Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A bit of silliness from "The Times" of London: "UK living standards outstrip US"
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. The calculations suggest that, measured by gross domestic product per capita, Britain can now hold its head up high in the economic stakes after more than a century of playing second fiddle to the Americans.

It says that GDP per head in Britain will be o23,500 this year, compared with o23,250 in America, reflecting not only the strength of the pound against the dollar but also the UK economy's record run of growth and rising incomes going back to the early 1990s. In those days, according to Oxford Economics, Britain's GDP per capita was 34% below that in America, 33% less than in Germany and 26% lower than in France. Now, not only have average incomes crept above those in America but they are more than 8% above France (o21,700) and Germany (o21,665)....

Oxford Economics says that while the comparisons are affected by sterling's high value against the dollar, they also reflect longer-term factors. "The UK has been catching up steadily with living standards in the US since 2001 -- so, it is a well established trend rather than simply the result of currency fluctuations," its report says. It concedes, however, that a significant fall in the pound against other currencies would push Britain back down the ladder. It has assumed an exchange rate of just over $2 for the purpose of the calculation but in recent days the pound has slipped below that level.

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. (In the run-up to Christmas many Britons travelled to New York and other American cities to take advantage of the strength of sterling against the dollar and those lower prices.)

More here

GDP per capita is an important statistic -- much more objective than the various "national welfare" and "quality of life" indices. But it DOES need to be adjusted for domestic purchasing power. The above results simply reflect the fall in the external value of the US dollar -- but a buck still buys much the same as it used to in the USA itself. Something which I and many others have informally noted is that in Britain, a pound buys about the same as what a dollar buys in Australia -- yet the external value of the Australian dollar is (like the US dollar) about half the value of the British pound. On that admittedly rough criterion, the average Brit is only HALF as well-off as the average American or Australian. That sure is how it looked to me last time I was in Britain. And it has in some ways apparently got worse since then. Note the following report, also from "The Times":
"The crowds are packing the pavements around Oxford Circus Tube station. On the roads, cars and buses are jammed in a giant gridlock. This is central London - but it's not the pre-Christmas rush or the height of the sales. It's just the start of another working day. Similar problems afflict many city centres: Birmingham's New Street, Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street and Edinburgh's Princes Street see similar daily throngs. It is something that city dwellers have become accustomed to, but living in British cities used to be a very different experience."

I used to love London but I am glad I don't live there now.

*****************

ELSEWHERE



Above: What the well-dressed Muslim fundamentalist is wearing this season

Huckabee's Surge Statements Don't Jibe: "Governor Mike Huckabee was questioned this morning on FOX News and ABC News about his transparently false claim that he supported the troop surge in Iraq before Governor Mitt Romney. When confronted with his own words from back in January this morning on "This Week," Governor Huckabee tried and failed to have it both ways."

Democrat candidates willful denial on Anbar awakening: "There's a truth the Democratic presidential candidates can't handle: the success of the "surge" in Iraq. The addition of American troops and the adoption of a new strategy of protecting the civilian population has now dramatically reduced the level of violence in Baghdad and pacified other parts of Iraq as well. But the Democratic candidates insist on pretending otherwise. It isn't clear whether they were uninformed, out of touch, mistaken, politically fearful, or knowingly dishonest when they were asked to comment on the surge during an ABC television debate Saturday night in New Hampshire. In any case, their refusal to acknowledge success in Iraq marked a low point in the Democratic campaign."

Obama Shows the Audacity to Exaggerate & Make Stuff Up: "Barack Obama did not have the slightest idea what he was talking about when he touched on the Anbar Awakening tonight in the New Hampshire Democratic Debate on ABC. Obama says it wasn't the troop surge-- it was the Democrats winning in 2006 that caused the Anbar Awakening! In reality- the main ones cheering the Democratic win in November were Khamenei, Iran, Al-Qaeda, North Korea, etc. Not only that... Obama also said the Anbar Awakening was an attempt by the Sunnis to make peace with the Shia. SORRY- The Anbar Awakening was an agreement among Sunni Tribal Leaders to join together to fight Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorists. It had nothing to do with the Shiites. Obama showed that besides hope- he also has the audacity to make things up.... the actual formalization of the Anbar Awakening had been ongoing for more than a year. It wasn't something that just happened when Pelosi the Terrible took over the House... Try February 2006."

British Conservatives to cut back jobless benefits: "The unemployed would be forced to take a job or lose their benefits under radical Tory proposals to get millions of people receiving state hand-outs back to work. Under proposals to be unveiled by David Cameron this week, the unemployed would be required to take part in mandatory welfare-to-work programmes designed to prepare and train them for jobs. If they refuse a reasonable job offer, they could be banned from claiming unemployment benefits for up to three years. The welfare-to-work schemes, modelled on programmes in the United States and Australia, will be run by private firms and charitable groups who will be paid according to the number of people they keep in work. In reforms that will infuriate disability pressure groups, the Conservatives also intend to force every person claiming incapacity benefit to be tested to see if they are too ill to get a job. The Conservatives estimate that at least 200,000 incapacity benefit claimants are making false claims"

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and TELSTRA/BIGPOND.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here

****************************

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

****************************

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A new book shows Saddam did support al Qaeda and the Taliban:

'Both In One Trench: Saddam's Secret Terror Documents'

http://www.bothinonetrench.com