Can Polly actually read?

Oxfam tells them 1% of the population will next year own 99% of the world’s wealth:

Because, you know, that’s really not quite what Oxfam actually said.

If the Low Pay Commission set higher minimums appropriate to each sector, like the old wages councils, larger companies could pay decent salaries according to profitability.

So Polly’s also against having a national minimum wage then?

32 thoughts on “Can Polly actually read?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    How far off that 1% is Pol? Can’t be far.

    But is this really how policy is made in the UK now? Some Fake Charity makes a bullsh!t claim based on made-up figures. Some Talking Bubble Head exaggerates that claim even further.

    All we need now is for some asinine politician with the spine of an octopus and the brain cells of kelp to adopt it as policy. The only question really is will it be Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg that gets their sound bite in first.

  2. SMFS. for sure Polly is in that 1%.

    However, for the left 1% no longer means 1/100. It means people drinking champagne on yachts and eating the poor.

  3. Dongguan John:

    I think it’s about your ideology, not about what you do. As we’ve seen with Roman Polanski it’s e.g. perfectly fine to rape young girls as long as you are a lefty. It’s also perfectly fine to drink red wine in posh Tuscan / Umbrian villas as long as you are a Guardian editor. Now if you were a banker that would be a different thing

  4. Don’t be unkind to Polly. In the 1960s she spent several weeks living among the poor, and even wrote a book about it, so she really feels the pain of the proletariat.

  5. Sooo?

    To keep my ski apartment (and drink fantastic Spanish reds) I have to vote leftie?

    or is it enough to pretend to?

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    bilbaoboy – “or is it enough to pretend to?”

    As Pauline Kael may or may not have said, “[Nixon] can’t have won. No one I know voted for him.”

    Pretend to. I expect that secretly Polly voted UKIP.

  7. She is a great manatee, grazing in a shallow sea of ignorance and malevolence. She’s also rather dim. But we know this already, Timothy.

  8. Is she proposing to scrap the national minimum wage and put everyone on bonuses?

    Emil – “It’s also perfectly fine to drink red wine in posh Tuscan / Umbrian villas as long as you are a Guardian editor.” Only Nixon could go to China, updated for our modern age “Only Toynbee could go to Tuscany”

    SmfS – “As Pauline Kael may or may not have said, “[Nixon] can’t have won. No one I know voted for him.” The good ol’ psychologist’s fallacy, a common and fatal flaw of the left.

  9. It’s such shyte isn’t it. It’s not as if the wealth is all in gold bars. Most of it is in businesses which generate jobs and wealth for others. If someone owns a billion dollar business it’s not as if he (or she!) has a billion dollars to spend.

    And just how much of this wealth do the left want redistributed? If 1% owning 50% is a scandal what level would be OK? 40%? 10%? 1%?

    And of course you only need about £500k assets or as little as £35k p.a. income to be in the top 1% world-wide anyway.

    I don’t give a shit if Bill Gates owns 1 yacht or 10 yachts. Well done him and he does more good with his charitable foundation than most governments and all the whining lefties have ever done.

    The older I get the more I hate the smug, hypocritical middle class left. Which shows there is at least one advantage of getting older.

  10. Given that the 1% equates to assets of c£550,000, we can probably reasonably assert that anyone who is paid to comment on the 1% is within that 1%.

  11. Given that the 1% equates to assets of c£550,000, we can probably reasonably assert that anyone who is paid to comment on the 1% is within that 1%.

    Do you have a reference for this? I can’t see this in the Oxfam report or their data which just whitters on about billionaires.

    I’m fairly sure I am close to the UK 1% on an income basis (from figures discussed passim) and am asset positive (housing market dependent but not that much). So I would assume I’m global 1% wealth.

  12. Yes, the figure to be in the top 1% is about £550,000.

    Well, the UK state pension is a £250,000 asset for a start. Throw in an averagely priced UK house and that takes you to £500,000.

    So, pretty much most Guardian readers will be in the top 1%. Their star columnists easily in it.

  13. Smfs

    Of course Val Policella is in the top 1%.

    The threshold is $798000 from the source doc.

    Anybody with a decent flat in London sans mortgage is in the global 1%.

  14. Having a £250k mortgage makes me poorer than most of the third world, sorry “global south”. They can redistribute some of those paddy fields to me, the capitalist swines.

  15. As I was fond of saying to someone in the pub about this very topic: if Elton John’s portfolio tanked tomorrow, would you be better off? No. So why be bothered by it?

    I’m sure Polly’s worker’s cottage is in Umbria, not Tuscany. Only the bourgeoisie go to Tuscany these days. The upper middle classes have fled to Umbria, and safety.

  16. Well I sincerely hope she’s in Umbria not Tuscany – wouldn’t want to run into her in the supermarket…

  17. “And of course you only need about £500k assets or as little as £35k p.a. income to be in the top 1% world-wide anyway.” Oh bugger: at least I must be in the top 2%, but that doesn’t have the same ring about it.

  18. “Polly’s worker’s cottage is in Umbria, not Tuscany”: which is why one must refer to it as Toynbee’s pad in Tuscany – in hopes that Her Dimness gets in a bate about it.

  19. Hang on; if I’m allowed to capitalise my pensions, I am in the top 1%. Zippydy-doo-dah. But I am married to a pauper. Oh dear.

    Tell me, are we allowed to capitalise our rights to use the NHS? But if you did that, tracts of the UK population would be in the top 1%, wouldn’t they?

  20. dearieme,

    The source document, Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook 2014 [PDF], has some discussion about whether public pensions should be counted as part of one’s wealth. Their short answer is no: only private pensions are counted.

    They do however point out that free education / healthcare / social security / pension provision tends to reduce savings rates amongst poor and middle classes, thereby increasing wealth inequality in those countries. Hence socialist Sweden has quite high wealth inequality: their rich continue to amass assets, while the poor and middle classes don’t need to save for anything.

  21. When you think about it, it’s all bollocks, isn’t it?

    I was thinking earlier that I could buy a really nice 4 bedroom home in a gated community in the Philippines for £100k. Someone living in and owning a cramped £250k shoe box flat on Murder Street, London would technically be more wealthy than me yet really who’s better off?

  22. Interesting about pensions: does a final salary pension scheme for a State employee count as a private one or public?

  23. “has some discussion about whether public pensions should be counted as part of one’s wealth”: presumably the answer depends on what point you are trying to prove. Policy-based evidence making: that sort of thing. It’s a wonderful argument: splattering money at the poor makes them less wealthy. Brilliant. I am in awe.

  24. One of the standard idiocies from Oxfam types is the oft quoted stat that x billions live on ‘less than a dollar a day’ – as Lord Bauer pointed out, that statistic is meaningless without referring to the local price level.
    ‘Such ridiculous arguments could be mutliplied many times over. Their presence in the so-called quality press tells us much about the contemporary intellectual scene’ is still one of the best quotes I have ever seen.

    Toynbee is arguably the most moronic commentator in the Grauniad against stiff competition. I do believe she does not block critics on Twitter though so she deserves commendation for that..

  25. Dearieme,

    I suspect that those who compiled the Credit Suisse report were interested in having financial assets to manage. So from their point of view someone with a generous state pension, but low savings, is poor (or at least of no interest). Likewise someone with a house nice house in Bangladesh and £100k in the bank might be living pretty comfortably, but be of little interest to Credit Suisse’s Asset Management division.

    See this twitter exchange:

    https://twitter.com/KatharinaBart/status/557450312915881986

  26. Okay, so I’m well into the 1% on both income and (not particularly accessible) wealth.

    Where are my minions? Where are the dancing girls? Why do I have to do this “going to work” shit? 1%? F***king tedious bullshit. I might as well go back to working .mil full time. I’d still be a 2%er. No dancing girls, mind you, (thank your choice of Glod!)

  27. @ Luke
    Credit Suisse is probably not interested in peoiple like me who barely scrape into the top 1% but their research department is generally pretty good (not as good as me, of course, but pretty good) andwwhen producing statistics does not ignore the existence of those who are not clklients of Credit Suisse Asset Management.

  28. @ Rob
    Spot on!
    If you are a member of Unite, Unison, First Division Association or the Labour Party trying to deny that the public sector is overpaid, the final salary pension for the state employee doesn’t count at all. If you are ONS looking at “the distribution of private wealth” the final salary pension of the public sector employee gets valued at the same multiple of accrued pension as a private sector pension despite the privatre sector pension having a lower (or sometimes nil) inflation-proofing. A lot of the inequality of wealth reported by ONS is that of high-ranking public sector employees.

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