The folks behind the new book, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, think so. The below video and the study it promotes make the bold claim that there's one thing that increases almost all social problems in developed countries – income inequality. Apparently, they have 30 years worth of research to back it up, here's a summary.
The book begs some important question from Shareable's point of view. For instance, how relevant is this research as our concept of wealth shifts away from the material to the experiential? And is it possible to the get the benefits of prosperity without money, debt, and consumption? And how to reduce income inequality? Buy limiting pay or through taxes or a peer-to-peer solution like Openyear? Sharing is likely part of the mix whatever the case. However, the earth has to be part of the equation too. All prosperity rests on an ecological foundation. We're already using ecological services at around 1.4 times faster than they can be replaced. We'll quickly exhaust our resource base if the lifestyles of the developed world are adopted globally. An economic system is needed that simultaneously builds solidarity and is environmentally responsible. Herman Daly and Elinor Ostrom have developed powerful ideas with the potential to do both.