Is Australia fair enough?
And why does inequality matter anyway? In Battlers and Billionaires, Andrew Leigh weaves together vivid stories, interesting history and powerful statistics to tell the story of inequality in this country. This is economics writing at its best.
From egalitarian beginnings, Australian inequality rose through the nineteenth century. Then we became more equal again, with inequality falling markedly from the 1920s to the 1970s. Now, inequality is returning to the heights of the 1920s.
Leigh shows that while inequality can fuel growth, it also poses dangers to society. Too much inequality risks cleaving us into two Australias, occupying fundamentally separate worlds, with little contact between the haves and the have-nots. And the further apart the rungs on the ladder of opportunity, the harder it is for a kid born into poverty to enter the middle class.
Battlers and Billionaires sheds fresh light on what makes Australia distinctive, and what it means to have – and keep – a fair go.