Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Inequality Gap

 From the RSA blog   Matthew Taylor

When doyen of conservative columnists Charles Moore writes a column entitled ‘I’m starting the think the Left might actually be right’ it’s time to sit up and take notice. His article contains this paragraph:

‘ The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many, is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything.’

Moore’s analysis is confirmed by a report published today but the excellent Resolution Foundation. The report’s headline finding is this:

‘ The share of national income going to the bottom half of earners in Britain has fallen dramatically over the last 30 years…..These ordinary workers have seen their share of GDP fall by a quarter, at the same time as the share going to the top 1% of earners increased by half.’
Not only does gross inequality seem endemic to modern ‘free market’ capitalism but from the work of Picket and Wilkinson and others it seems at least very likely that among rich countries more unequal societies are also more unhappy societies with greater social problems.

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