This is a pretty stunning TED Talk by Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level. He summarises the mass of research that shows social inequality is strongly correlated with a plethora of societal ills, and that growing national product in developed societies is not likely to make us happier.
I think this dynamic plays out in meetings where status games raise some participants above others – and reduced the effectiveness of the group as a whole. (See here for more on this.)
There’s a great line in it about the lack of social mobility in unequal societies:
If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark