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Does inequality matter?

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Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

In May 2011, the High Pay Commission reported that, if current trends continue, by 2030 the highest 0.1% of earners in the UK will see their remuneration rise to 140 times average income. The last time someone in the top tenth of one per cent of the income distribution was deemed to be worth 140 other people was when we had a fully functioning aristocracy and Queen Victoria was on the throne.

In 1998, Peter Mandelson stunned many of us on the left by declaring: "We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich". Maybe that didn’t seem to matter so much in the good times; the UK economy grew continuously from 1995 until 2008, the longest period of sustained growth for at least 200 years. Inequality in Britain is the fourth highest in the developed world, after the USA, Portugal and Singapore, but in those good years most people were slightly better off than previously, and public services, which the poor use more than the rich, were receiving vast injections of cash. Under thirteen years of Labour rule (1997-2010), spending on the NHS trebled and spending on education doubled. (Despite all the Tory lies to the contrary, the percentage of our GDP spent on welfare actually fell between 1997 and 2008.) So does it matter if some are much, much better off than most?

Economically, Britain was at its most equal ever in either 1968 or 1976, depending on which figures you use. Inequalities have been rising since Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. The highest paid 10% received incomes that were eight times higher than the lowest paid 10% in 1985 – by 2008 they were twelve times higher. It is also reported that income inequality has grown faster in the UK than anywhere else. Now, the wealthiest 10% receive 40% of total UK income, while the poorest 10% get 1%. Since 1979, the share of the national income going to wages and salaries has fallen, while the proportion going to profits has risen. If the share had increased at the same rate as national income, incomes in the middle would now be nearly £3,000 higher.

Just before he became Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg lamented that between 1997 and 2007 the wealthiest 20% had seen their post-tax incomes rise so much more than others that they were receiving 7.2 times the incomes of the poorest 20% by the time Tony Blair left office (as opposed to 6.9 times as much when he became Prime Minister). Before he weedled his way into power with Clegg’s help, David Cameron commented on ‘The Spirit Level’, a book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. He said it showed "that among the richest countries, it's the more unequal ones that do worse according to almost every quality-of-life indicator". That implied that he thinks inequality does matter, but much of what his vicious government has done has only made things more unequal.

The 2011 statistics from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggested that inequalities were increasing substantially again and in a far shorter period of time, not least because incomes at the bottom are now falling in real terms. An IFS report in September 2011 revealed that the least well off 20% of British households will lose 6% of their income per year between 2011 and 2014 due to government cuts. The charity ‘Save The Children’, best known for helping some of the world's poorest families, has now launched an appeal to help UK children. The charity says the UK's poorest children are bearing the brunt of the austerity measures, with some missing out on regular hot meals or new shoes. IFS figures estimate that there are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK and predict a steep rise in the numbers in coming years.

Meanwhile, the 1,000 richest people in Britain saw their average personal wealth rise from £336 million each in 2010 to £369 million by 2011, and then to £414 million by 2012. In 2010/11, the incomes of the chief executives of the largest 100 companies in the UK increased by nearly 50%, while the average pay rise in the private sector was just 2.7%. Because prices increased by 5.2%, most private sector workers actually became poorer and pay freezes meant that many public sector workers did even worse. Author and commentator Owen Jones has written: “The coalition’s mantra that ‘we’re all in this together’ has shifted between the ludicrous and the offensive ever since it came to power: while the average Briton faces the most protracted squeeze in living standards since the 1920s, the Sunday Times Rich List reveals an ever-booming elite.”

The only countries (for which there are comparable statistics) in which the richest 1% ‘earn’ more than in Britain are Argentina, Singapore, South Africa and the USA. In Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Spain the richest 1% earn only nine times average earnings (or less) – in Switzerland only 7.8 times; in Sweden 6.7 times; and in the Netherlands only 5.4 times the average income. As Professor Danny Dorling says: “The Swiss have bankers, the Swedes industrialists, and the Dutch host multinational companies; they all just don’t tolerate such excess.”

Admittedly it’s in a different economic climate, but Ed Miliband clearly isn’t so “relaxed” as Mandelson was about the filthy rich. In September 2010, in his first major speech as Labour leader, Ed said: "I do believe this country is too unequal and the gap between rich and poor doesn't just harm the poor, it harms us all." Greater inequality does matter. Owen Jones argues that inequality weakens social cohesion and a sense of community, and produces more crime and violence. He quotes the example of the riots of August 2011, pointing out that London is one of the most unequal cities on earth, where the richest 10% receive 273 times more than the poorest 10%.

It’s ironic that greater inequality, which right-wing policies always cause, increases the need for big government, which right-wing politicians so detest. Inequality creates the need for more police, more prisons and more health and social services of every kind. (The USA imprisons people at fourteen times the rate of Japan, the UK some five times.) Most of these services are expensive and only very partially effective.

Most companies produce goods or services for the general public, such as houses, clothes, household goods, foodstuffs and insurance. When wealth is concentrated in the hands of fewer people, demand falls; the rich might buy luxury goods, but not enough of the things that most companies offer. Increasing inequality means that many can no longer afford to consume, or can only do so by getting into too much debt, as in the USA subprime mortgage crisis that sparked off the global crunch. Borrowing works for a while, but not for ever. Where no one can borrow any more money, goods and services cannot be sold, factories and businesses close, jobs are lost, and the world goes into recession.

Professor Dorling sums up: “Pay restraint at the top saves more money than any programme of government cuts to public sector jobs can ever achieve. Pay and benefit increases at the bottom are the most efficient means of increasing consumer demand. It was redistribution of wealth which changed this country from thirties misery to swinging sixties.”

Sources used:-

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/11/inequality-social-health-essay

http://classonline.org.uk/docs/Why_Inequality_Matters.pdf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19478083

http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/rack_of_inequality








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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:13 am


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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:38 pm

Those orange splodges on the map of northern England correspond to former heavy industry deliberately brought to a full stop by the Tories in the 1980s. How can anyone north of Watford continue to vote for them?
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:08 pm

No-one north of Dover should vote Tory OW, AFTER what they have done to the docks also.
Anyone that does needs shooting.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:20 am

One of the most destructive Tory myths has finally been debunked!

It's official — benefits and high taxes make us all richer, while inequality takes a hammer to a country's growth

Extracts from an article by Lee Williams:-

"The sickening theory of laissez-faire capitalism finally died with the recent report from one of the West’s leading think tanks. The OECD has found that income inequality actually hampers economic growth in some of the world’s wealthiest countries, while the redistribution of wealth via taxes and benefits doesn't.

In a nutshell: the reality of what creates and reverses growth is the exact opposite of what the current right-wing, neo-liberal agenda has been espousing ever since its rise to power under Thatcher and Reagan. The UK would have been 20% better off if the gap between the rich and poor hadn’t widened since the eighties.

Before the 2008 crash, the Tory strategy had been to match the then-Labour government’s state spending and perhaps even further it. However, when the crash happened a sudden opportunity presented itself to demonise the over-bloated public sector and blame Labour‘s public spending for the economic downturn. Did it matter that evidence of the crash being caused by recklessly unrestricted banking practices was writ large over the whole world economy?  Of course not, this was cheap trick politics, and it worked. The Tories got into power and we all bought into the narrative of austerity.

Thanks to the OECD report, we find that the very thing that the sacrifices of austerity were made to preserve – the growth of the economy – is the very thing they are destroying. Neo-liberal, laissez-faire capitalism extends inequality, we already knew that. But now we have the evidence that inequality harms, rather than encourages, growth
."

For the whole article:-
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/its-official--benefits-and-high-taxes-make-us-all-richer-while-inequality-takes-a-hammer-to-a-countrys-growth-9914941.html
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:43 pm

Why on earth then Ivan is there not a revolution and the people take over, then turn the country into a non-capitalist state, where the people are better off.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:45 pm

Right-wing politicians have been masters at 'divide and rule'. With the help of their media allies, they have successfully diverted people's anger from the rich and the banking fraternity and towards immigrants, the EU and the ‘undeserving'. The classic example was Osborne encouraging those who go to work to sneer at any neighbours who still have their curtains drawn!

So we're far from united over who to blame, and anyway plenty of people are still doing quite nicely for themselves. Nearly a million Brits have had to use foodbanks; about 62 million haven't. About 600,000 people have been affected by the bedroom tax, but that’s barely 1% of the population. I’m afraid some people don’t care about the fate of others (“no such thing as society, just individuals”, as a certain harridan preached), and some people just aren’t aware of the plight of others.

Even those who feel that “something must be done” don't agree. The SNP thinks that all of Scotland’s problems will be solved if the country becomes independent. It’s implicit that those of us who support supposedly progressive political parties (Labour, Greens, Plaid Cymru) believe in using democratic means to overcome the forces of reaction. Meanwhile, some people who don’t believe in voting, such as Russell Brand, advocate revolution. But who would lead it, him? And is it likely that it would improve matters? That’s a subject which has been aired here:-

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/t955-you-say-you-want-a-revolution
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Mel on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:09 pm

How true that is Ivan. Many people just do not care about folk who are worse off than themselves. In actual fact IMO most people do not care about anybody but themselves. This all came about after the sixties where anything went and the offspring brought up thereafter were tought little manners and no respect for others.
This was exacerbated by the Witches doctine that you have mentioned. "make money anyway you can" she said and that meant step on your fellow man if necessary.
Now look what we have, a media/press brainwashed so called work force who are so busy making a living, some having to make a living with two or three jobs, which has become the norm for many who have no time nor interest in who is in power as long as they have their Sky TV and a pint of beer. And therefore, why bother to worry about those who really suffer under the Tories, when you are OK Jack?
They have been educated by Tory propaganda that they are doing OK, even though they may be working all hours with three jobs, which collectivly is sort of paying them what they should be earning for a 40 hour week job.
So why not vote Tory when they are told all the lies and fed propaganda? They have no time to listen or look deeper to see that they are being truly duped. Try telling them that they are being conned, they are just not interested I'm afraid Ivan.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:14 pm

Oh so true Mel i'm afraid, and that is how it is with about 90% of the UK at the moment, sad so sad.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:17 pm

As poor get poorer, Britain's richest get £40 billion richer in the last 12 months

From an article by Jason Beattie:-

The fortunes of the richest 100 increased by £40.1 billion last year. But there has also been a rise in families living below the breadline. Equality Trust’s report shows the country’s 1,000 richest people are worth £519 billion. The combined fortune of the poorest 40% of households is £452 billion. And the richest 10 people saw their incomes rise by £3.1billion to £96.6 billion.

Duncan Exley of the Equality Trust said: “The UK is now one of the developed world’s most unequal countries, a fact that should embarrass and shame us.”

Meanwhile, Oxfam analysis showed the £84 trillion wealth of the world’s richest 1% equals that of half the globe’s entire population.


http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/poor-poorer-britains-richest-40billion-5001859
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:49 pm

Just how could they spend that stupid amount of money, unless they gave massive amounts away to charity to cure some of the worlds problems. Otherwise it is a total waste of money that just sits in the bank creating figures.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:30 pm

How much money is "enough", for that 1% class of person?
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Mel on Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:08 am

The slime ball Gideon and the liar Con man Cameron have over the short time of the past 4.5 yrs fragmented the workforce in favour of their wealthy employers.
We see so called apprentiships giving employers cheap labour at £2.50 per hour. Massive amount of people working part time so that the employer pays no Nat Ins for them, gives them no rights, just as the contract employment does not. All achieved to show the (false) claims that unemployment has reduced and at the same time assisting the rich employers to get richer.

We are being sent back to a Victorian ideal by the Tories, wealthy people living in luxury in London are not employing maids, they are taking advantage of a slavery system where the new visa situation binds these slaves to the one and only rich employer. With no tax revenues coming back from all these so called employees and the wealthy avoiding paying tax without question, the funds are insufficient to fund the services and especially the NHS. This situation which has been craftily manufactured by Gideon and Dave, lends itself the the opportunity to do what the Tories have wanted for a long time, is privatisation of the NHS and God knows what else.

The likes of British Gas not passing on to the public the fall in energy prices says it all for privatisation. The Tories will do nothing about it as they say that "competition" will level it out Pha!! pigs might fly. This is the result of Thatcher's free market rule and Dave has done his best to be more distructive than that Witch. At least she did it openly, unlike Dave who does it via the back door.
God help us come May. If the electorate are so blind as to not see the writing on the wall, then shame on their mentalitily is all I can say.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:33 pm

QUOTE: "....We are being sent back to a Victorian ideal by the Tories...."

Yes indeed, Mel, though the principle was established by the Pharoes in building their pyramids. The Tories have done their best to emasculate the Trade Unions, but it is still (just-)legal for an employee to withdraw his labour in the event of a dispute.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:38 pm

I read somewhere today that there are countless new jobs going to be created by the Tories - those would be the jobs for people who don't want to be paid I guess
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:21 pm

Also 24 hour days boatlady.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:59 pm

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Penderyn on Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:32 pm

oftenwrong wrote:How much money is "enough", for that 1% class of person?

Just all of it. Why should thee lower orders expect to eat?
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:49 pm

After listing all the things that he finds bad about the Labour Party, Rod Liddle announces that he will be voting for it:-

Yes, I’m still voting Labour. Here’s why

The single issue which cleaves me to Labour, even this Labour, is social division. The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially and Labour is the only party with the instinct, or predilection, to address that problem. And the gap between London and the rest of the country widens by the year too, to the point that we are now effectively two countries: an affluent city-state and a hinterland which, in places, teeters on the edge of the third world.

The smaller the differences between rich and poor, the better a country tends to perform — and I would direct your attention to Scandinavia for evidence of that.

On both of those issues — social and geographical divisions within the UK — I have the faint conviction that Labour is more likely than the others to put things right. You may reckon this to be a very thinnish premise, but I would still reply: "Vote Labour. You know it makes sense".


For the whole article (and a lot of rabid right-wing responses from his readers):-
http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/rod-liddle/9500072/call-me-insane-but-im-voting-labour/
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:47 pm

And some very measured leftish responses too, it has to be said.

And I can definitely echo his conclusion

"Vote Labour. You know it makes sense".


In fact, I would go further

Vote Labour - you know nothing else makes any sense
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Sun May 03, 2015 11:42 am

The most complex question of our time domestically and globally has been the issue of inequality

From an editorial in 'The Observer':-

Global inequality between countries is falling, but inequality within countries is rising. That kind of inequality is a danger to the civic health of any nation. It is well-documented that those countries that enjoy the most equitable distribution of wealth are also the happiest. But it doesn’t only make civic sense to address inequality, it also makes economic sense. As Robert Reich, President Clinton’s former labour secretary, has made clear in his compelling documentary film 'Inequality For All', disposable income is the engine of the economy. When that income shrinks – as it has done – we all suffer. When income is increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people – who have less and less reason to spend – then the very foundations of capitalism are under real strain.

The neo-liberal project – which took root during the 1980s – has manifestly failed. By its own metrics, it is working less and less well, for fewer and fewer people. This is fact. The countries with the highest levels of inequality among highest-income countries are the UK and the US.

The International Monetary Fund has identified “inequality … as the greatest economic risk of the next decade”. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, argues that capitalism will destroy itself if it ignores its moral obligations: “Just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long term dynamism of capitalism itself.”


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/03/the-observer-view-on-why-you-should-vote-labour
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 03, 2015 12:10 pm

Unsurprisingly, the Murdoch press takes a different view:

.... "Inequality has not risen under the coalition but anybody could be forgiven for thinking that it has." ....

Sunday Times first leader "A conservative case for the Conservatives" 3 May 2015



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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Sun May 03, 2015 12:27 pm

Very convincing!!   Rolling Eyes

Perhaps Rupert Murdoch could get his papers to explain why the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in the UK increased by a total of £28 billion last year, while over a million visits to foodbanks were needed and more than 1 in 4 children are now living in poverty? No, I thought not.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Mon May 04, 2015 5:00 pm

It feels to myself Ivan that things have gone back in time, because it was the same when I was a child in the 60s and my Father was out of work.
We children hardly ever had new clothes or shoes,the shoes had holes in the soles,mum was always sewing up the holes in our clothes or we would be going to these clothes for free stores or very cheap,especially in winter so we could have a coat. I know poverty i'm afraid,and it stays with you for life.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon May 04, 2015 5:58 pm

Normal sensible people await an explanation for the fact that Fat cat FTSE-100 bosses enjoyed a 27 per cent rise in income with average earnings hitting £4million.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228530/FTSE-100-bosses-27-cent-increase-taking-earnings-4m-thanks-incentives.html#ixzz3ZBpp9H00
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by stuart torr on Mon May 04, 2015 6:28 pm

To earn that much or not to as the case may be OW, I am afraid that I would be giving most of it away to charities, because once you have what you need what is left for you to do with the rest honestly. Sad Sad
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:49 am

"Inequality has not risen under the coalition but anybody could be forgiven for thinking that it has."
Was that the Murdoch press telling porkies again?  Mad

Inequality: Richest 1% 'have as much wealth as the poorest 57% combined'

From an article by Ben Chu:-

The economic disparities of modern Britain have been put on stark display, as official statistics revealed that the nation’s already-yawning wealth gap has widened still further over the past two years. The richest 1% of the population have as much wealth as the poorest 57% combined, according to Office for National Statistics figures. The agency also found overall wealth inequality has increased since 2012, mainly thanks to the soaring price of housing in the south east of England and London.

The news came just after the head of the government’s child poverty watchdog, Alan Milburn, warned that Britain is in danger of becoming an “ever-more divided” society, making a mockery of Cameron’s ‘One Nation’ rhetoric. The fresh evidence of economic polarisation also coincides with the revelation that Osborne has stepped up his private meetings with representatives of the UK’s big banks since the general election, amid a rising tide of concern that the banking lobby is again exerting an undue influence over government policy, just as it did before the 2008 financial crisis.

The image of a divided Britain was accentuated by the closure of Britain’s last deep coal mine, in Yorkshire, putting 450 miners out of work. As recently as the 1970s, more than 250,000 were employed in pits that were a focal point for communities.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/inequality-richest-one-per-cent-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-poorest-57-per-cent-combined-a6779201.html
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:01 pm

Aux barricades, mes amis!


fotobucket.com
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:55 pm

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:46 pm

The Inequality Problem

Extracts from an essay by Ed Miliband:-

In the 1980s, inequality in the UK went up even more sharply than in the US. Since then, the income share of the top 1% has increased significantly and now accounts for about 12% of UK personal income. The important factors are rising inequality in wages, a decline in the share of the national income that wages represent as more money goes to corporate profits and dividends, and a reversal of redistribution from the rich to the poor.

In the US and the UK inequalities of market income (wages, income from self-employment, dividends etc) carry through to inequalities of income after tax and benefits. In practice, it’s hard to alter this through redistribution alone: the key is to change the way the rewards of economic success are distributed in the first place. The last Labour government succeeded in keeping inequality in check. But it didn’t reduce it. If you don’t change the nature of the economy itself, redistribution on its own will have you running up the down escalator.

The rise in inequality should not be brushed aside as an inevitable effect of irresistible forces such as globalisation or developments in technology. It is driven by political choices. This is a tough time to be a progressive in Britain, with the re-election of a government that seems determined to dismantle the progressive institutions that remain and to make inequality worse. The right can’t solve the problem of inequality because to do so would be to abandon too much of what they believe, from a belief in the small state to trickle-down economics.


For the whole of the essay:-
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n03/ed-miliband/the-inequality-problem
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:16 am

To do justice to that interesting article would require a commentary of similar length, but to advance the argument in practical (electoral) terms requires ordinary people to become aware of just how much a danger the Tory Party represents to their interests.

"In the 1980s, inequality in the UK went up even more sharply than in the US."

Undoubtedly true, but that was a result of human activity not some Act of God like an earthquake or volcanic eruption.  In 1974 there had been an abrupt increase in the price of Oil which proved to be a game-changer.  No longer were the former colonial powers able to lightly relieve the natives of their mineral riches, so the price of energy doubled and then trebled.  The US was partly insulated by having its Texas oilfields.  

Under Tory prime minster Ted Heath, Britain made matters worse by turning its back on the Commonwealth in favour of the European Community so no longer even able to continue importing things at favourable rates from Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada and the Caribbean as it had been doing for a couple of hundred years.

The entrepreneurial classes took all this in their stride, simply making ever-greater profits out of suddenly-risen commodity prices.

 Which continues to be the case.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:13 pm

The message to the electorate has to be convincing.

And so does the messenger...
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:41 pm

   Tumblr
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:33 pm

Never sure what you guys think we should DO ???
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:57 pm

I guess the guy who really knows what to do probably hasn't been born yet, boatlady, and even if "the right one to end inequality" were to be elected to Parliament tomorrow it's a team game, and the whipping system quickly erodes whatever individuality might have previously been on display.

The few heroes we know of from History were by definition autocratic, and probably not much concerned with equality or its converse.

Pressed to respond for all the guys, I think I'd have to say that for Labour to win the 2020 election it must lift the blindfold from voters who meekly follow right-wing-propaganda distractions and must also motivate the apathetic.  Labour's footsoldiers should continue to build upon the stirling work of people such as our own Redflag by talking to the voters where they live or work.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:18 am

"....the stirling work ..."

A slip of the pen. My  Concise Oxford Dictionary suggests 'sterling' , ow.

Honestly , you'll be putting 'populous' when you meant 'populace', next!    Smile
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:10 am

Misled by the Scottish associations, I fear, and the absurd person singular too. Embarassed
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How "average" are you?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:57 pm

Before talking about equality or its converse, you need to find the middle ground - above or below which real people will appear. An average is mathematical (no family has 2½ children outside of statistical analysis, of course) but it provides a base starting-point.
Nationwide's poll of 2000 families came up with the following table of the average family:

The average family has two children, and a dog.
They have an income of £29,688 a year.
Their house has 3 bedrooms, and they drive a Ford Focus.
The family owes an average £1,618 on credit cards, £1,315 on personal borrowing and a further £1,496 in student loans, plus £896 on car finance.
They are left with £183 a week in disposable income, go to bed around 10 pm and enjoy six-and-a-half hours sleep.

Is that you?

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:54 am

No
I suspect THAT 'normal' is way beyond a dream for very many

Most people I meet (and I acknowledge the sample is a bit skewed) have no disposable income - in fact they are usually in arrears with one or more essential bill, waiting for the next month's income. Typically, people I meet will have debts totalling more than 20x their monthly income; they will be living in inadequately maintained overcrowded accommodation and very often won't have a car - bikes or walking are the modes of transport.

There's a big gap between what Nationwide considers normal and the way most unskilled workers live.
The introduction of Universal Credit has increased debt, increased homelessness and worsened the rates of in-work poverty

Us baby boomers, still doing OK for the present, especially those of us who were able to convert our free further education into salaried occupations with adequate pension provision
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:55 pm

I often wonder, as I sit during the week in a comfortable and profitable coffee house, or a similarly well-patronised restaurant, just how many such places will still exist in 10-15 years time when the comparatively well-off people who frequent them now are replaced by a new generation who have far less to spend on such luxuries...
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:41 pm

Ah - but the rich we will have always with us - so the exclusive and expensive joints will remain
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:50 pm

I am talking about eateries which are far from those frequented by the rich - these folk are people who have simply a healthy income based upon a good occupational or private pension ( and further supported by savings) which they could afford to fund and which future generations will not be able to afford at anything like the same level.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

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