Monday, 17 September 2012

Danny Dorling, September 19th

Danny Dorling Rising Inequality and Rising Austerity: When is the Tipping Point?
Wednesday 19th September 2012 6 pm, Leeds Metropolitan University, Broadcasting Place, Room AG02 (ground floor), Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN

Like readings on a seismometer, when social stats start reaching new extremes it is time to expect earthquakes. Levels of inequality in the UK have returned to heights last experienced at the start of the Second World War, The richest one per cent of people take fifteen per cent of all income in 2012, compared to six per cent in 1979. In the early 1940s, the ‘9%’ - the rest of the best-off ten per cent less the richest one per cent - were paid an average salary of 2.4 times average incomes, the same as in 1959, 1969 and 1973. But as inequalities rose, by 1990 this ‘9%’ were paid three times average incomes and that continued until 2007. However, for the last five years their share has been dropping towards that 2.4 historic average. As each year passes, and the richest one per cent get richer still, the rest of the best-off ten per cent increasingly have a little more in common with the remaining nine-tenths of society, and less and less in common with those at the very top. By 2015 the austerity measures are forecast (by the IMF) to cut public spending as a % of GDP below any comparable nation, including the USA, for the first time. So, when will we begin to notice the ground shaking?
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About Danny: Danny Dorling is a Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. With a group of colleagues he helped create the website which shows who has most and least in the world. Much of Danny’s work is available open access (see His work concerns issues of housing, health, employment, education and poverty. His recent books include, co-authored texts "The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the way we live" and "Bankrupt Britain: an atlas of social change". Recent sole authored books include, "Injustice: why social inequalities persist” in 2010; "So you think you know about Britain" and “Fair Play”, both in 2011; and The No-nonsense guide to equality and The Visualization of Social Spatial Structure in 2012. In 2009 he joined both the World Health Organization's Scientific Resource Group on Health Equity Analysis and Research and the advisory group of the Equality Trust. He is a Patron of the charity RoadPeace, and in 2008, became Honorary President of the Society of Cartographers. Before a career in academia Danny was employed as a play-worker in children's play-schemes and in pre-school education where the underlying rationale was that playing is learning for living. He tries not to forget this by playing with data surrounding people’s lives and representing the results in new, novel and stark ways which usually reveal the inequality of the lives we each live.