In the book “Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis” there is mention of another book entitled “The Spirit Level” by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett which I blogged on last year. The Spirit Level argues that high levels of income inequality increase what is know as psychosocial stress: the psychological and physical effects of comparing oursleves to others and feeling inferior. Wilkinson and Pickett suggest that psychological stress is a powerful and insidious force, worseneing problems like mental health and obesity throughout society. When added to the effects of material poverty, psychological stress is likely to have a greater repercussions forthose on low incomes. From the garph below countries with low inequality have less health and social problems – Finaland, Norway, Sweden, Japan. Countries with high inequality do badly – USA, Portugal, UK.