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Britain 'risks heading to US levels of inequality'

(59 Posts)
GracesGranMK3 Mon 13-May-19 23:10:04

Nobel prize winning economist, Sir Angus Deaton says that the UK could become as unequal as the US, which is one of the most unequal nations on earth.

But the that's exactly what the Buffoon Johnson, Farage and those who agree that this is how the world works want and has been, getting gradually more extreme, since Thatcher.

MaizieD Mon 13-May-19 23:26:45

Awaiting responses with interest, GGMK3. I shall play rightwing bingo with them wink

knickas63 Mon 13-May-19 23:47:10

Our Government appears to worship the US and will be thrilled we are emulating them!

rosecarmel Tue 14-May-19 00:19:24

I don't know what he (Deaton) means by unequal -- but there are many ways in which UK/US are similar-

And that surprised me ..

rosecarmel Tue 14-May-19 00:19:54

I'm from the US .. smile

Whitewavemark2 Tue 14-May-19 07:55:29

In the U.K. what ever your income, you know that you will get good quality world class health care.

That is our most precious jewel that is going to be up for grabs after Brexit, if the right wing prevail.

I reckon if we took on a USA form if health insurance our place as an equivalent unequal society would be assured.

He means the level of difference between the richest and poorest rose

Whitewavemark2 Tue 14-May-19 07:55:43

Or the gap

Urmstongran Tue 14-May-19 08:09:53

Oh it’s not very equal in India (think of the caste system and the dalits living outside and shitting by the railway lines) and China where poor sweatshop workers toil for buttons.

It’s not all about Trump & Farage people!


GracesGranMK3 Tue 14-May-19 08:24:50

"Warning that widening gaps make a mockery of democracy." Hmm. Tory policies responsible then, not the EU?

GracesGranMK3 Tue 14-May-19 08:31:15

"Sir Angus Deaton is leading a landmark review of inequality in the UK amid fears that the country is at a tipping point due to a decade of stagnant pay growth for British workers. The Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank, which is working with Deaton on the study, said the British-born economist would “point to the risk of the UK following the US” which has extreme inequality levels in pay, wealth and health."

"Deaton warned that rising inequality was not a uniform phenomenon in the UK, judging by mortality statistics. “One part we do know is that it seems to be geographically unequal,” Deaton said, referring to deaths from suicide, drugs and alcohol. “Blackpool seems to be a hotspot and the north east, but not very much in London. So it maybe that it’s geographical inequalities in health that are much more important here than in the US."

GracesGranMK3 Tue 14-May-19 08:45:05

The above from today's Guardian

MaizieD Tue 14-May-19 09:20:11

Meanwhile, average chief executive pay at FTSE 100 firms has risen to 145 times that of the average worker, from 47 times in 1998, and the richest 1% in Britain have seen the share of household income they receive almost triple in the past four decades.

(from the Guardian briefing)

How can this ever be justified?

Whitewavemark2 Tue 14-May-19 09:20:31

I think that what it is largely telling us is that new-liberalism is failing in the terms that were largely accepted post war up to the Thatcher years. Prior to that time, it was commonly accepted that the state ensured a safety net for health, education, safety,and poverty, amongst other things.

All these links between the state and it population have been gradually eroded by the new-liberal policies adopted since the 80s.

I think that the voter has to make that choice. We either continue down this road, where individualism is the god, and each person is entirely responsible for their own wellbeing, health, etc regardless what misfortune befalls, a good model would be Victorian England, or we see ourselves as a community that understands the concept of a welfare state which “promotes and protects the economic and social wellbeing of all its citizens” this is based on the principles of equal opportunity and a fair distribution of the wealth created by all the members of the society.

It can be seen as a model promoting 3 concepts,

Democracy. Welfare. Capitalism.

Ailsa43 Tue 14-May-19 09:52:40

Well on a very basic level, but nonetheless important personal level, if we followed the US in some ways, at least my husband would get paid the same or similar salary to those in the USA, who earn around 10 times more than he does, and are usually less qualified for the same job!!

trisher Tue 14-May-19 10:06:14

I can't believe that the responses to this could possibly include things like "it's worse. in India and China" or "My husband might get paid more". These just re-inforce the opinion held by many young people that us oldies don't care about anyone else and that we will take what we want and let the rest rot.
I grew up in a society where the safety net was there for everyone and that's the society I want to hand on to my GCs. I want to see proper benefits for those unable to work for one reason or another. I want proper affordable social housing for those who need it, a well funded NHS,and a publicly owned rail service. I want that gap to begin to close again.

EllanVannin Tue 14-May-19 10:15:12

The UK is unequal on its own without comparing it to the US.

Urmstongran Tue 14-May-19 10:25:56

No, trisher - my post was to illustrate that inequality exists all over the world. I can’t see how that demonstrates I couldn’t care less about other people’s suffering nor that I want to ‘take what I want and let the rest rot’. Bizarre statement.

I agree MaizieD with you about the grossly inflated salaries and perks that CEO’s can command in comparison to the worker bees. Didn’t Mrs May propose worker(s) ought to be present on the executive board? That was another proposal that wasn’t implemented!

GracesGranMK3 Tue 14-May-19 10:53:03

It is well known that, as Maizie says, an ever increasing proportion of company earnings is going to both executives and shareholders.

I have just listened to yet another Tory saying that the numbers in employment have increased yet again. This is not because Tory policy is doing something good but because some are being starved into working when they shouldn't be, or under conditions that go back to the turn of the last century and that more older people have to work for longer - unless you have stashed more than your fair share of the countries wealth. I am beginning to believe that there as some - not all - on the right who would see slavery as a good thing if someone suggested bringing it back.

annep1 Tue 14-May-19 10:56:50

Whitewavemark2 yes but when?
Money means you can get it quicker. Which in the long run makes a big difference to quality of life and life expectancy.
There will always be inequalities in every area of life no matter how much attempt is made to change it. Everywhere.

Urmstongran Tue 14-May-19 11:07:20

‘Starved into working’. ?? Honestly!

If I hadn’t worked I’d have starved ....

Urmstongran Tue 14-May-19 11:16:28

‘When they shouldn’t be’ was the caveat I suppose.

I get your point. Benefits (taxpayers money) could be more generous in some cases I dare say but I do agree that being in work where possible is the best outcome for an individual’s self worth and the economy.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 14-May-19 11:29:04

The whole point is and something people don’t seem to understand it isn’t a question of either/or it is a question of degree
So, of course there will always be inequality, but a recognition that this can be a more equal curve.

Happy are those whose income allows for a very pleasant life style, but if you are made redundant, or stricken with a debilitating illness, what then. Devil take the hindmost?
My DH is in contact with woodturners in the USA . One of them was stricken suddenly with a bad heart condition. In order to continue to survive, he sold his house to pay for the treatment. He now lives in a caravan type of property.
Would I like to live in that society? Not on your nelly!!

I would much rather live in a society where we all take responsibility for each other.

trisher Tue 14-May-19 11:31:06

Urmstongran do you really not know what is going on? There has been in the last 10 years a policy of undermining the support for the poorest in society. It has been done by introducing measures which were abandoned in the 1930s that is Zero hours contracts. It is a system that many worked under in the 1930s (Including my docker grandfather). It means that it is impossible to plan financially, that you live a hand-to-mouth existence when you never know from day to day or week to week how much money you will have. If you don't understand imagine that someone suddenly decided to make pension payments on an ad hoc basis. So you might get nothing for a month then a little money, then more money, then nothing. People can't plan and they starve or use foodbanks.
And if someone comes back with well students like them, well maybe they do but students don't have families and homes to keep running.

GracesGranMK3 Tue 14-May-19 11:43:37

annep1 I don't understand the logic of your post (which could well be my reading of it). However, we are, as a country wealthier than ever but people in certain section of society are dying earlier. Instead of most people doing better than their parents with a smaller proportion staying in much the same position or dropping back a little we now have the complete reverse. We have the poverty and inequality of the 30s and a housing crisis approaching post war levels.

All this under a government whose propaganda has succeeded in convincing people that the economy is safe in their hands. How on earth can anyone believe that?

GracesGranMK3 Tue 14-May-19 11:46:56

No urmstongran, I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear. People working "when they shouldn't be" was referring to the sick and disabled.