Is the level of violence in a country linked to inequality?


This is an interesting area which should be explored. Check out the graph above published by the Equality Trust, UK.

According to the Equality Trust:

The link between inequality and homicide rates has been shown in as many as 40 studies, and the differences are large: there are five-fold differences in murder rates between different countries related to inequality. The most important reason why violence is more common in more unequal societies is that it is often triggered by people feeling looked down, disrespected and loss of face.

We have also found that inequality is related to the Global Peace Index and to children’s experiences of violence.

The ground-breaking book The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson points to greater social problems with rising inequality. It shows that “for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal rich countries.”

The Equality Trust points to other research (C-C Hsieh ; M D Pugh, 1993) which shows that “poverty and income inequality are each associated with violent crime. The analysis, however, shows considerable variation in the estimated size of the relationships and suggests that homicide and assault may be more closely associated with poverty or income inequality than are rape and robbery.”

The Equality Trust observes: “Rates of violence are higher in more unequal societies. This finding holds up in many different contexts, when looked at via different methodologies and after controlling for other determinants of crime such as low income, unemployment, and teen birth rates.”

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Inequality in many countries is often the result of neoliberal economic policies over many years.

Of course, there may be other factors contributing to violence, including the socio-economic environment.

My own view is that perhaps in a materialistic, capitalistic environment, people end up being seen as consumers or commodities or cogs in the assembly line. In the process, they end up losing touch with what it means to be compassionate human beings or being dehumanised to the structural “violence’ that has created misery in many societies.

Leaders must also take a strong and consistent position against the use of violence or mob rule, no matter where it occurs.

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  1. A global study based on daily steps counted by smartphones discovers “activity inequality.” It’s similar to income inequality, except that the “step-poor” are prone to obesity while the “step-rich” tend toward fitness and health.

    Smartphone data from more than 700,000 people has been collated by scientists to show just how active different parts of the world are.

    Malaysia is the 3rd laziest nation in this aspect, people walk only 3963 steps a day! High car ownership is the factor?

  2. Malaysian Muslim group joins Indonesian call for Starbucks boycott over LGBT stand.

    The religious groups’ opposition to Starbucks came after a video from 2013 circulated online of pro-LGBT comments made by the company’s chairman and former chief executive, Howard Schultz.

    In the video, Schultz said Starbucks embraced diversity and “not every decision is an economic decision”, in response to a shareholder who complained that the company had lost customers because of its support for gay marriage.

  3. Time to Pay Attention: 8 Men Have as Much Money as Half the Entire World
    8 people have as much economic power as 3.6 billion

    “It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.”

    Sadly, the response to this inequality will be more tax programs that will strike the poor and middle class the hardest — creating even more divide by funneling money upward toward those at the top of government.

    Not until the state’s power to take money from its citizens is reined in will this flood of upward redistribution of wealth recede.

  4. There is not a definite answer.
    Criminal minds are complex.
    Some blame the education, upbringing, society,culture , movies.
    While others blame religion , politics and even the internet!
    Some are Non of the Above but rather simply having a sick mind.
    Now, there is this highly informative documentary which i do recommend .
    It covered a lot of grounds .


    • Sickening food, sickening medication, sick environment, sick thoughts…perfect ingredients for a sick mind and body
      Nature heals, so does meditation and unconditional prayers

      • My advice is to avoid Facebook as there are lots of sick stuff invading your mind.

  5. Money squeeze in Putrajaya being felt in Malay heartland

    Thousands of villagers in Terengganu are finding it difficult to make ends meet as prices of goods keep rising even as the government cuts spending, including on aid for the people.

    The consumer price index (CPI) for May rose 3.9% compared with 4.4% in April. The main increases were in transport and food groups. The average price of a litre of RON95 was RM2.09 in May compared to RM1.70 a year ago.

    The CPI pressure on the food and non-alcoholic beverages, which accounts for a third of the CPI weightage, was up 4.4% in May. The CPI for Jan-May 2018 remains higher at 4.3%, more than double than the whole of 2016 which registered 2.1%.

    This is despite the low living costs and the simple lifestyle of the villagers, who move around on motorcycles and do not have to pay toll to use the roads.

    • what will happen if equality is achieved in Malaysia?

      Political reality dictates that affirmative action will stay; however instead of being a race-based programme, it could be turned to help the marginalised in the country regardless of race, religion or gender.

      So, who would lose out? Probably the current rent seekers, racial politics peddlers, religious bigots, and other opportunists. Not necessarily all but most of them.

      UMNO leaders depend on the Malays’ support to hold on to power. If the Malays begin to believe that they are free individuals who can choose any political party that works best for their economic and social interest, UMNO may no longer be their first choice. UMNO will be relegated to status of an ordinary political party, no longer a great institution for the Malays.

      That’s the reason top UMNO leaders believe they must continue to undermine the DAP. Perhaps they will not ban it because they always need a bogeyman, and the DAP is the perfect monster to scare the Malays. For them, the DAP must be portrayed as Public Enemy Number One, not the tame MCA or Gerakan.

  6. “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little”. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

  7. No sign of PR1MA projects, says Penang exco

    GEORGE TOWN, June 23 — The Penang government has approved two PR1MA projects in the state but construction works have not begun at the sites, state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said today.

    The housing development committee chairman accused the federal government of spreading lies that it is now constructing 16,569 units of PR1MA housing in Penang.

    “This is not true at all. We approved two PR1MA projects but work on both projects have not commenced at all,” he said.

    Jagdeep was referring to a booklet published by the Penang Federal Development office under the Prime Minister’s Department titled Inisiatif, peruntukan dan ikhtiar murni Kerajaan Persekutuan demi mensejahterakan rakyat Pulau Pinang — Pencapaian Tahun 2008 — 2017 (Federal Government initiatives, allocations and endeavours for the prosperity of Penang people — Achievements Year 2008 — 2017).

    “If we look at page seven of the booklet for affordable housing, I wish to state the real facts instead of what was portrayed,” he said.

    He said PR1MA had submitted four applications for planning approval for projects in Batu Ferringhi, Tasek Gelugor, Bukit Gelugor and Balik Pulau.

    “We approved the projects for Bukit Gelugor and Batu Feringghi in October and November last year respectively,” he said.

    Till today, Jagdeep said both projects have not commenced work so nothing was built as yet.

    “As for the two other projects, we don’t want to reject projects by PR1MA as I welcome affordable housing for the people so we returned it to PR1MA to change the plans so that the projects comply with our housing guidelines before resubmitting the applications,” he said.

    He said an example of a project that had flouted Penang’s housing guidelines was PR1MA’s application to build 29 blocks of 27-storied apartments in Balik Pulau, which violated the 16-storey limits set for the area.

    “We want to continue to protect areas like Balik Pulau by ensuring that uncontrolled developments with high density are not allowed,” he said.

    Jagdeep claimed the booklet to be full of lies and warned the public against believing the printed words within.

    BN Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin (since time immemorial).

  8. Good to hear the views from foreigners residing in Malaysia on Equal or Not Equal in Malaysia.

    Rebecca or Margie can spare some thoughts on this matter to make Msia a better place for all not selected ones only.

    • Thank you for the thought Ravi!
      While reading the article I thought…
      Is there any equal country left?

      Where is the middle-class?
      Almost every city is the same, middle-class is hard to find. Some stopped because of too many rules and regulations, some stopped because of age or sickness and none of the children were interested to go on with the shop. Some became bankrupt and most were trapped in the ineptitude to become a part of a chain which is the same as selling your soul. Others got big money from multi nationals who wanted to have their location, not their shop- business. Also same as selling your soul.
      The balance is gone… which is the same as harmony.
      When balance is out of control everything gets out of control

      Lucky in Penang there are still thousands of middle-class shops…
      Its the people’s choice to keep it this way. Buy from them!!!
      Avoid the Multinationals!!!
      Keep the cash flow in the community!!!
      Create your own community is equal to create harmony
      Thousands of little communities will create a harmonious nation.
      Humanity needs to take their own power back.
      Create harmony
      Power of Love
      Flower Power in the 60’s didn’t realy work because money was more important for most. It is still the same. Money makes numbers, numbers make slaves.

      It doesnt say we need to stop…it says we need to change or turn it around.
      When your pen stops, do you stop writing?
      No, you take another pen and go on with your writing.
      Its the same with everything else.

      Power of Flower~Back to Nature, for your future.
      Wishing you Love, Joy, Peace and Harmony

      • Moderate your expectations.
        Live within your means.
        Envy not those who have deep pockets.
        Spend on needs, not wants.
        Live simply.

  9. The specific graph is underwhelming – only some Western countries and no trend at all. Nevertheless, this supposedly clever finding of social science is an obvious one. Violence arises from (a) fascists of all types trying to control others (b) the latter fighting back (c) a critical fall in resources (d) mental illness due to deprivation and related poisoning.

    Inequality is a clever way of avoiding the term poverty. Neoliberalisn is a clever way of avoiding the term capitalism. Social science plays its part in distracting from the real issues.

    Mob violence may be the result of desperation. Fascists also organise it covertly to divide and rule, or to discredit protest or resistance. The worst violence is fascist invasion of a country to displace a disobedient government or existing competitors, or simply to appropriate resources.

    Einstein said that the universe and human stupidify are both infinite. Greed falls under the latter category.

      • I like the brave effort by lawyer Siti Kassim in fighting for the rights of orang asli community and LGBT community.

    • Have you been in Europe, US, or Australia lately?
      Inequality is overwhelming…so is poverty in so- called developped countries. Developped for Multinationals ( who dont pay tax) bankers, big pharma and non-existing royalties. The Netherlands, like many countries, is a Private Company with limited liabilities
      The State of the Netherlands is registered as a Private (Mother) Company (BV) since 1848 in theTrade Register of Dun & Bradstreet in the USA. So are the daughter companies such as ministeries, police, tax department etc etc.
      The shareholders of the BV the state of the Netherlands are not responsable for debts.
      A report of OECD is available to download

      Inequality in Europe: Complex and Multidimensional

      In the Netherlands 1.000.000 people live under poverty-line. Total population less then 17.000.000!!!
      85.000 are registered for the Food-Bank…they receive a food-package weekly for free. Imagine you need to register for this cause you dont have enough money to survive. Many of them are the Elders who went to food distributioncenters after ww 2
      They worked hard their whole life as slaves for a system that doesnt work.
      There is a huge need for more free food distribution centra but no free food available. 8300 volunteer are involved, vegetable, fruit, bread shops deliver the left-overs. People organize events like baking cookies and cakes with kids on wednesday afternoon, the cookies are given to the food bank so the ones who are depended on the food bank have something’ special’ with their coffee or tea in the weekend.
      A Food Bank doesnt lower your debts…mortgage, rent, cost of living, health insurance etc etc

      People for the People~Governments dont work for humanity. They are all puppets on a string.
      One in a million of candidates for President or PM held to their principles! They are most of the times assisinated,
      like JFK, Gandhi or Pim Fortuyn.

      Inequality~ to keep humanity under control…imprisoned!

      Economic growth as key to prosperity – and at almost any cost to society and the environment – inequality is rising and people are increasingly questioning so-called austerity. While climate change brings disaster after disaster across the world, European leaders think our policies are fine and we’re doing more than anyone else to achieve sustainability. When people fleeing war and persecution reach our borders, Europe battens down the hatches and diverts development funds to deal with the influx. Are these really the solutions the SDGs prescribe? Where have our “European values” and solidarity gone?

      We must act fast on the global goals, or risk leaving the poorest behind.

      European leaders are fooling themselves if they truly believe more of the same will produce different results. It certainly does not bode well for the measures we’re expecting in a few days. If the 10 priorities listed by the European commission are thought to reflect everything the continent needs to do for sustainable development, or that better regulation and more growth are the way forward, we should start to worry. We should be concerned about Europe’s commitment to sustainable development and about its relevance in the world.

  10. definitely, it is related to poverty; it was thought that crime was confine of the poor but now most of the criminals come from upper echelon of the society; only one has to look at the daily press to know the seriousness of the crime. we must improve the lot of workers; how can one live on a meager pay of less 900 ringgit; minimum required is 3,000 rgt for a family of 4. the govt should look into this.

    the govt is not interested in the case of poor workers.

    • May I add to the Malaysian inequality quotient:

      ‘sons of the earth’ entitlements

      race-based quotas for tertiary education admission

      government jobs & GLC jobs by highly skewed race-based quotas

      petrol station business licenses which can only be a dream

      bumi discounts for property purchases

      saham-saham with ‘excellent’ interests i.e. not for non-bumis

      There can never, ever be a Chinese, Indian, Serani or Bengali PM.
      Talking about trust among Malaysians?

      Pls add some more.
      Note: there’s nothing bin-chui to talk about beyond survival against all odds.


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