of Art and Ideas Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, New Statesman journalist and author of Financialisation Grace Blakeley, and influential UK Labour MP and leadership candidate Lisa Nandy examine our commitments to global equality.
RUNNING TIME OF FILM: 48 minutes 7 seconds approximately
1. The Pitch
Grace Blakeley ~ Global inequality is sustained by powerful international institutions ~ 02:24
Lisa Nandy ~ We need a global system that works in the interests of working people ~ 07:16
Joseph Stiglitz ~ The global economy is weaker when there is more inequailty ~ 11:40
2. The Debate
Theme One: Should governments privilege their citizens over the global population? ~ 16:40
Theme Two: Is global equality actually desirable? ~ 33:18
Theme Three: Are we moving toward a world that is more or less equal? ~ 41:08