If You’ve £10 And No Debt You’re Richer Than 10% Of Britons – Added Together

The Equality Trust treats us to a feast of economic nonsense today in their whinges about wealth inequality. They manage to entirely forget that anyone with a £10 note and no debt is richer than 10% of Britons. That’s 10% of Britons put together. This though is only the least of their economic sins:

New analysis by The Equality Trust, using the wealth estimates of Forbes and Credit
Suisse, reveals a shocking level of wealth inequality in the UK, and shows how this
inequality has increased since 2010

Scary, eh?…

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Ignorant Stupidity About Billionaires

If only people actually understood the subject under discussion:

I never expected to go viral just for saying billionaires shouldn’t exist
Lloyd Russell-Moyle

One useful point is that if government hadn’t progressively devalued the currency then we wouldn’t have billionaires. No one would be at the value of money of 1900 now, would they?

But more:

A tiny percentage of people have become super rich at the expense of everyone else.

It’s not at the expense of.…

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You Noticed How The World Got Better Last Year As The Rich Got Poorer, Right?

Wealth inequality is the very terror of our age, isn’t it? As Oxfam keeps telling us that the plutocrats swallow up ever more of the global resources us out here are left with mere crumbs, just the lees and dregs of the economy to make us happy. So, we all are cheered by how much better the world became last year, right?

After seven years of steadily rising wealth, the richest people on the planet saw the combined value of their assets slide by 3% from a year earlier to stand at $68.1tn as financial markets plunged against a backdrop of rising tensions, with China hit the hardest by the decline.

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Rich People Demand They Are Taxed More – And Fail To Pay More Tax Voluntarily

A certain group of rich people over in the United States has demanded that there be a wealth tax. That they themselves should be taxed more.

OK, so maybe there are arguments that there should be a wealth tax – there aren’t any good economic ones but that’s another matter. Maybe those very rich should be paying more in tax – that not actually being the argument against their doing so. The argument against is that the process of getting rich benefits the consumer therefore we don’t want to dissuade people from attempting to get rich.…

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We Really Don’t Measure Wealth Properly

It’s the Americans who are really going overboard about wealth inequality, here in the UK the polemicists are still warming up. We’re rather more shouting about income inequality still.

There is though a problem with the basic underlying figures that everyone uses. Something built into the very definitions which are being used.

Just as an example, let’s measure pension inequality. Some of us have really great savings in our pension IRAs. Others of us don’t.

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Matt Bruenig’s Wealth Calculation – The Rich Gained $21 Trillion, The Poor Lost $900 Billion

The details of anything are tough. Sure, an omelette is just eggs’n’milk’n’butter’n’stuff and yet the number of people who can cook a good one is pitiably small. Baking is entirely a matter of chemistry, get the quantities right and it will happen – yet many cakes still fail to rise. The details of economic statistics are such that having a stab at playing with them is something that doesn’t really work.

As here with Matt Bruenig’s attempt at dissecting wealth in America.…

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Haven’t We All Got Rich This Past Century?

Quite the most interesting part of this paper to me is the chart in it. Showing quite how rich we’ve all become in this past century or so. Sure, it’s not equally distributed and all that. But this is the first time that the average member of society – OK, so, still only limited to the rich countries – has had any wealth at all. Which is quite an achievement after a few hundred thousand years of trying, no?

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History Surprises Again – Germany’s Jews Weren’t Rich Even As The Nazis Plundered

To plunder a particular section of the population is of course vile. It’s not excused by it being successful. But that Germany’s Jews didn’t actually have an excessive, nor even greater, portion of the national wealth is an interesting finding, no?

Fiscal destruction: Confiscatory taxation of Jewish property and income in Nazi Germany
Albrecht Ritschl 30 May 2019

Germany’s Jewish population share in 1933 was less than 1%. Nevertheless, Nazi propa­gan­da believed in the existence of fabulous riches, with some estimates rising as high as 20% of national wealth.…

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How can we solve increasing wealth inequality?

Originally published at Quora:

“Solve” wealth inequality? Presumably what is meant is lower it which is making some pretty large assumptions in itself. Why is it a problem that must be reduced?

But assume that we must reduce it for some unknown reason or another. One useful thing would be to reduce it the same way we did last time.

If you look at that Saez and Zucman work on wealth across time you can find an offshoot of their main paper which talks about the UK.…

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20th Century Wealth Redistribution Went To The Upper Middle Classes, Not The Entire Society

Sure, Thomas Piketty tells us that there was distinct wealth redistribution in the 20th century. Something that is being reversed in this 21 st century. Except who was the wealth redistributed to? As it turns out, not to the working classes at all, but to the upper middle classes. This might not be quite the increase in equality people might argue for.

There are significant problems with this idea and study – most importantly, it’s not actually recording wealth properly.

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