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  1. #1

    A normal distribution

    I believe it's almost impossible to make poverty disappear - at least 'relative' poverty.

    I like the normal distribution.

    DO YOU?

    It's 'natural' and we should aim to copy it.

    Applying a normal distribution to wealth a small proportion of people will be more than two standard deviations below the mean and a small number more than two deviations above the mean.

    A linear, parallel the the line axis going from left to right would be totally boring with everybody having the same wealth and no incentive to 'get on in life' or whatever - anyway, it's an impossible dream and if true for just one day it would be skewed the next as some choose to save and others to spend and others work hard to make their average talents grow into super talents.

    Countries with wildly skewed distributions are evil; normally a huge mass of poor people, no middle class and a small number of extremely wealthy people on top farting in the face of the masses.

    We, in the UK, have a large middle class and had (have?) close to a normal distribution of wealth.

    A large and reasonably wealthy middle class is what makes a country safe and secure and politically stable.

    Also prosperous; taxing a large middle class will always bring in more dosh than heavily taxing a relatively small number of rich people as a 'reward' for their success.

  2. #2
    A small proportion of poor people and a small proportion of extremely wealthy people is healthy.

    Long live the normal distribution!

    By the way, there are now over 8 million people on this planet who have liquid assets of over one million US dollars; a growing club of mostly quite ordinary people that we can now all aspire to join!

    Not that a million USD is worth much anymore - I remember the good old days when a million would buy you a decent meal, an ice-cream and leave you with a couple of thousand in small change!

    Whoops, I keep forgetting this is the past and I'm talking from a date in your future.

    A quick rant to end:

    A BILLION in English is a million million, i.e. 1,000,000,000,000.

    Those who speak the American language believe a billion is a mere thousand million! i.e. 1,000,000,000


    How can we expect to understand what politicians are talking about if we haven't a clue what number system they are waffling in?

  3. #3
    Re: billions, the fight for the British version was lost decades ago. Those who deal in large numbers either assume that everyone is using the American version or use mathematical notation involving powers to obviate confusion. Ten to the power three, also known as ten cubed, is 1,000 whatever your spoken language.

    As a matter of historical fact, many American usages are simply older English usages than those in the UK and should be granted superior status. Program was the British spelling up to the early 19th century when an incompetent etymologist falsely concluded that program was of French origin and therefore spelled programme. It was directly from the Latin programma. We have plenty of genuine grievances with Uncle Sam, most notably the events of 1776 to 1783. There is no need to invent new ones.

    The wealth and income distribution in the UK is no longer normal. There are now a few so well paid and with so much accumulated wealth that they distort the simple averages. The number stuck in misery and squalor has grown. The Fat Tails are getting fatter.

    A Google search and then digging will get you better information. I have not recently followed any of these links.

    Income in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1.1 Percentile points for income of individuals before tax; 1.2 Income distribution across age bands; 1.3 Income distribution across UK regions; 1.4 Income ...
    Income inequality metrics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  4. #4
    produced by the ESRC UK Longitudinal Studies Centre, together with the ...
    HM Revenue & Customs: Personal Income by Tax Year

    Table 3.1 - percentile points for total income before and after tax ... Table 3.2 - distribution of median and mean income and tax by age range and gender ...
    UK: income inequalities - The Poverty Site

    The 50:10 ratio is the income of a household halfway up the income distribution ( i.e. at the 50th percentile, or median) divided by that of a household one-tenth of ...

  5. #5
    The IFS "where do you fit in (from your income)" tool ( makes no allowance for your costs, hence is of little value in my opinion. A given salary in the South East would be worth much more in some other parts of the country. A bit like Robert's other Forum thread - what would you do with 400K. Despite his suggestion that it would set you up for life, here in the South East it wouldn't even buy you a "good" house, in fact in a lot of areas wouldn't even buy you half of a good house.


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