Friday, January 18, 2008


There is a fascinating article over at CiF about how the middle classes in the UK are now more concerned about equality because of the growth of a class of super-rich people immediately above them.

It is really rather disgusting to hear that physicians and architects are complaining about inequality but don't believe that their money should be redistributed to the poor (i.e. households earning less than £16 000 a year).

There is an interesting quotation, apparently from an Oxford study, that claims that the middle classes would only support a reduction of inequality as long as the middle class was expanding.

"There was a big expansion of the middle classes from the 60s to the 90s, but the academics warned it was a one-off event. From now on, any upward mobility would have to be matched by someone else's downward mobility."

From this you could deduce that civilization has become a zero-sum game. Those who benefit from the growth of the economy are only those in the top strata of society, and anyone who gains does so at the expense of someone else.

I've always suspected that Labour was using stealth tactics to redistribute wealth (the EMA, tax credits etc) without telling the middle classes, who would have to supply the money. Labour can keep Daily Mail readers happy by being authoritarian and pro-"British" and funnel cash to poor children and families.

I don't know if we're entering a new gilded age or if there will be some market crash that sees a swing in moral authority away from the rich towards "aspirant" middle class people, such as happened after 1929.

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