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5 December 2013

Why inequality matters to everyone



Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz , author of "The Cost of Inequality" (2012) said recently in an opinion piece in the New York Times,
"I see us entering a world divided not just between the haves and have-nots, but also between those countries that do nothing about it, and those that do.Some countries will be successful in creating shared prosperity — the only kind of prosperity that I believe is truly sustainable. Others will let inequality run amok. In these divided societies, the rich will hunker in gated communities, almost completely separated from the poor, whose lives will be almost unfathomable to them, and vice versa. I’ve visited societies that seem to have chosen this path. They are not places in which most of us would want to live, whether in their cloistered enclaves or their desperate shantytowns.”
If you would like to hear more from Joseph Stiglitz go to

In Australia, which likes to portray itself as the home of egalitarianism, inequality is growing.  In his recent book, "Battlers and Billionaires", Dr Andrew Leigh MHR quotes an OECD report from the late 2000s which finds that Australia has the ninth-highest level of inequality among 34 nations.  

Australia21 has partnered with The Australia Institute and Dr Leigh to host a roundtable on 31 January in Canberra to address the question:
How should Australia respond to the evidence of grwoing inequality in health and wealth?

This roundtable has been made possible by the generous support of  David Morawetz's  Social Justice Fund  which is a sub fund of the Australian Communities Foundation, ACT Chief Minister Department  and the Reichstein Foundation.

It will be attended by a diverse group of leading thinkers in this area.  

Professor Sharon Friel from the ANU  Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the ANU has written a background paper  which will be used as a starting point for the group's considerations.
If you would like to comment on this project please go to our website


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