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Living standards, us versus them

UK living standards outstrip US - Times Online

LIVING standards in Britain are set to rise above those in America for the first time since the 19th century, according to a report by the respected Oxford Economics consultancy....It says that GDP per head in Britain will be £23,500 this year, compared with £23,250 in America...the comparisons are affected by sterling’s high value against the dollar....The Oxford analysts also point out that Americans benefit from lower prices than those in Britain. With an adjustment made for this “purchasing power parity”, the average American has more spending power than his UK counterpart and pays lower taxes

So we don't enjoy higher living standards at all; the Americans can still enjoy more good stuff at home than we can - what a dickhead report, but one that will be seized upon by our lying leaders to persuade us we have never had it so good.

Comments

The claim is COMPLETELY false -- Oxford Economics did not present GDP per capita adjusted for purchase power parity (PPP), which is absolutely necessary for any conclusion about living standards. In fact the Oxford Econ analyst is quoted elsewhere (the Observer) explaining that fact and affirming that Americans have "far stronger purchasing power".

The idiots at Sunday Times made a complete botch of it and refuse to fess up to their misunderstanding -- the language you do quote is a hedge that they inserted after posting the original article that made no mention of PPP, after receiving many abusive comments from people like me (which I note they are not posting on their comments).

Just covered this myself. Either Oxford Econ are trying to mislead people, or they said something pretty meaningless and the media are warping it. Or perhaps a combination of the two.

However, in terms of PPP I think it is in fact true to say that we in Britain have "never had it so good".

The way I look at it is not that Britons are staggeringly wealthy (they are, by any account, no matter how disastrous Brown has been) but that they could have been so much better off had it not been for the depredations of the Gobblin' King these past ten years.

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