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So, to those who think we’ve got Victorian poverty

In the 1840s around 15 per cent of babies died before turning one, compared with 0.4 per cent in 2011.

Even if incomes had not changed at all, that would still be rather a large increase in living standards, would it not?

So, please fuck off whiners.

2 thoughts on “So, to those who think we’ve got Victorian poverty”

  1. Last weekend I had the occasion to visit a stately home. Not much improved over the centuries, though antiquated electricity, and some bits with ‘central heating’. Leaky wood-framed single-glazed windows.

    Even a relatively ‘poor’ person in this day and age lives in better conditions than the richest of the rich did 150 years ago.

  2. Ben, dunno. They had more space – modern living conditions are cramped especially for the poor. And better food, hand prepared by servants, which beats microwave meals.

    So you win some and you lose some. I’d also suggest that the modern not-very-rich have massively enhanced geographic mobility compared to the super-rich of 150 years ago. You don’t need to be that rich to run a car, which gives enormous flexibility compared to coach travel, and you don’t have to be much richer than that to jet off on holiday (supposedly skint students seem to manage it) which gives more options than a liner did. But those who are genuinely poor and are limited to foot and bus travel have very little more mobility than even the poor did 150 years ago. If they’re in a rural area with no bus service and can’t blag a lift from friends then they are travel-wise no better off than thousands of years ago.

    And then of course there is the mobile phone and the internet (which to be fair some of the very poorest still don’t have access to, but that number is low and dropping), advances in the pockets of ordinary people that it is almost impossible to make comparisons to the past with.

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