Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label social inequality

Capitalism is the actual source of inequality

In signs of rising income inequality, India's richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country's total wealth -- higher than the global figure of about 50%, a new study showed on Monday.

 The study, released by rights group Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos attended by rich and powerful from across the world, showed that just 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population.

 The study said there are 84 billionaires in India, with a collective wealth of $248 billion, led by Mukesh Ambani ($19.3 billion), Dilip Shanghvi ($16.7 billion) and Azim Premji ($15 billion). The total Indian wealth in the country stood at $3.1 trillion.

 The total global wealth in the year was $255.7 trillion, of which about $6.5 trillion was held by billionaires, led by Bill Gates ($75 bil…

Deprived Scotland

A boy born in the most deprived 10 per cent of Scotland would have a life expectancy of just 68. That is eight years younger than the national average, and 14 years below boys born in the least deprived parts of the country.

 Rates of mortality for heart disease are twice as high in deprived areas, at 100 per 100,000 under-75s, compared with the national average. Cancer mortality rates are 50 per cent higher in poorer areas, at 200 per 100,000.

The number of Scots aged under 25 who are out of work has doubled to 90,000 since 2008, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said.

The report also highlighted the rise in part-time employment, from 70,000 in 2008, when the economic crisis hit, to 120,000 now.

The Scottish Government insisted Westminster benefit cuts were the biggest threat when it came to poverty and inequality. Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “The Scottish Government has powers to do a lot now. They don’t need to wait for constitutional change.&quo…

Scottish health apartheid

New figures revealed men in the wealthiest areas live 11 years longer than those in the most deprived parts of the country. For women, the gap is 7.5 years between the poorest areas and the most affluent. Deprived area residents have higher rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and drug and alcohol abuse as well as poorer mental health.

The poor health of Scotland

The gulf between the health of the affluent and the poor in Scotland is exposed in a new report which shows the divide is wider in Scotland than most other countries in Europe. Only Hungary and the Czech Republic report a deeper contrast between the death rates experienced by men who left school with no qualifications and those who graduated from college or university.

The gap between women from the different academic backgrounds is greater in Scotland than any of the other 20 countries included in the research.

 Dr Gerry McCartney, head of the Public Health Observatory Division for health improvement agency NHS Health Scotland, said: "It is a massive injustice. If you are a child born just a mile from where I live you have got a 50:50 chance of making it to your 65th birthday. That is an appalling record."

There were 501 more deaths per 100,000 men per year among 30 to 59-year-old Scottish male manual workers, than among non-manual staff. This was a gr…

health inequality

Statistics released by the Scottish Government show people from more deprived parts of Scotland are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes.

The largest rate of inequality was in alcohol-related deaths among those aged 45 – 74. The report says that while there have been improvements, death rates and levels of inequality were higher in 2010 than 1998.

forgetting the poor

Figures obtained by the National Union of Students show older universities each typically recruit fewer than 100 students from deprived backgrounds. Student leaders have described as "truly awful" the record of Scottish universities on admitting students from poorer backgrounds.

 Students are classed as coming from a poorer background if they grew up in one of the least affluent 20% of postcode districts.

St Andrews University admitted 13 students from these areas. It teaches a total of 7,370 undergraduates.

Edinburgh and Aberdeen also recruited fewer than 100 students from these districts. Aberdeen could only muster 51 and Edinburgh 91.

Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, whose intake of 102 students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Edinburgh College of Art, which merged with the University of Edinburgh last year, took in eight students, or 5.6 per cent, from deprived areas. Glasgow School of Art took in 13 students, 7.0 per cent of their intake last year.

Glasgow recorded high…

The cause of the causes

Life expectancy in Scotland is markedly lower compared to other European nations and the UK as a whole. But what are the reasons for this higher mortality? Higher mortality in Scotland is often attributed to higher rates of deprivation, smoking, alcohol consumption and poor diet. However such explanations are not sufficient to understand why Scotland is so very different compared to other areas.

In synthesising the evidence a group of researchers identified candidate hypotheses. The results showed that between 1950 and 1980 Scotland started to diverge from elsewhere in Europe and this may be linked to higher deprivation associated with particular industrial employment patterns, housing and urban environments, particular community and family dynamics, and negative health behaviour cultures.

The authors suggest that from 1980 onwards the higher mortality can be best explained by considering the political direction taken by the government of the day, and the consequent hopelessness and com…
Glasgow remains the most deprived city and local authority area in Scotland. Almost half of Glasgow’s residents - 285,000 people - reside in the 20% of most deprived areas in Scotland, while just 17,000 people (3% of the population) live in 10% of least deprived areas in Scotland. A third of Glaswegian children live in households where no-one works (33%), a figure which is much higher the Scottish average (19%), and there is a six-fold variation in this measure across Glasgow neighbourhoods. Around two-thirds of Glaswegian children live in low income families.

Almost 90% of Glasgow people feel little or no involvement with their local community.

Glasgow men will live four years less than men elsewhere in the country, while women will live 2.5 years less.

A boy of 15 in Bridgeton or Dennistoun has only a 53% chance of reaching his 65th birthday.

Men in Anniesland, Bearsden and Milngavie will live 15 years longer than men in Bridgeton and Dennistoun.

Alcohol-related deaths are the hig…

funemployment

The Guardian columnist describes what is called "funemployment"

Workshy, embracing unemployment as a lifestyle choice, sometimes one inherited from the parents, and spending money scrounged off others on booze and drugs. No, not the feckless "chav" caricatures who regularly feature in tabloid horror stories, used to justify further attacks on Britain's besieged welfare state. It's a new generation of young, wealthy freeloaders - the "funemployed".

It might seem perverse to associate fun with the trauma of unemployment. Around 2.5 million Britons are officially without work; youth unemployment is currently running at over 20%. But in a society where Jobseekers Allowance is just £67.50 – among the lowest of comparable western European nations – it's a right that only a small elite can meaningfully exercise. While most Britons are suffering the biggest squeeze on living standards for nearly a century, there is plenty of money around for the uber-…
THE chasm between the health of Scotland's rich and poor was exposed yesterday with the release of new official statistics showing that men living in the most affluent parts of Scotland live, on average, more than 13 years longer than males in the poorest parts of the country.
Statistics showed that males living in the most deprived 10 per cent of the country have a life expectancy that is 13.4 years shorter than those in the richest 10 per cent of the country. That means men in the most affluent areas can expect to live to the age of 81.1, compared with 67.7 for those in the most deprived areas.

The area with the lowest life expectancy is North Glasgow -where men can expect to live to just 69.8 years and women to 76.2 years.

Female life expectancy in the most deprived 10 per cent of the country is nine years lower than for the wealthiest 10 per cent of the country. Women in poorest parts of Scotland can expect to live to 75.4 years of age, but that figure rises to 84.4 years of age …

Failure of Reformism

"Yet despite this significant progress, our ambitions still exceed our achievements and it is clear that we have some distance still to go. Despite all our advances, we have unfinished business and new social and economic faultlines to contend with." Kaliani Lyle, Scotland Commissioner, Equality and Human Rights Commission said

41 per cent of permanent exclusions were among pupils from the 20 per cent of areas in Scotland with the highest levels of deprivation.

Scotland's suicide rate is higher than that for the UK as a whole, with a figure of 12.6 per 100,000 population compared with 9.51 per 100,000 population. Men are more likely to kill themselves than women, with rates particularly high for men aged 25-34 and those aged 35-44. Men and women living in the most deprived areas are twice as likely to take their own life as those in less deprived areas.

One Country - Two Nations

In a study Scotland’s wealthiest suburb has a life expectancy of 87.7 years, while a boy born in the poorest area of Glasgow can expect to die at 54.
A child born in Calton, in the East End of Glasgow, is three times as likely to suffer heart disease, four times as likely to be hospitalised and ten times as likely to grow up in a workless household than a child in the city's more prosperous western suburbs.
A boy born in Bearsden, Milngavie, Lenzie, Clarkston or Kilmacolm can expect to live to over 80, according to data for 1998-2002. But a journey to the eastern side of Glasgow finds life expectancy plunging by two decades. Male life expectancy in Dalmarnock, Calton, Kinning Park and Townhead is below 60: Britain, as a country, passed this mark during the Second World War.

The NHS data can separate the counntry into two : "Prime Scotland", which comprises the best 100 neighbourhoods, and "Third Scotland", where life expectancy is closer to the third world.
If Pri…

cynicism and scepticism

The Big Issuecarries an article on Edinburgh's rich/poor divide .JK Rowling has written about the shock of first moving to a council estate in the city and finding “violence, crime and addiction were part of everyday life in that part of Edinburgh… yet barely 10 minutes away was a different world, a world of cashmere and cream teas”.

Susan Carr, who runs the Craigmillar Neighbourhood Alliance explains how an ongoing regeneration project has stalled due to the economic downturn.“Given we’re only 10 minutes from parliament, in one of the wealthiest cities in Europe, the level of deprivation does seem outrageous...”
Carr’s colleague Norrie Davis, a lifelong Craigmillar man, says they are all “living in hope” that a new secondary school and library will be completed and that half-finished homes will be sold. “Everything’s slowed down because of the recession..."

Kirsty McLaron, 33, says “things have quietened down an awful lot, apart from one of two troublemakers”, but she doesn’t …

Labour cant and won't

Goodness me , after all this time Labour has re-discovered that class counts .

"...we know that inequality doesn't just come from your gender, race, sexual orientation or disability. What overarches all of these is where you live, your family background, your wealth and social class..." says Harriet Harman to the TUC conference

Ms Harman accused the Conservatives of being "false friends of equality" and of "sidling up to the unions".

Hmmm.....Socialist Courier wonders what the reason for her own speech may have been , eh ?

This is just more hypocrisy and cant from the Labour Party .

Gordon Brown conceded in an interview with Monitor magazine that "social mobility has not improved in Britain as we would have wanted".

The reality of the real world

From the Guardian ;

The top 10% of income earners get 27.3% of the cake, while the bottom 10% get just 2.6%

Twenty years ago the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company earned 17 times the average employee's pay; now it is more than 75 times

Since Labour came to power in 1997 the proportion of personal wealth held by the top 10% has swelled from 47% to 54%.

Tax consultants Grant Thornton estimated that in 2006 at least 32 of the UK's 54 billionaires paid no income tax at all.

"We now live in a separate economy, we live on a separate level to the vast majority of people in the country. We don't send our kids to the same schools, we have more choice over schools, we have more choice over health, we have more choice over where we live, we have more choice over where we go on holiday and what we do for our jobs. And we live in a completely different world to the people we live next door to."

Heart-breaking

It is reported that the number of people in Scotland's poorest areas dying from heart disease has dropped , however, despite the drive to reduce the difference in life expectancy between the rich and poor, experts said there was little evidence the decline in heart disease deaths was any greater in deprived communities than elsewhere.
Those living in areas of deprivation are still at higher risk of dying from coronary heart disease . GPs in deprived areas have 30% more coronary heart disease patients and are likely to have less time for all of them.

British Inequality

According to this BBC report , after 30 years of unprecedented economic growth, the British are richer, healthier - but no happier than in 1973. The main reason for the rise in wealth has been the increase in house prices. But the growing wealth has not led to greater happiness.

In 1973, 86% of people said they were satisfied with their standard of living, while in 2006 85% were satisfied. And one in six UK adults reported that they suffered from a variety of mental health problems in the latest survey, of which the largest category was "mild anxiety and depression."

The amount of goods and services purchased by UK households has risen by two and half times in thirty years.

But that increase in spending was not evenly distributed among the whole population, with the income of those in the top 10% of the income distribution going up much faster than that of households of the bottom 10%. In 1979, the real disposable income of the top 10% was three times greater than the real in…

London Olympic Games

The Times reports that the International Olympic Committee’s demand for more than 3,000 chauffeur-driven cars for dignitaries, officials and corporate sponsors. The requirement for a fleet of VIP cars is part of the IOC’s contract with London. The contract is being kept secret at the insistence of the IOC.

These cars will have access to a network of dedicated lanes, which will be closed to other traffic for up to two months. Up to 3,000 sets of traffic lights will also be adjusted to ensure that the IOC’s fleet has fast access to all venues.

The IOC insists it need these cars, and in addition the 110 IOC members, 400 presidents and secretary-generals from the Olympic committees of the 200 competing nations and 450 senior executives from corporate sponsors will also receive free access to public transport .
None of the 10,500 athletes will have access to the 3,145 cars and will instead travel on a dedicated fleet of coaches. Apart from a small number of disabled parking spaces there wil…

1957 and 2006 - Are we better off ?

What difference does 50 years make for the working class . Are we all better off . Well , it certainly appears that way . UK household income has doubled in real terms over the last fifty years. And the pattern of family spending has also changed dramatically. Basic necessities including food accounting for a smaller proportion of our family budget, while spending is up on leisure activities, travel and motoring. Income going to housing makes up a greater share. According to the BBC and the Office of National Statistics

In 1957, spending on food, fuel and rent , the basic three items , made up nearly half of all household expenditure. Taken together with clothing and travel, basics made up nearly two-thirds of family spending. The main luxuries for the ordinary family were tobacco and alcohol, which combined made up just under 10% of spending. The biggest other luxury item was meals eaten out making up 3% of spending. Four of the top ten spending items were food or drink, with spending…

The Gap Widens ( 4 )

And From the BBC
The rapidly rising incomes of the richest 10% of the population are the major factor contributing to growing inequality in Britain.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), an independent think tank, the incomes of the top 10% have risen faster than those of the population as a whole since Labour came to power in 1997. And that increase has been particularly concentrated at the very top of the income distribution - among the half million individuals in the top 1% of the income scale.
Between the 1996-97 tax year and 2004-05, the income of the richest 1% grew at an annual rate of 3.1%, compared to 2.3% for the population as a whole, and the income of the top 0.1% grew by 4.4%. The stock market boom has boosted the income of the rich
The growth was particularly strong in the Labour's first term, where the income of the super-rich grew by 8% per year. The IFS suggests that the rising stock market between 2005 and 2007 may have further boosted the income of t…