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economic inequality:How is income inequality bad if US poor are obese, have cable TV, a car, and access to free education?


Whilst the poor people have food and a roof over their head, they still have faltering consequences in their lives for being poor. Their free education is most likely insufficient in comparison to other schools, leaving them with virtually no prospects when they leave school. Because they are poor, TV is the only leisure they have, and not all poor people are obese. That’s observation bias.A number of respondents mention Richard Wilkinson on How Economic Inequality Harms Societies. He discusses how high levels of inequality have adverse consequences on society as a whole, so even the richer people are badly affected.

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gall-peters projection via xkcd

Peters, however, launched his campaign in a different world than Edwards had. He announced his map at a time when themes of social justice resonated strongly in academia and politics. Suggesting cartographic imperialism, Peters found ready audiences. The campaign was bolstered by the claim that the Peters projection was the only “area-correct” map. Other claims included “absolute angle conformality,” “no extreme distortions of form,” and “totally distance-factual.”

All of those claims were erroneous. Some of the oldest projections are equal-area (the sinusoidal projection is also known as the “Mercator equal-area projection”), and hundreds have been described, refuting any implication that Peters’s map is special in that regard. In any case, Mercator was not the pervasive projection Peters made it out to be: a wide variety of projections has always been used in world maps. Hence, it could be argued that Peters had simply set up a straw man to knock down. Peters’s chosen projection suffers extreme distortion in the polar regions, as any cylindrical projection must, and its distortion along the equator is considerable. Several scholars have remarked on the irony of the projection’s undistorted presentation of the mid latitudes, including Peters’s native Germany, at the expense of the low latitudes, which host more of the technologically underdeveloped nations. The claim of distance fidelity is particularly problematic: Peters’s map lacks distance fidelity everywhere except along the 45th parallels north and south, and then only in the direction of those parallels. No world projection is good at preserving distances everywhere; Peters’s and all other cylindric projections are especially bad in that regard because east-west distances inevitably balloon toward the poles.


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