Many people of faith have expressed concern over the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else. At the most recent General Convention, Resolution A094 was based calling on the church to stand for greater economic equality by lobbying for changes in the tax code. For many, income equality and a fairer distribution of the wealth of the nation are moral issues.
Turns out Angus Deaton, this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics, is concerned about the issue as well. One area of his research especially calls out the existence of gated communities as drivers of inequality and disengagement according to an article at the Atlantic’s CityLab site:
the Nobel winner recently decried “the trend for the world’s richest people to divorce themselves from government control by living inside gated communities and buying their own healthcare and police protection.”
Because these communities are spatially isolated from the negative health and social outcomes associated with poverty, they take no pains to solve the problem of inequality—and in some cases may even exacerbate it. Here’s an excerpt of Deaton’s argument from his 2013 book The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, via Vox:
image: photo by Mel Evans, from CityLab