Danny Dorling’s spouting bollocks again

To be in the top 1% of earners in Britain today, a couple with no children would need a minimum income of £160,000. A single person can enter the 1% with a little less, while a couple with children would need more.

Hardly any GPs are paid enough to take their place in the top 1% any longer, despite the last decade’s huge hike in their pay; their incomes have been far outstripped by those of the financiers above them.

Bit weird. GPs are on £112,000 or so, aren’t they? (looking it up, 103,000 for average GP partner in 2011/12) making a married GP couple comfortably in that top 1%. And yes, assortative mating has meant that there are a number of such couples out there.

I have a proof copy of the book this is drawn from and I’ve not written a proper review of it on the grounds that it’s filled with howlers like this. At one point he actually tries to tell us that the average cost of health care in the US is $110,000 a year or something (running from memory there). Seems not to understand that while it is expensive they do have “insurance”.

16 comments on “Danny Dorling’s spouting bollocks again

  1. “making a married GP couple comfortably in that top 1%”

    Or a GP married to a tax campaigning accountant.

  2. First two points he makes and he is already confusing or conflating the top 1% by income and the top 1% by wealth.

    Those two groups don’t overlap as much as the likes of DD and the Guardian tend to think (all the nonsense about “tax cut for millionaires”).

  3. I’m sure the key to that is “GP Partner” if you’re a locum or just a normal GP with no stake in the partnership you’ll be on considerably less. Anyone actually know what the difference in salary is?

  4. he actually tries to tell us that the average cost of health care in the US is $110,000 a year or something

    If that’s per capita healthcare spending, the real number is a tenth of that or less.

  5. I skim read that article last night. Can anyone who’s read it properly confirm whether Dorling, at any time, explained *how* the 1% get so rich (as promised in the title), or was it just (as my scan suggested) a list of reasons why the 1% are bad.. except for that opening bit about how GP’s and head teachers (aka Guardian readers) aren’t in it anymore? Because when the Groan writes about inequality we know what they’re really bothered about… the dreadful injustice of the upper-middle-class not being able to buy the nicest houses anymore.

  6. He like to asume that only one partner will be working in a couple then. Less likely if they don’t have kids.
    As Doctors often tend to be married to other Doctors they are likley to have a high income between then.

  7. Isn’t average pay across a profession a bit of a meaningless number? Without knowing the range between the graduate trainee and the senior partner about to retire, it doesn’t tell you anything on its own.

  8. Why would we want GP’s to earn more?
    Cheaper GP’s mean Cheaper Healthcare or don’t people want that anymore?

    It’s all so confusing!

  9. He’s right, of course, about increasingly needing to come from a well-off family to get into the good jobs. But, as you pointed out only yesterday, that’s his job, journalism. So why doesn’t he mention journalists? And why doesn’t he laud Thatcher for reforming the City so that it is no longer an old boys’ network?

  10. So-called fact #5 really grates:

    “If Barclays bank didn’t employ several hundred people on salaries of more than £1m […] it could employ several thousand more staff to work in local branches threatened with closure.”

    Sure. Or, as is more likely, it could give out that moolah to shareholders. Why is the Guardian obsessed with robbing shareholders to give to employees?

  11. Is there a rule, somewhere, I’ve missed that states GPs and head teachers must be in the top 1% of earners?

  12. “If Barclays bank didn’t employ several hundred people on salaries of more than £1m […] it could employ several thousand more staff to work in local branches threatened with closure.”

    Anyone who’s had to deal with a branch of Barclays bank would not only support closing it, but bulldozing it with the staff inside.

  13. Dongguan John: that was my first reaction. Doctoring isn’t as easy as, say, writing shite for the Grauniad but it’s no more academically challenging than any number of professional occupations and less than some. It’s by no means obvious that the average GP provides more social good than a decent civil engineer, if that’s your criterion for how much someone should be paid (in which case Danny Dorling would be reduced to rooting through bins for leftover food). Head teachers are just moderately senior paper pushers, like a department head in a medium-sized business. They’ll have a few dozen staff and a budget of a few million quid. Big deal.

  14. Wonder what sort of person antes-up £12.99 for a DD book?
    Gonna be a bit short on cliff-hanging plot lines & graphic sex scenes, isn’t it?
    Given you’re knowing roughly what’s in it before you start, be cheaper & less trouble to write your own.

  15. Sorry to quote this again but its astounding:

    “If Barclays bank didn’t employ several hundred people on salaries of more than £1m, but on more reasonable, if still high incomes, it could employ several thousand more staff to work in local branches threatened with closure. ”

    So DD is pro-idleness. Branches arent facing closure through lack of available staff, its because there is a general decline in footfall into branches due to the prominence of the internet in banking.

    What exactly will these extra staff do other than sit around, adding no value to anyone and merely costing money. While the redirect of 1m+ salaries from management would likely drive away the executives who often make decisions that create wealth for barclays, which allows them to pay for their staff in useful and junior positions.

    This nonsense spouted by DD is advocating the most wasteful and wealth (and jobs, its all about jobs right?) destroying redirection of money for bugger all benefit.

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