Want vs. Need

Photographer and artist Erin Hanson has created a series called “Need to Want Less,” from which came this very apt graphic for my own life (which I posted a while ago, but it may have been on Facebook):

Also:

Thanks to Andrew Price @ GOOD for highlighting it.

Is redistribution of wealth good for your health?

Reframing GOOD Magazine’s article, “Inequality Makes Me Sick (Literally),” this interview with epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson is particularly interesting. Of particular note is his observation that it’s not those who have the most or the highest incomes who tend to be the happiest and healthiest, but those who have the most equality (or least inequality):

…we looked at life expectancy, mental illness, teen birthrates, violence, the percent of populations in prison, and drug use. They were all not just a little bit worse, but much worse, in more unequal countries. … Epidemiologists and people working in public health have been doing this work for some time, not only controlling for relative poverty, but for all the income levels within, for instance, an American state. So once you know the relationship between income and death rates, for example, you should be able to predict what a state’s death rate will be. Actually, though, that doesn’t produce a good prediction; what matters aren’t the incomes themselves but how unequal they are. If you’re a more unequal state, the same level of income produces a higher death rate.

Now, of course, my title for this blog is a little facetious–I’m not under any illusions that government intervention is the only way to deal with inequality. But the fact remains that it’s not how much we have that determines our health but what we do with what we have–and I would say, how we help and empower others with what we have–that determines our health. And our character.

Are we as generous as we think we are?

A couple of interesting graphics measuring giving related to the Haiti earthquake. (Click to enlarge.)

First, considered in terms of sheer amount of money:

(Graphic: GOOD Magazine)

And second, in terms of giving per capita:

(Graphic: Many Eyes; data source: The Guardian)

Taking the US as an example:

  • Gross giving = $114,480,000 ($168,000,000 according to The Guardian’s data)
  • Per capita giving = 53 cents (36 cents according to GOOD Magazine’s data)

Links of the Day, January 11

It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day! Tell someone who doesn’t know about the 27 million people trapped in modern slavery. And then do something about it!

Check out these awesome pics to start out your week/day:
0107pod16.jpg

And then enjoy this cover from Cathy Nguyen and Andrew Garcia:

News

Human trafficking

Immigration

Miscellaneous

Links of the Day, October 7

Happy birthday, Barcode! Also, baseball playoffs start today–go Dodgers!

News

Health care

  • Fox News’ Shep Smith schools Rep. John Barrasso (WY) on the public option–I’m generally not a huge fan of Fox News, but Shep Smith is one redeeming feature.
  • If you had five minutes to tell me why a public option is a good thing …

Human trafficking

Finance reform

Miscellaneous