A detailed and startling analysis of how unequal Britain has become offers a snapshot of an increasingly divided nation where the richest 10% of the population are more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10% of society. The report, "An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK," scrutinises the degree to which the country has become more unequal over the past 30 years. Much of it will make uncomfortable reading for the Labour government, although the paper indicates that considerable responsibility lies with the Tories, who presided over the dramatic divisions of the 1980s and early 1990s. (THATCHER!)

The new findings show that the household wealth of the top 10% of the population stands at £853,000 and more – over 100 times higher than the wealth of the poorest 10%, which is £8,800 or below (a sum including cars and other possessions). When the highest-paid workers, such as bankers and chief executives, are put into the equation, the division in wealth is even more stark, with individuals in the top 1% of the population each possessing total household wealth of £2.6m or more.

COMMENT: I would be interested in seeing a similar report carried out on the comparative wealth of citizens living in Haiti and other extremely poor countries. I wouldn't be surprised to to find out that, although their people share in a life of crippling poverty, their societies are, in fact, more equal than ours.



  1. I did a five part series of blog posts on this very issue of the decline of equality. I ended it by suggesting that slavery (not the metaphor) could make a comeback in the near future. I pointed out that it was not hard to imagine the arguments about how the slaves deserve their servitude and that we are somehow doing them a favor by forcing them to work for nothing (“tough love”). It might not necessarily be racial slavery. It could be slavery based on immigration status, debt, or any number of other factors. We could even see the return of the ancient practice of kidnapping people and selling them at the slave market.

    I can remember the days when everyone assumed that no Western country would resort to torture as official policy.

    Anything is possible.

  2. It is moving in that direction here in the U.S. If the news about Obama’s State of the Union Address is correct, he is absolutely clueless about how, why, and by whom he was elected. He was elected by a liberal base to put an end to some of what had been going on during the previous eight years, but instead, if the reports are correct, he is going to announce a “freeze” on funding to social programs as a way to bring spending under control. Why not, he is giving it all away to the captains of industry and finance who are patting each other on their well-fed backs and voting huge tax-payer funded bonuses for each other for all of their failures. What is left is thrown down rat holes of a useless two-front war, in the same manner as his predecessor. If continues following this course, he will be a one-term president. I fear for us. Who will follow him into the White House? I shudder to think.

  3. OMG, Lois, please don’t even think that. Perhaps I will learn Spanish and move south until she blows over. Any suggestions David |Dah • veed|?

  4. I believe the ‘social programs,’ that is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits and Medical are being left off the freeze list. I am ignorant of what the other social programs might be except welfare.

  5. Perhaps I will learn Spanish and move south until she blows over.

    By which point, you’d be better off living in Haiti than the USA!

    The fact that these right-wingers overlook is how abysmally stupid their leadership is when it comes to spending or investment. Under a dingbat like Palin or Huckabee or McCain, the U. S. will become the newest Third World nation.

    You’d do better to learn Mandarin and move where the real center of international influence will be located.

  6. BooCat, you would need to lay low those 4 to possibly 8 years. As long as you did not draw attention to yourself you might avoid the attention of the narcotraficantes. They think all Statesonians are rich and would bring in a ransom.

  7. David |Dah • veed|, Rich? I suppose rich is relative, but even though a small state Teachers’ Retirement System pension and, by then, my Social Security might make me higher up the income scale in some places, it does not really go that far here. Since most of my family is connected to the education profession in state universities or city school systems, the narcotraficantes would be drilling a duster with me. Another draw back might be health insurance. I don’t know if my retirement health insurance and/or Medicare would travel outside of the country. But Sarah Palin, OMG, it might be worth taking the chance.