Why The “1%” Hates The Gold Standard

Courtesy of  Zerohedge: By now everybody knows that the primary consequence, one which we originally predicted back in 2009 – and many have since agreed – was completely intended, of the past 6 years of unprecedented monetary policy has been to push wealth inequality to record levels, not just in the US but across the world. What may not be so clear is precisely when this period of unprecedented wealth disparity started. The answer, as the following handy chart from NPR shows, is that long before QE, the wealth gap for the 1% really started in the early 1980s, courtesy of none other than Greenspan’s “great moderation.”

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More importantly, and what is certainly not known, is that between 1930 and 1970, it was only the “bottom 90%” that saw their incomes rise, as can be seen on the next chart.

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This is how the NPR qualified this dramatic variance in wealth gaps, the first of which benefited most Americans, especially the middle-class, and which ended with a thud in the early 1970s, and the second which was unleashed in the early 1980s:

In the first phase, known as the great compression, inequality fell. Incomes rose for people in the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution, as the postwar boom led to high demand for workers with low and moderate skills. Continue reading

Is the British education system designed to polarise people?

Courtesy of Danny Dorling @ The Guardian:

I grew up in Oxford, but left my hometown to study and then worked at universities in Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield. People who read my words but didn’t hear my accent often assumed I was from the north. But now I’ve come full circle, and have taken up a chair in geography at Oxford University.

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It is geography that reveals just how divided we have become as a society in this country. There are places from which it appears almost impossible to succeed educationally and others where it seems very hard to fail. On any given day, a fifth of children in Britain qualify for free school meals. Just one in 100 of those children get to go to either Oxford or Cambridge University. Four private schools and one highly selective state sixth-form college send more children to Oxbridge than do 2,000 other secondary schools. The most prestigious 100 schools secure 30% of all Oxbridge places. And 84 of them are private schools.

People often complain that the national debate on higher education is unfairly dominated by interest in entry to these two universities. But it matters. The richest 1% (people with a pre-tax household income of at least £160,000) dominate decision-making in this country. How they behave is a weathervane for social mobility in Britain. Continue reading