Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bryan on the riots ...

... One Hot Breath | Bryan Appleyard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

... another effect of the Blair-Brown years has been a huge increase in inequality. The same thing has happened in America where working and middle class incomes have been falling for years and all the fruits of growth have gone into the hands of the rich.

I thought Blair and Brown, as leaders of the Labor Party, were left of center. As for the situation here, one problem has been that public sector employees are making more than the private sector employees whose taxes support the public sector. Also, in this country, nearly 50 percent pay no income tax at all. I also saw some reports that among those arrested for rioting were some fairly well-off people. I'd love to see Bryan interview Anthony Daniels on this issue. Please note: I am here, and not in the UK. I do not pretend to understand the dynamics of UK society. I do live in a place that has seen some mob violence lately. I agree with our mayor: Mayor Nutter takes church pulpit on teen mobs.

Supplemental. And here is some more: The top 5 percent earned 34.7 percent of the nation's adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes. Debbie and I, next year for sure, will be in the top 10 percent. The average income of the bottom 50 percent would appear to be $33,000. That would be the poverty level for a 7-member household.


  1. And the reason almost 50 percent don't pay taxes is not because they're deadbeats, but because for those on the low end of the spectrum their incomes fall below the line. . . . which tells you how many "new poor" their are. . . .

    There's a lot more to this stuff, and it's in the details.

  2. I don't believe that is so, Art. That is, the figures I've seen do not indicate that all of those not paying income tax are below the poverty line. And as one who does pay taxes -- more, it seems now, than before I retired -- I can assure you that I am not among the wealthy.

  3. Anonymous11:49 AM

    If 10 percent (or less) of the populace has 80 percent of the income -- which they do, or figures something like that -- then the sensible, indeed the only, thing to do is to tax those with the income. As Adam Smith so famously said when he was sitting around the tavern table with his economist mates, "You can't get blood out of a turnip." When the wealth of the nation is more equitably distributed, as it once was, then a greater percentage of the populace will have incomes high enough to be taxed.

  4. Obviously, I have an income high enough to be taxed. I presume you do as well. See figures added to post.