Why is Britain richer than other countries? Watch

Jebedee
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#41
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Because the media somehow convinces people that UK is a great place to live, but by the time they find out the truth it's too late.

Plus little money is spent on making it look pleasant so that saves a bit no doubt.

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James222
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#42
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We have an economy smaller than france and italy thats after you take into account UK GDP is distorted by non doms,banks and most FTSE 100
companies making most of their money abroad.
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hslakaal
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#43
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1. Colonialism. No need to be politically correct about it - Brits had the upper hand, and that permitted an extraordinarily large amount of economic benefit by exploiting the weaker. There's also the benefit of English being the de facto global language. Unlike other European empires...

2. .... UK never suffered any major damage in either wars in terms of infrastructure or industry during the war.

3. UK has always had preferential ties to many trading partners, US, rest of Europe, Commonwealth nations. Again, another leg-up compared to many other countries.

Those are predispositions which gave the UK a huge boost, and is one of the reasons why it arguably is still high up. It takes longer for the first place runner to drop down to last place. Again, bluntly speaking, it has lost some places. So, moving from Britain's historical fortunes:

4. Relatively stable political leadership.

5. Arguably, the conservative, isolationist economic practices, such as not fully participating in the Eurozone. Don't mistake that statement has saying all decisions made were good - the fixed rate was a stupid idea, as it quickly proved to be.

6. Good social welfare system

7. Certain good regulatory steps, that kept politics away from businesses and financial matters, such as independence of BoE in 97-98.

To be honest, I'd recommend studying why UK's been declining more than why it's well off. Problems like declining education levels, unemployment, petty-politics and self-righteousness, not to mention increasing inequality. Be proud of what your country's achieved, but don't get complacent, and think you've somehow contributed to what it is currently - cuz the odds are, if you're on this forum, you've done nothing to actually make Britain great. So instead of wasting time, actually go and do something worthwhile and beneficial for your country.
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The Champion.m4a
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#44
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(Original post by carlisomes)
PC people will say colonialism, but then this is no different to most of Europe.

I'd say it's because we were the first to industralise originally, but today it's because we have a high living standard, are well educated, and have high productivity and wages.
Very different though, because no other European power (or America for that matter) had colonised to the extent, geographically, financially, and with its length of time, the British Empire did.

Most things you have mentioned are rather the results of being rich, not the causes.

I'd say it's the extent of colonialism, less affected by war (and internal struggles), an utmost respect for the rule of law and freedom, and a stress placed on the importance of trade.
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The Champion.m4a
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#45
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(Original post by de_monies)
In part, it is colonialism, yes, but another, is because we had the industrial revolution, giving us a hue boost when other empires started to decline, and falter

The financial sector has always been pretty strong here (Which is where most of our money comes from), and we're pretty good at opening trade overseas

We've also been to war for things like tea, which I find really funny. of course, it's not funny that people have died for tea, but going to war for tea tickles me a little
That does lead us back to colonialism because the Industrial Revolution didn't automatically give Britain money. It also had to go around colonise other countries with the help of that.
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The Champion.m4a
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#46
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#46
(Original post by de_monies)
This is true, but there's that little thing we had, called the empire as well

Well, we technically do I guess. The UAE also has barely any oil. Oil in itself doesn't make a country rich
Also, having a rich government and/or some oil companies doesn't mean the people are rich.
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Studentus-anonymous
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#47
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(Original post by Pindar)
Thoughts?
The complex and long history of economics which has drawn capital to this country?



Also richer is a technical term.

There might be more capital tied up in British assets and British based millionaires+ but to the average Briton, at best they are 'comfortable' and for a lot of Brits it's even less financially secure than that.

I've started to notice that when talking about 'rich' countries it's more often talking about rich people's money rather than what money actually benefits the vast majority of middle to lower 'class' types.

Taking into account that, I;d say the UK is roughly 'doing okay' and 'reasonably comfortable' rather than 'rich' (taking into account cost of living and all that).

But that's my half-baked opinion.
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Rakas21
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#48
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(Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
The complex and long history of economics which has drawn capital to this country?

Also richer is a technical term.

There might be more capital tied up in British assets and British based millionaires+ but to the average Briton, at best they are 'comfortable' and for a lot of Brits it's even less financially secure than that.

I've started to notice that when talking about 'rich' countries it's more often talking about rich people's money rather than what money actually benefits the vast majority of middle to lower 'class' types.

Taking into account that, I;d say the UK is roughly 'doing okay' and 'reasonably comfortable' rather than 'rich' (taking into account cost of living and all that).

But that's my half-baked opinion.
Relative to the rest of the world the average Brit is extremely rich. Very few people in Britain would struggle to live if all they had was the essentials. They feel only comfortable because your average Brit has a mirade of luxury items not available to those outside the upper quartile of nations. Ands that's before we talk about free education and healthcare.
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tehFrance
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#49
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#49
(Original post by de_monies)
The UAE also has barely any oil. Oil in itself doesn't make a country rich
Ah incorrect, Dubai has barely any oil (4bn barrels), Abu Dhabi (92bn barrels) on the other hand has lots. The UAE has almost as much as Kuwait does so yes, in the case of the UAE (largely Abu Dhabi), oil makes a country rich

---

As for the OP, well the UK is wealthy due to the industrial revolution along with colonialism although we all know that after WW1 and especially after WW2 the UK was reduced to ruin with practically no natural resources (bar north sea oil), thank **** for the free market although I will say that the UK's dependence on the financial sector isn't healthy and it does need to be re-adjusted.
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Verst
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#50
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Stable governments over the last 1,000 years--and the attendant peaceful environment for economic transaction they provide--have probably helped. Developing early as a nation state also made the land-mass that is now Britain comparably richer than the tribal fiefdoms of Europe and much of the rest of the world, long before colonialism reared its head in its more repugnant manifestations.
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pol pot noodles
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#51
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(Original post by Martyn*)
Because of business innovation and industry, but also because of the robust financial sector over the past couple of decades. The economy moved from industry to service to ensure the best for the economy. Unfortunately, social problems came with this.
You say that as if the UK was a harmonious social utopia of sunshine and roses pre-Thatcher. This country has always had huge social problems. British people can find a problem in anything, anywhere.
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Snagprophet
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#52
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#52
Britain stronk.
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redferry
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#53
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#53
Because everyone comes to London for the Hot Sex. I know because Michael Gove told me.
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Dr Alcoholic
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#54
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(Original post by carlisomes)
PC people will say colonialism, but then this is no different to most of Europe.

I'd say it's because we were the first to industralise originally, but today it's because we have a high living standard, are well educated, and have high productivity and wages.

No, the foundations of the UK's wealth really is built from our colonial past. We happened to have the biggest empire of the europeans in recent(ish) history.

Whether you consider this PC or not is irrelevant, it's the truth.
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Dr Alcoholic
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(Original post by Verst)
Stable governments over the last 1,000 years--and the attendant peaceful environment for economic transaction they provide--have probably helped. Developing early as a nation state also made the land-mass that is now Britain comparably richer than the tribal fiefdoms of Europe and much of the rest of the world, long before colonialism reared its head in its more repugnant manifestations.

Stable governments?

Up until the Acts of union 1707, the uk was at war with itself over power of the land from since before the roman empire. Even after the act of union it took a few decades to make it stable.

Stable government, attendant peaceful environment? Whoever taught you history of the UK needs to give you you're money back.
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Abbie :)
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#56
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I always assumed it was because, in comparison to some other countries, Britain is more democratic and so the Government voted in usually will attempt to meet the needs of the country as a whole than for power.
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tehFrance
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#57
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Relative to the rest of the world the average Brit is extremely rich. Very few people in Britain would struggle to live if all they had was the essentials. They feel only comfortable because your average Brit has a mirade of luxury items not available to those outside the upper quartile of nations. Ands that's before we talk about free education and healthcare.
I'm not so sure on that, if you go outside the South East it would appear that the UK isn't as wealthy as most would think, the average wage in this country is £26k but down south it's £14-18k and up North it's more or less the same (outside of the larger cities), cost of living is high in the UK yet salaries aren't adequate enough for most.

The fact that there's luxury goods on offer doesn't make a country wealthy, is Nigeria a wealthy country? I wouldn't say so yet I can buy much of what I can buy in the EU in Nigeria too, all countries have luxury goods available, it's a case of whether you can afford it or not and unfortunately the main purchasers of luxury goods in the UK aren't British people (based on talks with managers from the likes of Harrods, Selfridges, Armani, Gucci and other high end brands stores), you do actually see a lot of British people in such stores but rarely do they purchase.
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MancStudent098
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#58
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(Original post by Dr Alcoholic)
No, the foundations of the UK's wealth really is built from our colonial past. We happened to have the biggest empire of the europeans in recent(ish) history.

Whether you consider this PC or not is irrelevant, it's the truth.
I don't really buy the colonialism argument. The wealthiest European nations (Switzerland, Norway, Luxembourg) did not have significant overseas empires. In fact of all the non Eastern bloc European nations the poorest (in per capita terms) are Portugal, Spain, France, The UK and Belgium - I.e. precisely the nations that had large overseas colonial empires. I think there's a good case to be made that, at least in the late 20th century, the remnants of overseas empires were basically an economic hindrance.

When you do look at the Eastern Bloc nations, which generally have not had overseas empires at all and in fact have spent most of their existence as part of the empires of other countries, yet are much wealthier than most African or South American nations - it becomes pretty clear that the two basic drivers are education and industrialisation.
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Rakas21
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#59
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(Original post by tehFrance)
I'm not so sure on that, if you go outside the South East it would appear that the UK isn't as wealthy as most would think, the average wage in this country is £26k but down south it's £14-18k and up North it's more or less the same (outside of the larger cities), cost of living is high in the UK yet salaries aren't adequate enough for most.

The fact that there's luxury goods on offer doesn't make a country wealthy, is Nigeria a wealthy country? I wouldn't say so yet I can buy much of what I can buy in the EU in Nigeria too, all countries have luxury goods available, it's a case of whether you can afford it or not and unfortunately the main purchasers of luxury goods in the UK aren't British people (based on talks with managers from the likes of Harrods, Selfridges, Armani, Gucci and other high end brands stores), you do actually see a lot of British people in such stores but rarely do they purchase.
Yes but from experience you can cover the essentials on 1k per month outside the south east, everything after is for stuff that most Nigerians would consider luxuries in their own countries.

My point is that we in the west have so many luxuries that we don't even veiw as luxuries. How many people in Nigeria own washing machines and tumble driers, how many have multiple tvs or computer devices.

As much as people whine in Britain I've grown up in a family on benefits and yet have had a standard of living higher than 75% of the worlds population.

How many countries have functional welfare states that can give the disabled a TV and computer for the entirety of their lives along with a warm home.

People in Britain really don't know how good they have it.
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Chlorophile
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#60
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There's a book called 'Guns, Germs and Steel' which addresses this. There are a number of reasons but needless to say, these reasons have nothing to do with the people themselves and more to do with the geographical situation.
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