Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Middle-Classes Are Revolting!

We used to have it all...

Sebastian Cresswell-Turner says he and his professional friends are the nouveau poor – a frighteningly downwardly mobile class.

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:18 AM (748 views)
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11 thoughts on “The Middle-Classes Are Revolting!

  • Tony Blair’s brave new Britain is an unforgiving place, characterised by a brutal commercialism. So fail to become a top City lawyer or accountant, fail to make it as a highflying entrepreneur, businessman or investment banker, fail to play the property market successfully – fail, in other words, to become a fully fledged homo economicus, and you will soon know the meaning of downward mobility . . . and perhaps even poverty.

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  • “What is the cause of all this? The main factor is without doubt property.”

    very clear, isn t it?
    but I want to see this article rewritten after property crashes

    question for you all: will HPC narrow or widen the wealth differences?

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  • confused76 – I say neither or a wierd mix of both – will cause a kind of apartheid situation – socially excluding people into ghettos with no hope of getting back what they lost – i liken it to London being the major castle in a kingdom – all the other towns are serfdoms – when the tough stuff happens – all the princes and knights will move into their fortified mansions (major metropolitan areas) or the main castle itself.

    Gordon Brown (the Sherrif of Nottingham) can’t help taxing and taxing us.

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  • Nearly30,

    I’m not sure I agree with you about who exactly has the money in this country. My brother-in-law is an accountant in the City, married to a doctor and they live in a little workman’s cottage. My cousin is a builder and he lives in a £4m mansion with a shared golf course.

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  • Isn’t it just a regional disparity – you can be a sh*t amongst Kings or a King amongst sh*ts?

    As for your relatives – perhaps builders are more valued by society than doctors these days.

    Money is power is position is status – from the article – it seems that if you have failed to become a top City lawyer or accountant, fail to make it as a highflying entrepreneur, businessman or investment banker, fail to play the property market successfully – fail, in other words – in life!!

    Not about who has the wealth but how wide that gap is. Were’s the equity – in terms of society?

    Also – the younger you are – the more likely you are going to be professionally poor.

    So not just a spatial issue but also a temporal one as well.

    If you are on the edges now – in time you may become new members of an underclass – that is what the middle-class fear the most.

    The fear is that the already working-classes – fall into the enlarging underclass – and that if you are at risk of ‘losing it all’ you may go down with it to.

    This scum of the depraved elements of all classes … decayed roués, vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, brothel keepers, tinkers, beggars, the dangerous class, the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society. Charles Murray – ‘Losing Ground’

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  • sold 2 rent 1 says:

    confused76,

    “question for you all: will HPC narrow or widen the wealth differences?”

    It will narrow on the whole but there will always be very rich people

    Regarding the super-rich:
    If their wealth is tied up in stocks and property and they are highly leveraged with large debts then their net worth will disappear within 4 years.

    If they are smart enough to have some stored in gold then they will keep their wealth.

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  • Has anyone read Das Capital lately? I would recommend people do.

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  • This was an interesting, if somewhat irritating, article.

    If you get past his “isn’t it terrible I can’t send my kids to Eton” nonsense, he is making a very important point. Inflation is eating away at living standards to an alarming degree.

    Like many other people of my generation I have a reasonably paid professional job, but cannot see how I can build a life or have a family (or even rent my own place) in the current economic environment. When the illusion of housing “equity” disappears, people will realise just how little they now have.

    Almost everyone I know feels this downward mobility. Something will give sooner or later.

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  • A bit biassed towards London but other than that a very good article with a great last paragraph. When I started work as a professional engineer in the power industry 20 years ago I bought my current house (3 bed semi) on the back of my first monthly pay slip on 3X my salary with a little to spare. 20 years later the same house would cost me 5X my current salary! Most of the newly qualified engineers can barely afford the mortgage repayments on a terraced house and like myself will probably end up stuck in the same property if they god forbid have children.

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  • Just thought about this as another factor, has anyone ever seen a graph of the 40% tax threshold plotted alongside the average house price?

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  • A reader’s comment I thought worth reproducing:

    I think he has some valid points – especially about globalisation, which essentially puts us in the same marketplace as the Indian and Chinese billions, as well as many other upsurging nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Russia, and Israel.

    Another aspect of globalisation, besides the simple fact of global competition, is that it tends to strip away the dykes and buttresses of traditional cultures, leaving us unshielded from the storms of undiluted capitalism. Being a duke, a gentleman, a professional, or a civil servant used to count for a lot in Britain. But these things mean nothing in the USA, and we are increasingly finding ourselves in a world that plays by American rules. In other words, money counts first, last, and foremost. Rich people are good; poor people are workshy at best.

    Tom Welsh, Basingstoke,

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