Many steps need to be taken to ensure data is reliable and valid when doing an experiment or trying to come to a conclusion. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, went to great lengths to make sure their data was accurate when attempting to figure out the relationship between social and health issues of the population in each country they studied.
Wilkinson and Pickett used a variety of countries located in different locations throughout the world, with different types of populations and different amounts of wealth as a nation. They combined health and social problem data for each country. Each problem carried the same weight to determine a more accurate reading. The authors then combined health and social problem data for each state in the US to compare their data with those from the other countries too. Following this, Wilkinson and Pickett took the same data and compared them to average household incomes of each country and state in the US. Their data shows that health and social issues are more apparent in countries with large income gaps and that countries that have more money and less income inequality have less social and health problems. In comparing the data from countries to data collected from each state, it ensures that the information collected is accurate.
Household income does not seem to have any influence on the social and health issues of a nation or of a state. The circumstances that people live in cause health/social problems, or their health/social problems cause their unfortunate circumstances. People in the lower classes of society suffer the most regardless of location. It is especially bad in areas of severe income inequality, which is where the real problem lies. What matters most is where someone stands economically in relation to their own society. A problem with rich societies is the scale of material differences. When there is one group of people who is...
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