Wealth inequality - we've been fooled(176 Posts)
I've read loads of threads recently about benefits: cuts, caps etc.It's all over the newspapers too. There's a massive sentiment that austerity is necessary, we can't afford a generous welfare system, benefits should only provide the most basic of needs. Without going into why we seem to accept all this without question, why is there so much focus on how much the poorest people have, and no focus at all on how much the richest have? The product of all the austerity propaganda seems to be that we've forgotten the massive increase in inequality in this country, that only the very richest benefit from.
So people in the middle bitch about the people at the bottom, but no-one seems to notice the people at the top creaming off all the profit. This affects everyone. Living standards of the very poorest and also those in the middle. We should be really angry about this. 20 years ago a professional, like a doctor or teacher, could afford a good family house in London and private education for their children. But wages have stagnated and living costs have rocketed, we're all worse off except for the very wealthiest.
I feel like there's a huge amount of focus on benefits scroungers, immigrants and none on what we can do to stop the gap between rich and middle/poor getting bigger and bigger and bigger. AIBU?
Nope YANBU, just this problem has plagued me for a long time. The rich are getting richer and richer and all anyone wants to talk about is how we're all hard done by because some single mother gets benefits and has 4 kids. The media and the government are doing a fantastic job of diverting everyone's gaze.
everyone from the poor to the middle is being shat upon from a great height. It's just frustrating.
The worst thing is that most politicians accept the way things are going and have no interest in doing anything about it...
Paperdoll if I was a conspiracy theorist I'd be starting to think it was deliberate
Yanbu, it's the greatest con of modern times. This government is extremely adept at PR. What is so disappointing is that so many seemingly intelligent people buy into their spin.
YADNBU. We are being fooled by our senior politicians and the media! (Both of whom are filthy rich)
Politicians are part of it.
But aren't these filthy rich people in the minority. A tiny minority compared to the rest of the population?
The uber rich are shafting everyone else
Quitelikely they are in the minority but cream off the majority of the wealth!
The richest 1% have become extraordinarily rich because of the bailout of the banking system and financial markets since the financial crisis.
Ordinary workers who are not working in financial markets, don't own houses in London or other financial centres and who don't own shares and other financial assets have seen their income and wealth actually fall in real terms since the financial crisis.
The gap between the rich !% and the bottom 25% has not been this wide since Victorian times. It leads to extreme social instability.
YANBU. The problem is, that when we complain, it falls on deaf ears as those in power with authority and means to do something about it want things to stay exactly as they are in order to protect their own interests.
They dont want change as that would mean losing out. They pay lip service to the idea of equality and give platitudes but they dont want change as that would mean fewer resources for them (e.g. no second home, no tax breaks, no huge bonus, no BTL portfolio, little Rolo having to forgo his place in the best private school etc).
I dont know what the answer is as things got worse under Labour who were meant to help the poorest.
I think the secret Tory vote says a lot about how the general public feel about the state of the nation.
YADNBU. It's classic diversionary tactics.
Of course we can afford a proper welfare state. And as a high rate tax payer I would be more than happy to pay more tax if it meant we didn't need food banks etc. And I would definitely expect the uber rich to pay their share.
I also believe that the ONS statistics in wealth/income etc. are not accurate as they come from HMRC records and we all know how many people fudge their income down in order to not pay tax. Dividends instead of pay. Trusts to handle windfalls etc. Off-shore accounts and contracting... The local builder's couple of grand in cash for your bathroom is nothing compared to the billions swept under the rug by Directors.
Yanbu, I've studied sociology, this has been going on for years.
Does anyone remember, a few years ago, the fuss there was about selling off the Forest of Dean and other similar land to private companies. People marched in their thousands, and it was all over the news. The government backtracked... but while all this controversy was going on, they got the first bit of the severe welfare cuts through almost unnoticed
I am a conspiracy theorist, in a way, because I suspect this was deliberate.
However, the inbuilt bias towards bankers, and the few rich and powerful is not even a conspircy as such. It's just the very crappy way it is, because the individuals at the top have no empathy, no understanding of what it might be like to live at the bottom, and no social conscience. They perhaps still believe everything they were told about the free market economy that they were taught in A Level economics during the eighties (I did that course too, and it was unprincipled rubbish).
What pisses me off a lot, is the sense that we no longer live in a meritocracy. The rich get all the opportunities. Not just in business, but also in sport and the arts.
I absolutely agree with you that the extent of the inequality is shocking.
But did anyone really not know that the super-rich at the top are invested in maintaining a system that allows their wealth to increase, while the demonisation of the poor endures that people spend most of the time looking the other way?
It's horrible, but no one was fooled into thinking that this was not the case, surely?
YANBU. This, alongside the destruction of the planet for short term profit, has troubled me more and more over the last few years.
The vast majority are being well and truly shafted, and we've been trained to set upon each other while the super rich just snatch everything from under our noses. The terrifying thing that the Tory vote tells me is quite how much so many people have internalised the status quo and really believe that lower taxes, less welfare, out of Europe, 'red tape' slashed left right and centre etc is really the magic ingredient for success and prosperity of the average individual. I'm not sure what's more worrying- the entrenchment of selfish I'm-all-right-Jack every man for himself politics, or the fact that people really believe that the continuation of this kind of society is really going to give them more chances and make their lives better.
We're being sold the same kind of nonsense as the American dream. The uber rich tell themselves that they deserve everything they have, and that they got it all through hard work. And they tell us that we can have it all too if we just work hard enough and / or take enough shit. And once you believe that, you're safely on the treadmill and endorsing the status quo because now rather than looking at someone less fortunate than yourself and thinking 'there but for the grace of god go I', you think 'fuck them, I'm not paying their benefits, they just don't have what I have because they're lazy/inferior'. Because you have to believe that - it's the one thing that keeps the house of cards standing. Otherwise you'd be going 'fuck this, I've been screwed and i want blood'.
And labour lurch to the right beating themselves up and saying that they lost the election because they dared to suggest that big business can sometimes be predatory. Sweet Jesus, we need MORE of that!
If only that was true, Penguin. Many people have been successfully duped by benefit bashing programmes, by daily articles on austerity. Many people prefer to take what they are given and just believe it.
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