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to be utterly incensed that the gap between the very richest people and everyone else in society is getting wider and wider?

(249 Posts)
Mintyy Thu 10-Jul-14 21:28:59

They are rich. Why can't it stop there?

Why do they have to go from being multi millionaires to billionaires to multi billionaires?

I wouldn't find it so hard to swallow if the opportunity to earn more was open to everyone, but it most definitely is not.

The fact that the gap between the richest and the poorest in our country is widening enormously really sickens me to the back teeth.

TucsonGirl Thu 10-Jul-14 21:30:17

You are rich, compared to the vast majority of the world's population.

Namechangearoonie123 Thu 10-Jul-14 21:36:31

Ok, we are rich compared to world population but we don't live next to a favela where people are eating rats

Instead we live in one of the richest countries in the world and we live cheek by jowl to people who have a thousand times as much

It's proven that poor people who genuinely are 'all in it together' have better mental health than being the poorest in a rich country

I don't know why we don't have more revolting tbh confused

We're all just so well behaved

settingsitting Thu 10-Jul-14 21:37:57

Mintyy is right.
I dont know or understand enough to know why this is happening.

settingsitting Thu 10-Jul-14 21:38:44

Some people think they are fine, but dont realise that even they are working harder and harder to stand still.

ByTheSea Thu 10-Jul-14 21:39:04

It outrages me too.

ThatBloodyWoman Thu 10-Jul-14 21:41:49

Its happening because of greed.
Pure greed.

OberonTheHopeful Thu 10-Jul-14 21:46:43

It really is just greed. The extra money the very richest gain cannot possibly enhance the lifestyles they already have.

settingsitting Thu 10-Jul-14 21:46:59

I am wondering if we are all getting manipulated by incresing house prices.

Banks lend money. We think yippee. More money sloshing around means that people can get mortgages. We think yippee. House prices increase because there is more money sloshing around. A lot of people think yippee, my house is "worth" more. They feel richer and maybe spend a bit more. Go on more holidays etc. Yippee.

But it means that those with the mortgages are working very long hours. Often both partners as it now takes about 1 and 1/2 wages to have a house, no longer 1 wage like it was a few decades ago.

I think that we are having our strings pulled by successive Governments or banks or more likely both.

I think that there is more to this argument, but that is as far as my thinking gets currently.

settingsitting Thu 10-Jul-14 21:48:41

Agreed about the greed.
It so happened that recently I stayed in a posh hotel. Never stayed in one that posh before. All very nice, but really a bed is a bed. And breakfast is breakfast.

Mintyy Thu 10-Jul-14 21:51:37

I think I am pretty liberal, politically, actually.

I can get my head round some people earning more than others, and some people earning a lot of money.

But I cannot accept that a teeny tiny minority of people can earn whateverthehelltheylike thanks to clever accounting/offshore accounts/inheritance.

I'm also pretty uncomfortable with the idea that people earning £31,866 pa pay the same rate of tax as those earning £150,000 pa.

And that no one at all pays over 45% in this country hmm

And that foreign investors can buy so much London property, meaning that there is nothing on the market for under £100,000 any more, not even a tiny grotty studio in an undesirable borough. Even though millions of people in London earn no more than £7 an hour.

I accept that London is a place where you see the extremes (for the UK - I am not discussing the whole world) but you know, it annoys me hugely.

TucsonGirl Thu 10-Jul-14 21:53:46

I can't think of a solution. A society where very few people work and pay taxes to support a huge not working underclass doesn't seem to be sustainable to me, yet that seems to be where we're heading. What is needed IMO is more personal responsibility and accountability. But good luck getting that through parliament. People prefer to have someone to blame.

Iggly Thu 10-Jul-14 21:55:32


People also seem to revel in the less well off getting poorer. Eg welfare bashing, public sector worker bashing.

No one is standing up for the rights of the majority. Most people do not earn big wages yet we construct our politics and society as if the rich are the most important ones.

They are not. They wouldn't be rich if there weren't people working hard for them, so they didn't have to.

IamSlave Thu 10-Jul-14 21:56:10

yes its disgusting and its awful that it grew to un precedented levels under the working class - peoples champion - LABOUR. child poverty at worst ever....

and what did labour do to address it> pump money into childrens services?

Cherrypi Thu 10-Jul-14 21:58:14

This is really bothering me at the moment too. How can we change it?

TucsonGirl Thu 10-Jul-14 21:58:27

"I'm also pretty uncomfortable with the idea that people earning £31,866 pa pay the same rate of tax as those earning £150,000 pa. "
Why? Surely it's the net amount of tax paid that matters, not the rate. Someone earning £31,866 would be paying the 40% rate on only £1 of their earnings. Someone earning £150,000 would be paying the 40% rate on almost £120,000 of their earnings. It's quite a difference.

How much do you think people should pay?

Fram Thu 10-Jul-14 22:03:15

Well- I agree the gap should be narrowed, not widened, but I cannot get my head around a 'progressive' tax rate system. People who earn more pay more, even under a flat-rate tax system.

People on £150k pay the highest (45%) rate, don't they? people on £32 pay 40% on earnings over that?

People on £32 would still get tax credits (dependent on children) and child "benefit" hmm, people over £60b don't.

UhOhChongo Thu 10-Jul-14 22:04:27

To me it seems that society is slowly but surely stratifying into the always will haves; the haves for the time being; the used to haves and the never will haves.

To those in power, operating on a risk management basis, as long as the first two categories are still in the majority, things will tick along and the fallout becomes collateral damage.

Sleepingbunnies Thu 10-Jul-14 22:05:14

My boss take home pay is £20k a MONTH. I'm annoyed too!! sad

settingsitting Thu 10-Jul-14 22:10:55

tbh, I am not even sure it is a party issue.
I odnt think this will change whichever Government is in power.

I think that Government has got too entralled by big business and too scared by it to deal with tax issues properly.

I get the unsettling feeling that Government are not really the ones in control anymore.

Salmotrutta Thu 10-Jul-14 22:11:44

I rarely enter into political debates because I'm not well enough informed but I can never get my head round the fact that we have global "stars" of sport/screen/music etc. who earn bucket loads of money whilst children die of starvation or preventable disease in Africa, India etc.

I know there will always be rich and poor but basic rights to clean water, vaccinations and staple foods for all should be achievable shouldn't it?

edamsavestheday Thu 10-Jul-14 22:13:54

Fram - people who earn more don't pay more as a proportion of their income under a flat tax system. The poor pay a higher marginal tax rate. Did you ever get the parable of the widow's mite in Assembly? Doesn't matter if a millionaire gives £10k to a charity, it is far less than if a poor person gives their last 5p.

Look at VAT - the rate is the same for everyone, no matter how little you have. So a pensioner on state pension alone paying VAT on a bill is sacrificing a much bigger chunk of her income than a millionaire. What's more, poor people have to spend all their income - because they barely have enough for essentials, it's all outgoings - so they get really stung by taxes like VAT and petrol duty.

What's more, higher earners have far greater opportunities to beat the system - putting far more of their money into pensions (sheltered from tax) is one legitimate way of doing this, but there are many others.

Higher earners may say 'it's my money, why shouldn't I invest for a pension' but the point is, poor people don't get that tax relief because they don't have tuppence ha'penny to put into a pension in the first place - or only a minimal amount of money. That's even before you get into all the disgusting tax avoidance schemes like Liberty that allow the wealthy to dump their responsibilities on everyone else.

greenbananas Thu 10-Jul-14 22:14:15

I don't mind there being a few very rich people. I don't know them, and their lifestyle is so far removed from mine that they are almost another species.

What I do mind is the people in my neighborhood getting poorer and poorer. It's hard to watch ordinary middle class folk going about their daily business when you can't join in at all. For most of us, eating at restaurants is an unimaginable luxury. We don't drive, we can't take our kids out for treats, we don't have holidays, we can't wear clothes that fit or look good, we don't go out in the rain because we don't have decent coats and waterproof shoes, we feel guilty about feeding our kids rubbish but can't afford the time or money to experiment with new dishes and ingredients that they might not eat - and so on.

And we live cheek by jowl with ordinary people who can afford all these ordinary things. This is what social exclusion means to us.

Also we live with people who are claiming benefits and spending the lot on white cider and fags, and we feel that we are being lumped together with those people.

I know I am ranting but, like I said, I can't get worked up about a few multi billionaires. I get worked up about ordinary folk working at two jobs, having their tax credits cut and worrying about how they are going to buy their kids school shoes. We get trapped in this. And it's hard to feel it is fair when all the breaks seem to be for the middle classes who might conceivably vote Tory...

Fcukfifa Thu 10-Jul-14 22:15:31

Is it something like the 5 richest people in the world own more money than the rest of the world put together?

I can't quite get my head around that. Why is the world like this?

<waves goodbye to sleep>

settingsitting Thu 10-Jul-14 22:18:16

I dont mind a few very very wealthy people.
Perhaps things are getting and feeling skewed because of all the wealth pouring into London. Which then spills outwards from there?

Good point Salmotrutta. We just see the glitz and glamour but dont think of the wider picture.

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