Why is inequality in the UK largely ignored? Watch

mikele
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So after reading many posts on the TSR, there appears to be a very clear divide in terms of people's economic standpoints. There are those who favour Osborne and praise his successes (higher than expected GDP growth, lower unemployment etc etc) and yet the sheer level of inequality, specifically in the UK which is still growing, does not seem to bother many people. Why is this?

I'd obviously be inclined to argue MY opinion of less inequality being better than the economy, but I want to try to understand the opposing opinion to this, because I think sticking stubbornly to one ideology can be dangerous.
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james22
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I don't think that inequality is a problem at all, but the lowest standard of living is. For example if the poorest people in the UK earned a million a year, and the richest 1% earned 1000 trillion a year, then there would be huge inequality but we would all have a very high standard of living so it would not matter.
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Meyrin
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Are you surprised by this attitude from a predominantly middle class member website that worships Oxbridge and A*s?
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mikele
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(Original post by Meyrin)
Are you surprised by this attitude from a predominantly middle class member website that worships Oxbridge and A*s?
Yes, because aren't students notorious for holding liberal views? Not that having liberal views is a 'good' thing necessarily. I'm just curious, I think it is a topic that definitely merits more discussion.
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Meyrin
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(Original post by mikele)
Yes, because aren't students notorious for holding liberal views? Not that having liberal views is a 'good' thing necessarily. I'm just curious, I think it is a topic that definitely merits more discussion.
A popular stereotype, I guess. But there's a surprising number of Torys on this site.
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BlackMagicV
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(Original post by james22)
I don't think that inequality is a problem at all, but the lowest standard of living is. For example if the poorest people in the UK earned a million a year, and the richest 1% earned 1000 trillion a year, then there would be huge inequality but we would all have a very high standard of living so it would not matter.
Not exactly a very good example, the example implies similar pricing to now which is complete rubbish. The cost of living in the scenario would be getting on for 100 times higher.
The lowest standard of living is the problem, but it comes down to pay increases being substantially lower than inflation in most cases, not pay/wealth inequality. The inequality has always been there, but it's only been more recently that it has become the apparent problem that it is now because those lower down are being paid less in real terms.
ie, they re being paid the same, but due to inflation everything else is going up, this means they have to make more sacrifices to make ends meet and then go on to complain about it.
Really the error comes in blaming this government for it when it is at least as much the fault of previous governments, but that's just the way politics works.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by mikele)
So after reading many posts on the TSR, there appears to be a very clear divide in terms of people's economic standpoints. There are those who favour Osborne and praise his successes (higher than expected GDP growth, lower unemployment etc etc) and yet the sheer level of inequality, specifically in the UK which is still growing, does not seem to bother many people. Why is this?

I'd obviously be inclined to argue MY opinion of less inequality being better than the economy, but I want to try to understand the opposing opinion to this, because I think sticking stubbornly to one ideology can be dangerous.
Liberalism among the youth works both ways, there are plenty of economic liberals.

I personally don't care about inequality because i've grown up in British poverty and still had a roof over my head, a TV, a computer, food and transport. In short, the UK is sufficiently developed that the poorest of the poor are under no real threat of starvation or freezing to death. For that reason, as long as the poorest incomes grow in real terms (which they have aside from recent years) i don't really care if the rich get richer a little faster. Far from it, i intend to join them.
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Comus
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(Original post by mikele)
Yes, because aren't students notorious for holding liberal views? Not that having liberal views is a 'good' thing necessarily. I'm just curious, I think it is a topic that definitely merits more discussion.
There was an article in The Economist a few months ago that argued that the current generation seem to be moving away from social democracy/social liberalism (assuming that's what you mean by 'liberal') and towards classical liberalism: if that's the case then the stereotype of students all being socialists is rather unfounded.
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TenMileTie
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Inequality exists because socialism fosters the growth of a portion of the population no employers want to employ because they have nothing to offer besides ineptitude, and stems from inequality in the qualities of a population, specifically intelligence. Earners are reluctant to subsidise welfare recipients even when they're from the same ethnic demographic.
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Plainview
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(Original post by Meyrin)
A popular stereotype, I guess. But there's a surprising number of Torys on this site.
'Liberal' is not the polar opposite of 'tory'. Nearly all students are to some extent socially liberal when compared to adults or society as a whole. Those that aren't are often socially conservative for religious reasons.
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james22
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(Original post by BlackMagicV)
Not exactly a very good example, the example implies similar pricing to now which is complete rubbish. The cost of living in the scenario would be getting on for 100 times higher.
The lowest standard of living is the problem, but it comes down to pay increases being substantially lower than inflation in most cases, not pay/wealth inequality. The inequality has always been there, but it's only been more recently that it has become the apparent problem that it is now because those lower down are being paid less in real terms.
ie, they re being paid the same, but due to inflation everything else is going up, this means they have to make more sacrifices to make ends meet and then go on to complain about it.
Really the error comes in blaming this government for it when it is at least as much the fault of previous governments, but that's just the way politics works.
The example is to make a point about inequality not being the problem necesserally. The economics of the situation do not really matter.

You have not given a good reason why it is inequality that is the problem, if prices stayed the same but everyones wages doubled then inequality would increase but it would be a good thing.
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