Ritchie thinks this is a bad thing

The UK is remarkable for its polarisation: it accounts for a very significant portion (nearly half) of the top 1% of wage earners in the EU, and yet it also has a substantial presence in the bottom two quintiles.

Well, yes. That’s because in The City we’ve got one of the great global centres of specialisation, equal to Silicon Valley in its global impact, and we’ve got the incredibly high productivity jobs that go with that. Don’t think of The City as really being part of the UK economy: it just happens to be here.

The rest of the UK economy is a rather dreary and not very rich northern European country.

And yet this is what Ritchie complains about. Just think how poor the Curajus State would be without that centre of global excellence?

And this is pure bollocks:

According to the analysis, the level of wage inequality in the EU as a whole is below that of the US and the three most unequal countries in the EU – Latvia, Portugal and the UK – when wages are measured in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). The Gini index for wages in the EU as a whole is 0.346 (for full-time equivalent wages measured in PPP), while the comparable measure for the US is around 0.4, and in the UK, the most unequal EU country, it is 0.404. The majority of EU countries have Gini values for full-time equivalent wages well below the overall EU figure.

They’re not measuring inequality as a whole. Can’t possibly be. They’re measuring national inequality then averaging it. Somewhere that contains Romania and The City does not have a lower gini than the UK.

Hmm, actually, reading the report, perhaps not. PPP makes a helluva difference. At which point, of course, we need to start applying regional PPP to see the regional ginis in the UK. Which will be rather lower than the nationally reported one of course.

5 thoughts on “Ritchie thinks this is a bad thing”

  1. If you look at e.g. the Northeast region in isolation, then yes inequality doesn’t look too bad. However if you look at the London region in isolation, inequality is enormous.

    You can argue that much of London’s poor have arrived from even poorer places, and are thus very grateful for their few crumbs off the rich men’s plates. That’s not the message the Left want to spread though.

  2. Link to the report you’re looking at? 40 is lower than the typically reported US Gini, does the report correct US measurements for in-kind redistribution?

  3. I know a couple of teachers who have retired on comfortable pensions and spend most of their time doing unpaid work to help family/friends/community. But both have responded to requests to do a few hours teaching a week to fill in gaps. So they are near the bottom of wage income, increasing the gini coefficient, without being poor.
    There are a large and increasing number of people in the UK who are working, usually part-time, while drawing a state and/or occupational pension So the wage gini coefficient is almost as flawed as the BMI.

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