Those above the poverty level vigorously insist that they are honest and productive and fulfill a social need. It is important to their emotional well-being that they believe this. They dare not acknowledge that their segment of the economy may have 30 to 70 percent more workers than necessary or that the displaced should have a relatively equal share of jobs and income. This would expose their redundancy and, under current social rules, undermine their moral claim to their share. Such an admission could lead to the loss of their economic niche in society. They would then have to find another territory within the economy or drop into poverty themselves.
In the report How’s Life? 2015 , for instance, well-being inequalities are analysed by comparing well-being outcomes in 11 dimensions (income and wealth; jobs and earnings; housing; health status; work-life balance; education and skills; social connections; civic engagement and governance; environmental quality; personal security; and subjective well-being) across gender and age. The OECD work on well-being finds that inequality is pervasive and does not only concern income. Indeed, there are large inequalities when looking at subjective well-being, social connections, job quality and work-life balance for instance. It also finds that there are striking inequalities in child well-being associated with family’s socio-economic background, suggesting that inequalities in well-being among adults translate into inequalities in opportunities for their children. Family’s socio-economic background and more broadly where people live can strongly affect their well-being, with disparities within countries that can be as large as those between countries. The Better Life Index , which is another pillar of the OECD Better Life Initiative, also documents inequalities in selected well-being dimensions. It notably shows gender inequalities in well-being and well-being disparities due to socio-economic gaps.