Friday 3 January 2020

One percent

Danny Dorling is a geographer of social exclusion. He's happiest when he has data that he can display on a map to better compare incomes, wealth and deprivation in different areas. [RSA talk] The UK is the second least equal society in the OECD: the UK's 1% has garnered 15% of the nation's wealth. More than twice as much privilege as in, say Germany or Switzerland. Take bankers: there are 2,000 financiers in UK who are paid >£1million/year; there are only 200 such creatures in Germany. [HardTalk] Only the USA has a grosser disparity: 22% of that country's $$$$ are being enjoyed by the richest 1% of families. The good news is that among us untermensch of the 99%, things are getting a little more equal. The ratchet at the top works so that the 1% of the 1% are immeasurably richer than the normal rich who are just scraping by on €$£200,000/year. The richest 65 people have a wealth equivalent to the bottom 3,600,000,000 people; no wonder there is a market for a few ENORMOUS yachts.

What matter? Because when you get gross discrepancies in wealth then Life expectancy is adversely affected. In the UK, and Ireland-by-proxy, Brexit has been a huge distraction filling the column inches and night-time anxieties of pretty much everyone. Even the baastids who are shorting the £ sterling must be getting nervous about their unearned millions as the Brexit process recedes from closure (and payola). They say that Generation X will be the first with a shorter life-expectancy than their parents. A lot of that hinges on how wide-spread antibiotic resistance gets and therefore how many fit people die of trivial infections. But accordimng to the cited article, old people are dyimng much faster than a decade ago, not really because of resistant infection but from a clatter of causes all unltimately drive by the unwillingness to invest in public health care. We may gather a quantum of grim solace that, when it comes, no amount of money will save the 1% from MRSA or CRE when it comes for them

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