Stated very simply, societies with a bigger gap between those on top and those on the bottom will be less healthy than societies where there is a smaller gap. To illustrate this, let us look at the health of the United States of America, measured by life expectancy, say, the average number of years lived in this country. Fifty-five years ago, we were one of the healthiest countries in the world by this measure. Today, there are some 25 countries that are healthier than we are. Think of it, all the other rich countries are healthier than we are, and a number of poor ones as well.
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