Committing Worstall\’s Fallacy even:
Take a look at the astonishing chart of property wealth published by the New Economics Foundation and you get an inkling of why attempts to challenge the concentration of private property are denounced as fascism. The graph, using government statistics, suggests that the average property wealth of the top 1% of households is £15m. \”The 1% are worth more than the bottom 99% put together.\” By focusing on income rather than property we have gravely underestimated the extent of inequality.
That\’s Monbiot, who links to this from NEF. Which is based upon this from ONS.
And I\’m afraid it\’s wrong. Simply, just wrong.
In 2008/10, aggregate total wealth (including private pension wealth but excluding state pension
wealth) of all private households in Great Britain was £10.3 trillion.
For what this is is a measure of wealth before we do all the things that change the distribution of wealth. For example, the state pension pays out £5k a year or so. This is an inflation proofed annuity. As such it has a capital value of around £100k (pay £100k for an annuity you\’ll get about £5k a year inflation proofed).
Thus every OAP at age 65 (umm, 66 now?) has wealth of £100k.
Similarly, a social housing tenancy is a form of property wealth. You get to inhabit a building, for life (some are even inheritable) at below market prices. Yes, this is a form of wealth.
We can go further: by dint of being no more than a citizen you get free health care, free education for the kiddies, you\’ve the whole welfare state backing you up as well. This is wealth. This is why we do these things: we think that they make both individuals and society richer. You know, wealthier.
Absent mental or drug problems (and even then, that\’s falling through the cracks, not by design) it\’s impossible for you to have a standard of living below some £10k* a year as a UK citizen. Which makes you fucking wealthy.
Thus committing the sin of Worstall\’s Fallacy. Measuring something without looking at the things we already do to change what is being measured.
*We can argue about whether it\’s £5k, £12k, but it most certainly ain\’t £0k.