New OECD report

Prizes and secret masonic handshakes for the first to spot someone distorting these findings.

We have a high level of relative poverty….another way of saying that we are an unequal society. Which, given that we are more involved in globalisation than most other societies, doesn\’t surprise me in the least*. But this line:

While both the richest and poorest have been getting richer….

The prize is for spotting the first person to rewrite this as the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.


* The argument here is that there will be, in any society, a few who can play on the global rather than just national stage. So a more open, globalised, economy will allow those few to make pennies each off billions, rather than just pennies off the national millions. Tiger Woods doesn\’t make $100 million a year by taking $10 each off 10 million American golfers. He takes $1 each off 100 million global ones (numbers purely as an example).


11 thoughts on “New OECD report”

  1. Hooray for New Labour, eh Tim?

    Tim adds: You can certainly read it that way. However, given that the poor have been getting richer since, oooh, 1750 and the invention of this liberal capitalism shtick means that I’m not sure we’d want to credit New Labour with all of it.

  2. I’m not sure that the Tiger Woods of the world make much difference as these are normally done as median figures.

    I think it’s more about tax and benefits law. If you have the sort of society of Sweden or France, which don’t encourage entrepreneurship whilst at the same time, being generous with benefits, you get a narrower range of earnings.

  3. Tim Almond.

    Yes and an overall reduction in richness.

    Would you personally rather have £500 per month to live on, and know that everyone else has £500 per month to live on, or have £1000 to live on but know that a lot of other people get £10000 per month to live on?

    Having more than one brain cell to rub together I chose the latter option. Anyone who chooses the first option deserves exactly what they get – a country full of fucking losers and not enough money to pay the bills.

  4. “a country full of fucking losers and not enough money to pay the bills.”

    I wouldn’t quite say Sweden is like that (I have lived there too, so aren’t speaking completely out of my arse, unlike Polly).

    It’s true that the rewards for risk are poorer, and that entrepreneurship is more stifled. And yes, the successful large corporations like Volvo and SKF are seen as adjuncts to the welfare state. And yes, the tax system is as vicious as it is punitive. Yes, it’s true that the national past-time of Swedes is ‘svartsjukdom’ (i.e. being eaten out with envy that your neighbour is paid more).

    And yes… err, where were we? Oh yes, I was going to say that it’s not exactly North Korea because they have a superb education system that produces very bright graduates. This coupled with the very strong incentives never to hire anyone have driven automated manufacturing skills to a high level, letting Sweden play on the world manufacturing stage.

  5. Sweden has the added advantage of not having gone through a socialist phase with large chunks of industry owned by the government. (Or so I’ve been told. Anyone know?)

  6. I happened to be at a large client today and was watching this being reported by the BBC in the canteen. Everybody was absolutely amazed when I expressed my displeasure at the news.

    It just goes to show how many idiots their are out there.

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