4 thoughts on “Populists have hijacked the concept of ‘inequality’ for their own political aims”

  1. Posted 23/01/2018 at 22:45 | Permalink

    I do sometimes wonder whether we should start referring to income inequality as income diversity, I expect it would make the head of your average middle class leftie explode.

  2. Posted 24/01/2018 at 16:25 | Permalink

    ‘the welfare safety net is reliant on high wages’. As a matter of fact, most welfare spending, once you exclude pensions, actually goes to people in low paid, insecure employment. The problem here is that many very wealthy people in the UK don’t feel they should pay tax, and the Conservative ambition to have a ‘low tax, low welfare’ society fuels that ambition. We do have low welfare spending, once you exclude the considerable costs of the private service providers from the bill. Because of the fall in value of ordinary wages – which have been stagnant now for some years – and the rise in the cost of living, many people simply need welfare support as well as their wage to meet their essential living costs. My point is that wage inequality is creating social and economic problems. If people were paid a wage that was sufficient to meet their basic needs, then many would not need welfare support. If we also tackled tax avoidance and offshore banking, and sent ut the clear message that tax isn’t merely optional: that people who have gained a lot from society need to put something back into it, then the Treasury wouldn’t be struggling with low contributions. If we lift low wages, more people would also be able to contribute tax.

    Inequality is linked with poverty directly, as businesses pay as little as possible in order to sustain and increase profit. Another link is via austerity, which has been targeted disproportionately at those with the least income – underemployed, unemployed, low paid and disabled people, for example, who have seen substantial cuts to their income. At the same time, wealthier earners have seen generous handouts in the form of tax cuts. You can see where I’m going with this, I’m sure

  3. Posted 24/01/2018 at 17:50 | Permalink

    I am not sure that ‘populists’ is the correct nomenclature here. Populists are associated within the mainstream media as that section of the population that has ignored and overturned the advice and counsel of those who are so much wiser and more experienced than them within society, preferring instead to follow their own reasoning. Brexit is the obvious example as none other than George Osborne has declared that he wrote his book ” to tackle the issue of “populist nationalism”.”

    Given this general trend among ‘populists’ to ignore opinions that do not make sense to them in favour of a more reality based outlook upon life, (which Kate has herself noted, “If you look at the real world, you’ll notice that most people, regardless of their politics, are generally not opposed to inequality.”) it is highly unlikely that they will have adopted the stance outlined within this argument.

    This is because the ‘neoliberal’ stance that is described as deliberately conflating equality and equity is a product of cultural Marxism as perpetuated by Western Universities through critical theory over the last twenty-five or so years.

    Such things are likely to be far outside the everyday experience of ‘populists’ as George Osborne sees them.

    These ideas are more likely to have taken root within the minds of people exposed to recent left-wing political theories, inculcated through academia and reinforced by constant endorsement from many sections of the media. This is more likely to be the group referred to by the ‘populists’ as the ‘elites’ – those whom they ignored during Brexit because they did not speak for people who live outside metropolitan or university bubbles.

    Is it possible that Kate Andrews just does not want to have her perfectly sound ideas associated with the outlook and attitudes of ‘populists’, preferring instead to see herself as an ‘elite’? 🙂

  4. Posted 26/01/2018 at 14:53 | Permalink

    “no one can reasonably question that these provisions are funded by those at the top.”

    Really? Please don’t drag out the fig leaf % statistic of what the top funds, you know, the one that doesn’t mention the average rate of tax they pay, or the size of the income on which it’s based. We know the one.

    These provisions are actually funded by those of us in the middle. Those at the most egregious top are not only the beneficiaries of a corporate governance gravy train now off its rails, they are also the most adept at ensuring they keep all of it for themselves. Trying to excuse the obscenities of the 1% by your sunny sleight of hand ignores the ugly truth about inequality you don’t seem willing to see. I too am relaxed about people becoming filthy rich, *provided*they*pay*their*taxes*

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