Simms really is a twat, isn\’t he?

The other great destabilisation over the last quarter of a century has been the growth of inequality. In the large majority of OECD countries inequality rose from the 1980s. Inequality matters, pushing up a wide range of social costs, weakening the social fabric and producing less convivial places to live. While things have been bad in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and United States, the negative trend has caught up with traditionally more equal countries such as Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Here, inequality grew more over the last decade, according to the OECD, than anywhere else, and it rose in 17 out of 22 countries for which comparable data was available.

Globally, the share of the benefits of economic activity reaching the poorest – those on less than $1 per day – fell dramatically between the 1980s and 1990s. Inequality also rose even in the major developing countries, India and China, which fared economically much better than, for example, did most of Africa.

As well as within countries and the global population as a whole,

Fallacy of composition.

Within country inequality has been rising, yes. Global inequality has been falling.

Because inequality has been rising in the UK, in the US, in Sweden etc, does not mean that when you tot up all the people in the world that inequality among all the people in the world has been rising.

In fact, when you go and look at the work of Sala i Martin or Milanovic (in the latter\’s phrases, look at Concept 2 or Concept 3 inequality) then you find that while in country inequality has been rising (except in Africa, where even this has been falling) global inequality has been falling.

Which of course produces a brain hurt in a modern liberal. This neo-liberalism might indeed be producing  more inequality among the already rich (which is what anyone at all in an advanced country is) while reducing inequality across the global poor and rich. And which should a liberal care about more? Local, nationalist, shit or all men are my brother type stuff?

Sadly, many modern liberals fail at this very fence: they think it more important that the distance between the Duke and the dustman has increased than that Mbeki and his kids are getting three squares a day for the first time in their lives. That relative poverty that leaves the bottom 10% of households in the UK with only £160 a week in disposable income is more of a problem than there is joy to be had from billions rising up, finally, from absolute poverty.

Fuck\’em, self-absorbed little shits.

7 comments on “Simms really is a twat, isn\’t he?

  1. Inequality matters, pushing up a wide range of social costs, weakening the social fabric…

    Good to see he’s talking in quantifiable, measurable terms and not just using woolly guff.

  2. And this is why I’ve not yet been convinced by the Occupy folks. For anyone living in the developed world who is not living in crisis (e.g. homeless, slave to substance addiction, trafficked and made to work illegally, etc), then it’s a matter of the 88the percentile (on a minimum wage of about €1000/month or more) complaining about the 0.001th percentile (on about €225K/year or more).

  3. It occurs that one thing raising inequality within the UK is the practise of allowing poor immigrants to settle here- that is one component of increasing poverty in the UK is that we import it.

  4. As women get educated and find well paid jobs, assortative mating increases inequality as we get more dual-income, high salary households. Feminism increases household inequality.

  5. Haven’t the Occupy folk shown that virtually everyone who sleeps out in the streets can just quietly vamoose back to The Hotel of Mum and Dad?

  6. This all assumes there is a link between rising inequality in the UK and a growing Chinese economy. China doesn’t have a neoliberal economy is the obvious first point.

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