Opinion – Bagehot: Generation Xhausted | The Economist – John Gelmini

Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having revisited this blog in the light of current circumstances, the situation has in fact become worse.

We now see the UK’s productivity at 20th in the world and 16% below the average for the G7.

The gap between those at the top and those at the bottom is bigger than ever, with Times 1000 CEOs on close to £8 million gbp a year, irrespective of whether they perform or not, and average pay running at £27,000 gbp a year or £32,000 gbp for London.

The gap between a Hedge Fund Manager or “Master of the Universe” in the City, can in some cases be as much as 1000 to 1 which is as bad as things were when Charles Dickens wrote his searing novels.

The difference now is that there are no workhouses, no Beadles and there is dole, Personal Independence Benefits, Housing Benefits and food banks.

The recent action against Wonga by the Financial Conduct Authority shows that an increasing number of people are simply not earning enough money to live on and are being driven to feckless behavior.

Many children come to school unfed and are malnourished;  50% of our “rough sleepers” are ex-forces personnel abandoned by local authorities; and we now have a permanent and growing feral underclass of 6 million people, who the authorities and the politicians are not even prepared to acknowledge.

People wanting upward mobility from ordinary backgrounds need to learn languages, up-skill themselves and emigrate; they will rarely find upward mobility on merit alone in the UK.

This is not just my view, it is illustrated by survey after survey that shows that the UK is elitist, classist and has less social mobility than was the case in the 1950s, some 60 plus years ago.

John Gelmini

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