Leigh, Andrew: Battlers and billionaires

Leigh, Andrew

Battlers and Billionaires: the Story of Inequality in Australia, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2013

From egalitarian beginnings, Australian inequality rose through the nineteenth century.  Then we became more equal again, with inequality falling markedly from the 1920s to the 1970s.  Now, inequality is returning to the heights of the 1920s.

Leigh shows that while inequality can fuel growth, it also poses dangers to society.  Too much inequality risks cleaving us into two Australias, occupying fundamentally separate worlds, with little contact between the haves and the have-nots.  And the further apart the rungs on the ladder of opportunity, the harder it is for a kid born into poverty to enter the middle class. (blurb)

Reviewed in the Australian Independent Media Network, Australian Left Book Review, Canberra Times and PS News and chatted about with ABC Radio National. More data.

Dr Leigh also has firm views on Eureka (‘I believe that the 1854 Eureka Rebellion – a collective uprising against oppressive taxation – should be reclaimed by both sides of politics as our driving legend’) which are expressed further here and here.

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