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May 29, 2009


Luis Enrique

I agree with you in the main, so this is just a quibble: don't earnings need to be adjusted by age? If I'm 20 and earning £20k, that's a very different thing from being 45 and doing so, yet both individuals would be given the same place in the income distribution according to this approach.

Using an unadjusted measure, you always make older people look richer than they really are.

Age adjusted earnings would be a better approximation of life time earnings, which is really what matters when it comes to what house you can afford, pension, helping your kids etc.


"really what matters .... helping your kids": surely Chris disapproves of "helping your kids" - it's privilege, innit?

Alderson Warm-Fork

It may also have the political effect of 'privatising' problems: if several people are all in trouble for similar reasons, but they each think the others are fine, then they may come to see their problem as an individual matter, rather than something affecting them along with others.


Are these really adverse effects? Apart from Number 4, these could all be considered drivers for increased productivity. (Even if not for increased utility.)

The fundamental problem, which I think you have addressed before, is that people mean different things by Middle England. Is it median earners? Or is it the layer between the toffs and poor, with the poor making up 90% of the population. Middle England is not necssarily in the middle.


Middle England is a political concept; as such it exists solely for political purposes, notably pleasing the foreign-owned rightwing media and apologising for Tony Blair within the Labour Party. The lack of any meaningful definition only boosts its mythic force and enhances the power of the caste who are privileged to declare it.

Its reflection of objective reality, or otherwise, is of the most pathetic unimportance.

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