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From Sierra Leone to Afghanistan

IN 2009, KATE PICKETT AND RICHARD WILKINSON PUBLISHED THE Spirit Level, a book that did much to support the theory that inequality is the reason for much of what is right or wrong in any given society, and that it can literally drive people to crime.14 Wealth and poverty have far less to do with it, which is why the United States and Nigeria, for example, suffer from similar social problems, despite the huge difference in their GDP: they have similar levels of inequality.

Working in Sierra Leone at the invitation of Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative, I heard tell of people there who had spent their ...

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