Well done Ritchie, well done

The other major trend has been the rejection of the political elite. More than thirty years of neoliberalism and the policies of the Wahington Consensus, which always set out to redistribute wealth upwards, has resulted in the alienation of far too many people from the political process.

The aim of the Washington Consensus was to make the poor richer. The last few decades have seen the greatest reduction in absolute poverty in the history of our species.

Seems to have worked really…..

46 thoughts on “Well done Ritchie, well done”

  1. Letting people make more of their own economic choices = redistributing wealth upwards?!

    Also “neoliberalism” (one of those lovely made up isms of the left) resulted in alienation? Yep. Definitely trying to give people more power over their own lives alienates them. Definitely. Definitely not the media-London-politician bubble calling 50% of the population stupid racists. Or the shift in powers away from people to the EU. Nope, definitely the freedom thing.

  2. Fucking funny. Ritchie is going to be doing academic research. Real academic stuff he thinks. That means peer reviews for the first time. Popcorn ordered.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    More than thirty years of neoliberalism and the policies of the Wahington Consensus, which always set out to redistribute wealth upwards, has resulted in the alienation of far too many people from the political process.

    1. I would be fascinated to read any document from anyone even remotely connected to neo-liberalism or the Washington Consensus that argued for redistributing wealth upwards,

    2. Alienation from the political process is not a bad thing. The people of Venezuela are far too involved in politics for their own good. I am sure they would rather live in a boring country.

  4. There’s an argument to be made here.

    The post-war consensus (if there really was anything so specific) had some good bits. Must have had as there was economic progress. But it ended with ruinous, bonkers terms in certain industries and for certain unions, and something had to change.

    The neoliberal consensus (if there really is anything so specific), was obviously something of a success as well. The hint is in “consensus”. But we can all see that there may be some issues, or some straining at the edges. No system works for ever, and the home ownership trend should certainly worry Thatcherites.

    Still, rather than come up with something constructive, let’s just blame evil neo-liberals. NOT those that voted for neo-liberal New Labour, or endorse neo-liberal Remain now, obviously.

    Oh to be so superior.

  5. Jack C, the only way is Venezuela. I wonder if this is the title of the great man’s next opus?

  6. Now, is there an issue on which the LHTD believes that we should blindly follow an apparent consensus???

  7. blah blah blah Tim.

    Considering the amount of stuff at the top end, progress at the bottom has been a lot of fuck all.

    You are blind.

  8. I’m sure that this kind of stuff goes down very well in peer review – if submitted to the “right” places.

  9. Really Lawrence, really ? Around the world, the number of people lifted out of abject poverty by the demise of socialism is simply astounding. But there’s non so blind as those who resolutely refuse to see.

  10. those on unemployment benefit have greater disposable income today than people on average earnings did in the 70s. That’s not a massive improvement at the bottom???

  11. I know it is from a den of iniquity, but the report issued by the IEA on inequality does a little bit of drilling down and Lawrence’s elegantly expressed opinion just does not hold up.

    The real change over the last 30 or 40 years in the UK, for example, has been between the top 1% and the top 0.1% and this is not due to illegal neoliberal cornering of the market. It is just that globalization has allowed a winner-takes all scenario in certain areas. Google did it better than Netscape and Yahoo and where are they now?

    It is clear that poverty in the developed world is well on the run and has been beaten by the enforced generosity of those with more.

    World-wide the story is similar but there is still a long way to go. Particularly where the state has failed and violence is widespread.

    But all the posturing about inequality comes down to the software mogul has shot ahead of the leading doctor or business exec in an average medium to large company. Watch me cry.

    Despite all the fuss about inequality which now gets inserted into every political speech, the problem is poverty and disenfranchisment, not the fact I haven’t got as much as Richard Branson.

  12. Yes, but Arnald’s problem is that flipping burgers (or being a junior manager in a charity) in the evil neo-liberal finance based hellhole that is Guernsey doesn’t pay as well as being one of those finance peons.

    And that is all that matters, folks.

    Real people being lifted out of poverty? They can fall back in to starvation for all he cares. As long as there’s redistribution his way. Oh, and lots of “overt caring” that achieves nothing except allowing Western socialists to feel smug in their idiocy.

    Especially if the caring ruins any chances of people in the developing world improving their lives. Because “gorbal worming” or something like that.

  13. The reason *why* the Washington Consensus *is* a consensus is that in the 1990s the standard of living for an unemployed single mother on benefits in a New York ghetto was higher than that of a bank manager in Eastern Europe. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall Eastern Europe and China have been catching up but the reason why migrants are queueing outside Calais is that the “poor” in this country are better off than the middle class in their homelands.

  14. @ Lawrence
    In that case why does Joseph Rowntree consider that a minimum standard of living requires a lot of things that I never had as a middle-class child, some of which I don’t consider normal, let alone necessary, as a middle-class adult?

  15. I’ve seen the welfare queen versus bank manager argument but I’ve never seen support for the claim. If we exclude cheap tat availability does that still apply?

  16. Lawnald: Go watch some of Hans Rosling’s stuff on YouTube or TED. I don’t think he’s in cahoots with Timmy.

  17. TG

    Quite. Rosling is a data freak and tells it like it is. No simplistic narrative just data and analysis, stunningly presented.

  18. Fuckwits

    You are all unable to argue that the most gain has been at the top.

    It’s a mendacious point of view.To achieve a functioning free market, all stakeholders have to be included.

    Stealing the vast sum or resources from countries that cannot legislate to make that resource socially useful is a deliberate action from the legal, financial and bastards that capture the regulation to suit themselves.

    Again, you are fucking stupid if you think otherwise.

    Lifting a population out of poverty, and remember Timothy has a weird way of calculating these things, some shit econometrics, from one cent below to one cent above is laughable


    Considering the natural assets most of those countries you include in your bollocks interpretation, they should be head and shoulders above our weak commonwealth stitch up.

    Did any of you go to school?

  19. I’m sorry to bring facts to your rant, Lawrence, but do check out gapminder.org. There are some historical time series that should manage to make an impression even on you.

    Here is an example:

    You can select whichever countries you wish – at random I selected Bangladesh, Benin and Botswana. The startling fact is that per capita income in each place has doubled over the last 50 years or so, and living standards as measured by life expectancy has also increased dramatically.

  20. @ Liberal Yank
    I *did* have support for the claim when I first made it but, as I’m 6 or 7 time-zones away from you, you probably heard an near-identical claim originated by an American – the World Bank sent a lot of guys into Eastern Europe to sort out their banks which were mostly bust due to dud loans to state enterprises (and/or farmers) so they would meet bank managers. I think I still have some data on ex-communist states in the eartly ’90s at the back of my son’s shed at the bottom of the garden – but it’s possible my wife has chucked it out as out-of-date and therefore irrelevant – and if so I may be able to dig out some official or EIU data to back up my observation.
    Is it still true? – not in Albania (for which I had data), thank God. GDP at PPP has, according to Wiki, quadrupled since 1990.

  21. Lawrence

    Why the change of moniker? Putting your true name forward? Unhappily for you it has not made your arguments even vaguely coherent – best get back – the evening rush will be starting

  22. And another interesting video, which shows it it would be possible to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. however, you would have to buy into things like economic growth – such an anathema for the ecologically-minded.

  23. @ Lawrence
    I am NOT a fuckwit and I *did* demonstrate massive gains at the bottom.
    So *you* are a fuckwit for claiming otherwise.
    I am not normally that rude but you introduced the term and you deserve it.
    Quadrupling real GDP (or GDP at PPP) is not from 1% below to 1% above – it is massive. It is having enough to eat – every day. It is buying new clothes when the old ones wear out, it is being able to walk along the street without falling through a hole in the pavement, it is being able to keep warm in winter (well, maybe you don’t have winter in Guernsey), – at the top end for bank head-office executives it is being able to rely on the electricity supply not cutting off so that you don’t have to tell visiting consultants to bring laptops with working batteries but the difference is staring you in the face at the bottom end.
    When I started school nearly all the other boys had patched shorts and some of them had patched shirts, we all walked to school (no “mum’s run”), clothes were “handed-down” until they fell to pieces, there were NO obese working-class kids because no-one had that much spare food. What planet are *you* living on?

  24. The Meissen Bison

    Now fuck off cunty boy.

    For Lazzald (alumnus of Coldharbour Lane Syringe Academy) that’s tantamount to saying “pull up a chair and make yourself at home”.

  25. oooo what a source, Timothy.

    Why aren’t those asset rich countries not doing better? They really ought to be forging ahead, using your version of calculation.

    What percentage raise in income do you think marks a ‘successful’ improvement. If you’re earning a dollar a day, a dollar and a dime is a significant increase.

    You scoff at other opinions, yours are worse.

    Now you can fuck off, EU traitor boy.

    Johnny “silver jubilee” relic.

    Despite your lack of paragraphs which may or may not improve your expression of opinion, what are you talking about?

    Do you not think that other people have lived the life you describe? Jesus Christ, do you want me to list anecdotal evidence a bout getting a lump of coal for christmas and having to give my lunch money to the school bully?

    Scrumping for apples wearing a cap and shorts?

    Swallows and fucking Amazons?

  26. There is a section on Gapminder about Ignorance

    The mission of Gapminder Foundation is to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview that everyone can understand. We started the Ignorance Project to investigate what the public know and don’t know about basic global patterns and macro-trends. We use surveys to ask representative groups of people simple questions about key-aspects of global development.

    DEVASTATING IGNORANCE: Thank you, Lawrence for the extremely rude over-the-top demo of what Rosling has to struggle against.

  27. @john77: because the Rowntree calculations calaculate the costs of being a member of *TODAY’S* society, not of being a member of the 1950s society while being alive today. Having central heating is today considered a basic standard of being in today’s society, it wasn’t in the 1950s, that doesn’t mean that an acceptable 1950s standard of living is acceptable to the 2010s.

  28. @ jgh
    SO – the acceptable standard of living for the unemployed* in the UK has soared to above the level for the middle-class in 1951.
    Has it occurred to you that the standard of living at the bottom *must* therefore have improved rather more than “fuck all”? So Lawrence *is* a fuckwit for denying that I have demonstrated that?
    *The Joseph Rowntree Foundation was considering what was deemed an acceptable standard of living for the unemployed.

  29. @ jgh
    I am a member of 1950s society and alive today – maybe that is why I don’t count in their (?your) opinion?

  30. The Meissen Bison

    L’arnald: do you want me to list anecdotal evidence a bout getting a lump of coal for christmas and having to give my lunch money to the school bully?

    Scrumping for apples wearing a cap and shorts?

    Swallows and fucking Amazons?

    Yes, yes, yes!

    Especially the last one and whether they were sold for ice-money.

  31. Just out of interest, can anyone point me to the JRF basket of necessities? I’ve never been able to see it on their site.

  32. It’s “what our focus groups think you should be able to do without being considered poor in this society”. Adam Smith’s linen shirt effectively. Reasonable idea but it’s relative poverty, not absolute.

  33. Lawrence really gets angry when his incorrect opinions are confronted with actual facts and data.


    More than 1 billion people lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990. Maybe the size of that increase for each person is not in absolute terms massive but regardless there are still 1 billion people no longer in extreme poverty.

    Now try and explain how that fits in with notions such as “the Washington Consensus (term coined in 1989) redistributes incomes upwards”,

    Also you clearly have no clue about Dutch disease or any of the other damage that having abundant natural resources can do to a country. Look at any wealthy nation on the planet. Compare how many got rich *because* of their natural resources and how many got rich through other means.

  34. Anecdotal evidence for the global rise in living standards – watch TV coverage of Indian cricket (e.g. IPL) and notice how much fatter the average person in the crowd is compared with say 25 years ago. And better dressed.

    Our own poor are now so fat that obesity is now officially a disease of poverty.

    To deny that “neo-liberalism” has raised living standards worldwide enormously is to deny reality, an easy thing to do in the affluent West, not so easy elsewhere.

  35. bilbaoboy

    It’s a difficult existential puzzle, isn’t it, to find some text that reflects what you want to fit with ones own viewpoint.

    I disagree with Timothy. Is my language and opinion less articulate than mr ecks or the ffs SMFS?

    It really isn’t my fault if the likes of bison doesn’t understand comptemporary parlance.


    I’m surprised you don’t agree with DBC Reed. One of the worst decisions ever made in England was the ‘Right to Buy’ etc

  36. Mal Reynolds

    Lawrence really gets angry when his incorrect opinions are confronted with actual facts and data.

    No, Mal, I get constant flak for not agreeing with the childish points made here.

    Disagreement is healthy, non?

    But this argument comes down to a very basic point. And I guess Timothy is right skirting round this. If there is a definition set by an arbritary convention, then it’s easy to say “yay everything is awesome”.

    I happen to disagree with that assessment of poverty. And I find it odd that Timothy is basically agreeing with a previously described, by him, a ridiculed non-entity.

  37. @TomJ
    The MIS ( minimum income standard ) tables used by the JRF can be accessed here
    They leave a lot to be desired. Comically women need to spend more on wine, as men can drink lager, so the MIS figure for alcohol in the basket is higher for women than men. More seriously if say 55% of the panel think a parent with two children needs a car, then the full cost of a car goes in the basket ( should be 55% of the cost of the car ). It results in a better and more interesting measure of relative poverty than the 60% of national median income measure, but it could be so much better.

  38. The Meissen Bison

    Contemporary parlance: And I find it odd that Timothy is basically agreeing with a previously described, by him, a ridiculed non-entity.

    Yup, Arnster, you’re right. I don’t get it.

    On the other hand I did understand cunty boy even if I think that the appellation exaggerated your usefulness.

  39. Lawrie

    Difficult to find a text that….?

    Yup, that describes my mental processes totally.

    Give me data.

    Natural resources do not a country make rich.

    They are just one input and they require others.

    How much is iron ore on the moon worth?

    Ask Venezuela, and they weren’t exactly third world before the current market fiddler maestros.

  40. Dildo

    What made the UK rich?

    Yeah but duh, of course one strand of silk does not make an empire.

    And what the fuck are you mentioning the moon for? Surely you should set you sights higher for a better analogy. The belt and the comets, if you knew anything about anything.

    Venezuela? A train crash, certainly, but but but

    It plays a role in those Timothy thinking stats about raising people out of poverty. Probably more successfully than other places. And yeah, I know, things are now worse than they should be, and socialist experiments always attract vain dictators. But they do lift people out of poverty.

    If you kill everyone, nobody is poor.

    But it’s exactly the same as you money fascists. Cull the weak and exploit the next weak. Just with a glossy brochure.

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