Playlist: The roots — and effects — of income inequality

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Explore these TEDTalks that discuss income inequality — what causes it, the brutal effects, and how we might fight it.

Start with this talk from Richard Wilkinson, whose 2009 book The Spirit Level gathers decades of research to draw this conclusion: Societies with more income inequality suffer — in utterly predictable ways — more than societies that are more equal.

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(And read the TED Blog’s in-depth Q&A with Wilkinson, in which he talks about the moment he realized economic inequality was a measureable problem.)

Next, watch Van Jones’ powerful talk on a specific outcome of economic injustice: If you’re poor, your neighborhood gets trashed.

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For a followup, watch Majora Carter’s classic TEDTalk “Greening the Ghetto” — which shows the effects of income inequality on her home in the South Bronx, and offers triple-bottom-line solutions for raising incomes and reducing environmental damage.

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And do not miss Bryan Stevenson’s TEDTalk about economic injustice and its consequences — with a bold call for everyone to look honestly at the problem: “We have a system of justice in [the US] that treats you much better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.”

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Find more talks on inequality >>