Firstly - good luck to those about to sit exams! Don't forget to get plenty of sleep over the weekend. When it's all over, Here’s a really interesting article in the form of a long book review. The book is:
Did clean water reduce black–white mortality inequalities in the United States? Water, Race, And Disease. Werner Troesken, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. £22.95, ISBN 0-262-20148-8.
The title just about says it all but the analysis is worth a leisurely read. The argument hinges on eliminating typhoid, which affected blacks more than whites, plus showing that it was more or less impossible to provide public water supplies to whites but not blacks.
This example reinforces the view that the best way to reduce inequality is to change something about the environment – traffic calming, smoking bans etc – i.e. to provide the public good, rather than relying on individuals to take up a benefit, which always tends to favour the powerful in a society, typically the affluent and the well educated.