Does inequality cause suicide, drug abuse and mental illness?

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The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-being. By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Allen Lane; 352 pages; £20. To be published in America by Penguin Press in January 2019; $28. 

THERE is something peculiarly haunting about the recent suicides of Kate Spade, a well-known designer, and Anthony Bourdain, a chef and author (see Obituary). Evidently success—building brands and businesses, achieving wealth and fame—does not ease the psychic pain that many people suffer. Even at the top of the capitalist pyramid, these deaths insist, there is no escape from inner demons. That sad rule applies to nations as much as celebrities. Nearly 45,000 Americans took their own lives in 2016, an increase of almost 30% since 1999, according…Continue reading

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