Monday, 29 August 2011

Rich Man, Poor Man

Does this apply to the UK?


RMcGeddon said...

I must admit I've never seen such a poor use of statistics. There are 6 million homeless in the US. Maybe they dragged their fridges on their backs to fit in with the statistics ? Social housing tenants will have been provided with fitted fridges although there won't be any food in there. And who owns a VCR these days ? Never mind two VCR's. To say that a poor person would rip up a cheque for $100K because they found out their co workers got $300K is fantasy land.
The truth of course is that trillions of dollars have been printed and handed to the bankers and investors to do with what they will. Money that will be removed from the poor and middle class of society for generations.
And yes it's the same over here. While we are bailing out RBS etc they're still enjoying record bonuses and hiring corporate boxes at sporting events. Nothing will change until everything collapses.

JRB said...

Frightening – just frightening.

It is frightening to think that there are such right wing extremists as The Heritage Foundation who willingly stoop to using the crudest abuse of statistical information as a weapon against a section of their own society.

Whatever happened to –
"Give me your tired, your poor; Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Whatever happened to –
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property

If this clip is a true representation of American political opinion, then I fear that as a nation it is heading down the dark corridors of right wing extremism.

And this frightens me because – if Cameron et al see this happening in America they will try to push the boundaries of conservatism further to the right over here - and that will effect to us all.

billgav said...

50%of americans dont pay tax this statistic includes children elderly disabled sad bit of properganda

Apogee said...

Have to agree with a lot of what he says. Poor is relative!
And I have met the type who would tear up the $100 thousand check to deprive the others, and they were middle class.And extremely selfish.
And,sad to say, a couple of them were Scottish!

Hamish said...

SR, this clip is blatant American neo-con propaganda. Bill Whittle is Sarah Palin without the lipstick.
Jesus shrewdly observed that "the poor ye will always have with you", anticipating the definition of poor as "earning less than 60% of the average income".
But as RMcG says, the main problems in our society stem from the unco rich not the feckless poor.

Observer said...

Have to agree with the other posters this is just American right wing propoganda.

Let's look at things from another angle.

Probably most ''poor'' people in Britain will have most amenities. They will have a telly & a washing machine & maybe a computer. The difference is they will have purchased them from a catalogue or Brighthouse or some place like that, which charge exhorbitant interest rates because they cater for poor people who can't access credit in other ways.

The poorer household will also use pay as you go electricity to power these things, key meters, which means the tarrifs charged will be higher.

So they will end up paying more to have the same things as richer people.

The poor are being exploited.

In what way is my argument any less valid than the man in the video?

(I am not saying I am right incidentally)

There's information & then there's how you interpret information & we can all do it.

subrosa said...

Surely these days a fridge isn't a sign of wealth RM but essential, especially in many hot areas in the US.

I too think it's the same over here.

subrosa said...

The Heritage Foundation is one of the biggest think tanks in the US JRB.

Very right wing though I think.

subrosa said...

Didn't know the figure Bill so thanks for that.

subrosa said...

It is neo-con Hamish, but it's also important we see what US propaganda consists of don't you think?

subrosa said...

The definition of rich and poor is hard to establish Observer. I've been 'poor' as defined by salary these days, but never thought myself poor.

Your argument isn't any less valid. Don't forget this is a right wing US think tank.

Surreptitious Evil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surreptitious Evil said...

What he seems to be saying, if you can the moral outrage, is that being poor in the modern USA is, on average, a more materialisticly successful life than being average was in the USA a couple of decades ago. Also, it is better than being average in a lot of other places round the world at the moment. The latter is clearly true - the former, well, I'll accept the stats - I haven't got better ones.

This isn't particularly because the poor have got richer, nor is it because society has got more equal. Nor does it say that there aren't a %age, possibly a large absolute number, of people who are desperately poor. There are two main causal effects - one is that household goods have got much cheaper because of improved manufacturing and globalisation (also they tend to have got much more durable - therefore many of these things owned by the poor will be 2nd-hand.) The other is that he has concentrated on what are reasonably accepted as non-luxury and, as has been said, often necessary goods. If you did similar graphs for yacht ownership, it would probably show that very few indeed have one and it hasn't risen. The only such item he really considers there is the jacuzzi - and quite a lot of the people that have one will have one because the previous owner of the house they live in fitted one.

Taking all that in to account - and despite the screams of moral indignation - a similar pattern will apply in the UK and, yes - on average, being poor in today's UK is a better standard of living both than the average in the British Isles for pretty much all of recorded history and for many other countries in the world. Of course, some of the amenities will change. Air conditioning ownership in the UK isn't neither as necessary nor as widespread as in the US.

And "a weapon against a section of his own society"? Yes, and its quite clear who he is aiming the weapon at. And it isn't the "poor".

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Classic case of PR-ophobia -it's not what goes into the mouth that condemns but what comes out.

Slick sludge is the polite way of calling it.

subrosa said...

I'd agree with most of your comment SE, although I certainly don't think household goods have become more durable - quite the contrary.

My first fridge was second hand and I sold it when I moved house. Since then I've had to have a new fridge roughly every 10 years. Washing machines don't last long either and as for dishwashers...

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