This is an excellent source of latest research data on Income Distribution and Poverty, in both the developed and developing World, published by the OECD. It’s a STRONGLY RECOMMENDED READ, in my view. Check it out!
via Social and welfare issues – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
For me, it is striking, how since the financial crash of 2008, that inequality has increased on such a massive scale. The top 1%, the super-rich, have rebounded strongly and their wealth and incomes have increased enormously. Meanwhile, for the majority, the “great-unwashed”, things have been increasingly hard.
Of course, for the the lives of ordinary citizens of both the middle and lower classes, matters have been seriously aggravated by austerity policies followed in Washington, London and Berlin.
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The perennial issue highlighted by Dr Alf in this latest excellent blog provides hard evidence from the OECD of the ever widening gap between those at the top and the vast majority of people at the bottom.
Under Tony Blair,the Gini Index was highlighting how inequality of income and wealth in just the UK had widened to a point unimaginable under Lady Thatcher who the left wing still accuse to this day for nearly all the ills of modern day Britain.
City bonuses are back,up 82% since last year and in America the contrast is between the Wall Street plutocrats and “Masters of the Universe with their Sikorski helicopters who in the sring descend on the Hamptons on Long Island and the 60 million people in America now in receipt of food stamps.
The income gap between Fortune 500 CEO,s and those on average earnings is now 1000 to 1 and in this country it is 450 to 1 between Times 1000 Chief Executives and those on average earnings.
The figure for Germany ,which pays its way through exports is 25 to 1.
These figures are of course only the ones based on official tax returns and exclude the $32 trillion now held offshore beyond the reach of any taxman in places like Bermuda,the Seychelles and 40 other tax havens.
Then there is the taxation of partnerships which is so lax that hardly any of them are properly taxed at all in the UK whereas the IRS in America is more effective.
The London School of Economics aided by the BBC,The University of Manchester and Professor redid all the socio economic categories at the beginning of the year and came up with:
1)An elite with personal savings of at least £140,000 gbp ,extensive social contacts and an education at top universities,representing the top 6%
2)An established middle class representing the next 25% with household income of £47,500 gbp a year,”some highbrow tastes” and a comfortable life in small towns and villages
3)A Technical Middle Class representing the next 6%
4)New Affluent Workers representing the next 15%
5)”The Traditional Working Class(the old C1,s and C2,s) representing 14%
6)Emergent Service Workers representing the next19%
7)The Precariat at the bottom with savings of less than £800 gbp and after tax earnings of less than£8000 gbp
The true position is very much worse because we have 40,0,000 people rummaging for food in food banks and dumpsters,plus incapacitated,sanctioned,forced off the register and NEETS,those in work experience programmes and others who are either on benefits or not in receipt of any money at all.
These people total 16.5 million out of a workforce of 32.5 million broken down in the Benefits Computer as:
1)2.5 million unemployed jobseekers in receipt of the right NI credits and actively seeking work
2)3 million incapacitated or soon to be switched to “Personal Independence Payments”a new tougher regime via IDS
3)NEETS 1.25 million
4)In training schemes 1 million
5)Sanctioned by benefits office staff 0.50 million
6)In receipt of severance pay but engineered out of the figures 0.50 million
7)7 million economically inactive/discouraged(have given up the search for work and are no longer counted in the figures)
8)People who have been made redundant,have registered a company but not traded ,who are counted as employed when in fact they are unemployed,have not traded,have not made any money and are relying on supportive spouses,partners and stay at home working children for financial support 0.75 million
On top of that we have 5 million illegal immigrants doing menial jobs in conditions of quasi slavery and indentured servitude with 250,000 new ones coming here every year.
Dr Alf wonders about the change that has come about since the 2008 financial collapse and considers it striking.
I have to agree with him and would also like to see those who perpetrated it and enriched themselves at the expense of everyone else brought to book as the Icelanders are doing via their Superbailiff with his powers of asset recovery ,financial discovery and arrest.
The open question I would like to see an answer to is just what it is going to take to arrest and start to arrest this situation or was George Orwell in his book 1984 foretelling the future?