I recently sat down with Jonathan Pryke from the Development Policy Centre to talk about inequality and how developing countries can manage this important challenge as their economies grow. Here's a quick summary, but you can also listen to the full discussion here:
Inequality: should developing countries be worried? An interview with Andrew Leigh MP
by Jonathan Pryke and Andrew Leigh
I began by asking Andrew why he sees inequality as such an important issue:
I think inequality is a public good… I’ve always liked the John Rawls Veil of Ignorance way of thinking about this, where he asks you to imagine what sort of an income distribution you’d want if you were in utero and about to be born into a society where you didn’t know if you’d be born into the top 5th or the bottom 5th. Would you want the kind of Australia where the top 5th has 62% of the wealth and the bottom 5th has less than 1% of the wealth? If you knew that there was an equal probability of you ending up in either of those two quintiles, would you maybe want a more egalitarian distribution of income?
As honourable members know, Canberra is of course the best city in Australia.
It is the part of Australia which is the most egalitarian and the most generous. Canberrans are the most generous with their time and money. We are the sportiest. We have the highest rates of sporting participation. We are also the most equal part of Australia. So it is no great surprise to me—but it is, perhaps, to some other members of the House—that we have the best pharmacy in Australia.Read more