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Britain Wealth Gap Widens

Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:30 pm

Hi All,
A very surprising article from Newsweek about the wealth gap between rich and poor in Britain.

Britain’s Great Divide

"As a resurgent Conservative Party now loves to point out, after 11 years of Labour government the gap between rich and poor is at its widest in at least 50 years and continues to broaden. Data from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that while the real income of the very rich continued to grow last year, the poorest 20 percent in Britain saw their incomes fall. Worse, the chasm between the haves and have-nots is no easier to cross. Social mobility is lower in Britain than in any other developed nation, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development."


This is shocking honestly. Britain offers a wealth of opportunities to get educated. Having studied in the UK, I can honestly say they do a great job of keeping the barriers to college education low.

I think those who like to believe this is only an American phenomenon should look at this article closely.

Even with Britain's generous social welfare programs and heavily subsidized college education, the gap is ever widening..

It's strange honestly, if there ever was a country that offered the working class a leg up, it's Britain. It's where my dad came from India and was given an opportunity to get an education. He took them up on it, got a good degree, and the Brits gave him a Visa to stay.

I don't get it...
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RE: Britain Wealth Gap Widens

Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:17 pm

But this looks at effects, not causes.

Britain may very well have a huge gap, AND plenty of cross-mobility. At least in theory, it could.

There will always be poor people. But we cannot easily show that those same people are poor for a particular reason. Many many go to college and escape poverty. Still others may skip college, and enter poverty for the first time.

"Poor" is not a person, it is a person _at a certain moment_. Some of these "poor" may be in university, soon to be rich.

All I am saying is, a wealth gap does not prove there is no social mobility. Far from it.
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RE: Britain Wealth Gap Widens

Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:45 am

Britain has quite a high cost of living... so whilst the rich have excess money over what they NEED to live, the poor don't. The end result is that the rich can afford to invest their money (be it property, shares, deposits etc) and they make more money from this...
It happens in most countries around the world.... the difference with the UK is that it has a long engrained class structure... ie even if you have money you are not necessarily considered to be upperclass.... just a rich middle class person. With a large % of generally poor immigrants and remenants from past decades of unemployed poor (ex miners, car factory workers etc), it takes a while for things to change. Yes people need to work to create their own wealth, but the state also has an obligation to ensure that everyone has a chance in life... which is where the USA is let down in comparison as it does not really provide a social safety net compared to Britain and most of Europe + Australia, New Zealand, Canada.
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RE: Britain Wealth Gap Widens

Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:53 am

The Labour Party is dead.

They have betrayed their core voters and are now getting a kicking because of it. Soon, middle class England, who trusted Labour with their votes en masse, will end the loan.

Together with a backward class ridden education system in England, which only the monied elite can afford but which continues to generate the pretty dumb individuals who form the ruling classes (I give you Boris Johnston), the UK is sliding down a North Sea Oil lubricated pathway to its timely end.

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