The leading countries in life expectancy, Sweden and Japan, are also among the most equal of the wealthy nations. Interestingly, they have accomplished this relative equality in completely different ways: In Sweden, the tax system redistributes income; in Japan the income is given out relatively equally before any tax adjustments. Combinations of the two methods are also possible. [….]
The core message is that the countries that distribute their incomes the most equally have the longest life expectancy and the highest quality of life.
From an AlterNet article based on The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. To learn more, go to their Web site, www.equalitytrust.org.uk.
As I like to say, the proof is in the pudding.