Inequality and the 1%

Just came across this video on Youtube of a presentation given by geographer Danny Dorling on inequality and the 1%. He gives a lot of facts and figures about inequality. I have heard similar numbers bandied about before, but it always gives pause for thought to hear things like:

  • You are in the top 1% of earners if you are a single person earning over £100,000
  • The top 1% take 15% of income in the UK
  • Inequality has been falling but only amongst the bottom 99%. The gap between the 99% and the 1% is growing every year
  • Barclays bank employs over 300 people of salaries in excess of £1m, more than the whole of Japan.

A lot of politicians are quite blase about inequality, and are desperate to avoid saying anything that could be construed as being anti “wealth creators”, but Dorling’s conclusion here is quite stark. He says (slightly tongue in cheek I think) if current trends are to continue, we could return to the age of Downton Abbey where parents think about which of their children to send off to work in domestic service for the 1%.

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8 thoughts on “Inequality and the 1%

  1. We already do. It’s just that they’ve outsourced that function to the temp agencies and the fake self-employed so that people can be hired and fired at will.

    It’s all the way down the tree.

  2. This comment by “Brian” on NEP is excellent. If I may repost?
    “I think the reason why is that it’s political and a case of perverse incentives. Politically, at home, German and French politicians are under pressure to keep their hard-won gains. For the French, whose banks are left holding the bag for much of the Greek debt, while Germany’s banks hold the balances of accrued profits from sales of products to Greece paid for by that debt, there is no easy way out. That was a very clever move by Germany’s banks which appear to have gamed the ECB very nicely. So hey, they did well. Anybody looking at those loans as they went out the door knew that Greece (and Spain, and Portugal) wouldn’t pay them back. Such excellent results. Those silly Frogs lose.

    Then we get to the big perverse incentive. What is happening as a result of Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, etc economic depression? That’s right – the young, the educated, and the talented are moving to Germany and France. They are curing the Eurozone core nation’s demographic crisis. With this infusion of young taxpayers, there is no longer too many retirees in Germany. More excellent results.

    Meanwhile, if you look at Fed reports, Germany and its pilot fish nations have been selling futures on the Euro to keep it down against the dollar and the yen. More excellent results. EU core products can export at quite decent prices. This started as an ECB project in Dec of 2013. By May, France broke ranks, but Germany exerted its considerable arm-twisting might and continued the selling. Yes, Virginia, major upstanding nations in the global marketplace rig the currency markets while giving lip service to free-floating rates.

    If you look at it through this lens, holding firm makes sense. The last thing Germany wants right now is to have all those young, bright, educated workers go running back home!

    When I run the scenarios in my head, I can’t see one where Germany doesn’t win by pushing austerity on the periphery – even with Grexit, Spexit, Pexit, etc.”

  3. And that’s not mentioning exporters running policy or morality plays\bigots that mean (some) Germans support austerity even if it harms everyone.
    The solution is to get German to exit the eurozone – convince them with pro-greed arguments, it will boost savings and reduce inflation, etc.

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