Funny thing about averages

Richard Murphy says:
February 28 2021 at 2:16 pm
Any0one who can say on average we are better off when he knows how widely unequal is the spread of income and wealth in the UK is a fool.

But that may be too kind.

They obscure distributions. Rather the point of them to be honest.

12 thoughts on “Funny thing about averages”

  1. I wonder how he’d deal with the inequality implicit in the fact that most people have more than the average number of legs?

  2. If inequality remains constant and average income increases we are *all* better off. Anyone who denies that is a fool.

  3. The left always translate “growing income inequality” into “poor getting poorer”. I even once sat a friend down (though no longer a friend) and showed them the clear UK data that shows everyone is getting better off, just the rich are getting better off at a faster rate, hence rising income inequality. Within minutes he was back to spouting “poor getting poorer”. There’s only so much one can do…

  4. Yet Spud is just the type of person who uses average male and average female pay to claim that there is a income gap.

    Funny that averages are for fools when they don’t fit with his ideals, but are just the job when they suit his narrative.

  5. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Also, when the average touted is a change from baseline, it can obscure what proportion have moved in the desired direction and what proportion have moved in the opposite direction. And that’s before you start worrying about to handle probands for which you have only a baseline or only an endpoint evaluation.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    Looks like Spud’s new favourite dismissive is now fool rather than neoliberal, that’s twice now.

    We should treat it like teenagers using words to mean their opposite and class everyone Spud calls a fool as wise and knowledgeable, until proven otherwise.

  7. Does he think you’re not better off than, say, the UK of the 1960’s? Where inequality was even greater? *And* the lower limit of poverty even lower?

    The rising tide raise all boats – but we must dam the river because some boats are raising faster than others?

  8. Henry Crun
    March 1, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Translation: Lots of people are better off than I am. Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!

    One of the things that make me really hate people like him is he’s part of the human race that simply wants to be a ‘big fish’. If the way to do that is to ensure the pond stays small – well, fuck the rest of ya minnows.

    All he cares about is being at the top of the social heap – no matter how poor and miserable he is, as long as the rest of you are worse off.

  9. @ Mal Reynolds
    There was only one government in my lifetime under whose rule the poor did get poorer while the rich got richer: New Labour which reduced the share of national wealth owned by the bottom 50% to 2% of the total from 6% (Mrs Thatcher had raised the lower half’s share to a peak of 7% but it declined slightly to 6% under John Major). [data provided by HMRC up to and part of the time that G Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer: after the second time I publicised this HMRC stopped publishing the data]
    Under *every* Conservative government since the end of the Napoleonic Wars the poor have got richer

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