Society's Ills - A study in the perceived inequalities between the "haves" and the "have nots"
‹ Previous1234567311
  • Fuck off. Seriously, the influx of wealth into London means that I can't afford to live in the city that I was brought up in and which I love. There's a huge recession on yet rents are actually going up. 
    Live further out and commute. Eventually move closer if you want. Rent has increased at a rate above inflation and average earnings. With credit constrained, people fail to obtain mortgages for properties overvalued by 20% relative to historic multiples of national average earnings. Property prices are maintained by the influx of people capable of paying the market price. Rent rates are inflated because (i) people can afford to pay these amounts (ii) housing allowance subsidies have been so high that slum landlords can rack up disproportionally large rates (changes to secondary, tertiary etc property tax, capping housing benefit and capping rents a la Berlin will help the situation).

    The amount of money other people have has a very direct effect on my life. 

    Why?

    This is without even getting into the point that this is a zero-sum game. There s a limited amount of wealth in the world, the rich can only get richer (which they are doing more effectively than at any time in history)  if the poor get poorer.

    Do you mean "zero sum gain"? With the global economy deleveraging, the finite pool of "money" is reducing and easy growth is being curtailed by the lack of cheap available credit. Historically speaking, go back 100 or 200 years or more, the distribution of wealth was far worse - not factoring in the "safety net" of the benefit state where relevant (a thoroughly modern concept).
    A question must be asked about the statement "the rich only get richer" regurgitated ad nauseum by individuals of your persuasion. How did they the majority come by this "wealth"? Is it true that their situation only improves? How much of a contribution do they make to society? I would argue that the situation is far more nuanced than you appreciate from your rock throwing pedestal made out of perceived inequality and burgeoning apathy.

    Beyond which, there's the argument put forward by The Spirit Level (which I've still yet to read properly) that most issues in society can be traced back to wealth inequality. All over the world, the societies with the most social issues (from crime to teen pregnancy) are the ones with the greatest inequalities in wealth.

    I agree that wealth inequality most probably does drive a number of society's ills, however, much like an individual's ability to run a sub 4hr marathon is likely to be constrained by the amount of training they do a person should not expect to reap the benefits of hard work without actually doing the work (and when I say work I don't just mean paid employment and when I say benefits I don't just mean financial gain). There are places in the world - most probably the majority - that are entirely subsistence based in nature and therefore lacking the infrastructure to support those who aspire to differentiate themselves and attempt to extricate themselves from the poverty trap
  • Dammit I was going to make this and call it 'Gordon Gekko vs The World' Anyway, looking forward to this, ta.
  • beano
    Show networks
    Wii
    all the way home.

    Send message
    Democracy and capitalism don't mix.

    There, I said it.
    "Better than a tech demo. But mostly a tech demo for now. Exactly what we expected, crashes less and less. No multiplayer."
    - BnB NMS review, PS4, PC
  • Yossarian
    Show networks
    Xbox
    Yossarian Drew
    Steam
    Yossarian_Drew

    Send message
    Why does it have an effect on my life? Because I can't afford to live in my area. I've lived in New Cross my entire life (other than a couple of years in Cairo), I have deep ties to this community, my family and friends live here, I went to uni here. Moving further out means I lose all of that.

    As for the idea that the wealth inequality in London was worse in the past, apparently it was, back in the days when we had a slave-owning elite, so a little more than 200 years ago. This, I think you'll find also covers your question about whether their situation always improves. Beyond which, your argument seems to hinge on the idea of trickle-down economics, but it seems quite clear that this idea is marginal at best and hasn't stopped massive inequalities opening up. It's the fig leaf used by the elite to try to argue for more tax breaks for themselves as they suck money out of the rest of the economy.

    Economics is very much a zero sum game. The amount of total wealth in the world fluctuates according to the economic situation, yes, but it's still a finite number.

    And finally, yes, the Spirit Level does point out that without a certain amount of money in a society, then everyone's fucked, but as soon as a community is out of poverty then wealth inequality is more important than total wealth.
  • beano
    Show networks
    Wii
    all the way home.

    Send message
    I like the idea of converting garages in London and renting them out for 11quid a week.
    "Better than a tech demo. But mostly a tech demo for now. Exactly what we expected, crashes less and less. No multiplayer."
    - BnB NMS review, PS4, PC
  • Agreed, insofar as people who lack the bux do need an alternative, and equivalent source of influence over shit to keep things sane. Violence is an approach to addressing that but it's not a very good approach.

    And power/control is absolutely crucial to the entire discussion - when highearner X is whinging about taxes, it's a whinge that his power to spend and so influence is being hampered. What's problematic is that highearner X is now more than ever likely to view themselves as better equipped to decide who needs or worse "deserves" spending than central political institutions.

    Am all for philosopher-kings and benign autocrats, I simply can't believe any human being yet qualifies.
  • I think you fall foul of assuming the "rich" is a group whose members are continuous.

    Why should you be able to live in the place where you grew up. An example: My family owns an estate, a socialist government introduces legislation that caps the amount I can inherit from my parents. My parents die and I can know longer afford to keep the family estate.

    I think people in general fail to comprehend that everything is in flux. Analogous to those who desperately try to save animals on the brink of extinction. Surely, the false assumption that the species alive today should be the species of animal alive for the rest of eternity? That preserving the status quo is completely against nature?
  • I can't afford to live where I want to live. I live where i can afford to live.
  • beano
    Show networks
    Wii
    all the way home.

    Send message
    Extremely compelling analogy Griff.
    Analogous to those who desperately try to save animals on the brink of extinction.
    "Better than a tech demo. But mostly a tech demo for now. Exactly what we expected, crashes less and less. No multiplayer."
    - BnB NMS review, PS4, PC
  • This is basically going to turn into an extension of the discussion we had about the riots isn't it?
    Town name: Downton - Name: Nick - Native Fruit: Apples
  • Out of context. Sheeeeit, that does look bad.
  • A more pertinent point is that parts of London and other major cities that used to be shitholes are now gentrified and more people want to live there and it costs more.

  • The point I am trying to make is thus:

    The system of wealth creation and taxation etc etc is an ever changing one.

    In the developed world the opportunity set available to each individual from birth is broadly the same, with the exception of those born with hereditary wealth (another subject completely).
  • In the developed world the opportunity set available to each individual from birth is broadly the same

    Mmmmnah. From a global perspective, possibly, but most people do not operate there.
  • And now im hungover. There will be a response. Might have to wait until after the weekend. Griff's gonna hate it

    But yea, entitlement's an interesting concept, and only a counter-sense of entitlement can be used to argue against it.
  • Oh I see. This is a spin-off thread from another thread I haven't read.
  • Brooks wrote:
    In the developed world the opportunity set available to each individual from birth is broadly the same
    Mmmmnah. From a global perspective, possibly, but most people do not operate there.

    Explain.
  • Yossarian
    Show networks
    Xbox
    Yossarian Drew
    Steam
    Yossarian_Drew

    Send message
    Griff, your points on social mobility aren't backed up by the stats. Britain has the lowest social mobility in the western world, not very surprising seeing as how unequal our society is. The chances are, if you were born rich, you'll die rich, same for the poor. So, this can only mean that opportunity is not equal for all, or there is some genetic trait which makes people rich or poor.
  • Most people will only be able to make decisions based on the conditions they have the most interaction with, and those are still local. Perceptions of wealth and lack of, opportunity and power will arise from those, not from knowing how much more shitty things are in Bangladesh or wherever.
  • beano
    Show networks
    Wii
    all the way home.

    Send message
    I foresee some further gentrification across the nation in the changes to Council Tax Benefit.

    Essentially, we'll be pushing the unemployed out of councils demand the unemplyed pay twenty percent to places where it is less or zero.
    "Better than a tech demo. But mostly a tech demo for now. Exactly what we expected, crashes less and less. No multiplayer."
    - BnB NMS review, PS4, PC
  • We're actually studying Social Mobility at the minute. Goldthorpe's scale mate.
  • A lack of social mobility wouldn't be a problem, of course, if those at the top literally were genius empathetic technocrats who provided enough comfort for everyone else's inadequacies.
  • Or the government was a little more socialist.
  • +1 @ what griff says
    Currently playing; Mario Maker and Clash Royale
  • Brooks wrote:
    A lack of social mobility wouldn't be a problem, of course, if those at the top literally were genius empathetic technocrats who provided enough comfort for everyone else's inadequacies.

    Rather than Humphrey P. Bwilderbung, owner of the worlds largest yacht and who twitters with Donald Trump but keeps tagging himself at the start of the conversation
  • Yossarian
    Show networks
    Xbox
    Yossarian Drew
    Steam
    Yossarian_Drew

    Send message
    Something's just struck me; Griff, you aren't actually a real-life Lord, are you?
  • mk64 wrote:
    +1 @ what griff says

    A vicious burn.
  • beano
    Show networks
    Wii
    all the way home.

    Send message
    Lord of his Estate?
    "Better than a tech demo. But mostly a tech demo for now. Exactly what we expected, crashes less and less. No multiplayer."
    - BnB NMS review, PS4, PC
  • I don't understand OP. Are you the red or the black text? What should I be agreeing with or disagreeing with?
‹ Previous1234567311

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!