Via New York Times:
John Steinbeck observed that “a sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”If you ever found yourself wondering where the 'everyone gets a trophy' mentality comes from, it's from people like this.
That insight, now confirmed by epidemiological studies, is worth bearing in mind at a time of such polarizing inequality that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess a greater collective net worth than the bottom 90 percent.
There’s growing evidence that the toll of our stunning inequality is not just economic but also is a melancholy of the soul. The upshot appears to be high rates of violent crime, high narcotics use, high teenage birthrates and even high rates of heart disease.
That’s the argument of an important book by two distinguished British epidemiologists, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. They argue that gross inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments — and they cite mountains of data to support their argument.
Again, accepting the argument that Kristof is parroting here requires Americans not to be the least bit suspicious of those who actually re-distribute the wealth. The irony is that they become even more powerful and the problem Kristof is allegedly trying to resolve is exacerbated.