Thursday, October 07, 2010

today : the poverty line

Hilarious. Ear splitting howls of protest from people over child-beneft cuts for high earners. Poor them. There was a woman on the news who admitted that her family would be punished. That it is unfair.
"I don't know where we can make any more savings," she said.

On what planet is the belief that £44,000 (about $70,000 - when the famous stat is that half the world live on less than $730 per year) is a level at which you cannot make savings? How many holidays do you take a year? How many times do you eat out a month? How many pairs of shoes do you have?

I have no objection to people earning and spending as much as they can. But nobody is automatically entitled to a luxury lifestyle. We are talking roughly double the average UK income here. How mollycoddled, financially cavalier and caught up in a feeling of entitlement is someone if they cannot take a 2% cut from £44000? A little less wine and skiing would do it.

Whilst the recent financial troubles in the rich nations have certainly caused problems for people, there are very few who have been left destitute, homeless or starving. A bit of belt tightening is all most people have or will suffered. Maybe a bit of worry or a period of unemployment.

In about 60% of the world's nations the financial crisis had had little real effect. That's the nations that don't have an economy to suffer a downturn or an uptick. That's where people scrape by, subsisting in agrarian communities. No TV, no Wii, no holidays, no pensions, no prescriptions (also no anorexia, no prozac and no mid-life crises).

Whilst rightly arguing the various corners of political policies we could all do with taking a reality check.

Having said that, it's interesting to note that the Tories first hack at welfare is a universal benefit. Tories hate universal benefits because they are clearly 3/4 of the way to Communism. Watch out.

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