Publications, opinions, and speeches
Bleeding Hearts and Heads
Published on 12/08/2011
There is no excuse for the shocking violence taking place on the streets of London. The rioters and looters have destroyed the livelihoods and lives of many innocent people. While there are no excuses, there certainly are explanations for these angry rampages. For years, a burgeoning body of international literature has been warning about the potential unrest bubbling beneath the surface of so-called “prosperous” societies. Exhaustive evidence from around the world leads to the same conclusion: Extreme inequality is bad for both individuals and nations. Governments have a crucial role to play in fighting the growing gap. Fortunately, there are several key levers at their disposal to tackle the problem in the form of income security programs and a progressive income tax system. Implementing measures that target social exclusion is equally important. A sense of exclusion derives from feelings of limited opportunity. Those who write off social exclusion as a “wooly concept” of concern only to bleeding hearts must now pay attention − to the bleeding heads on the streets. Confronting racism and systemic discrimination is a key step. Decent affordable housing is a long-acknowledged need. Jobs, recreational opportunities and a voice in local decisions all are vital remedies to tackling social exclusion. The solutions must go beyond governments to involve the private sector, voluntary organizations and citizens. At the end of the day, bleeding heads are everyone’s business.
ISBN – 1-55382-542-X