Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As you know, I tend to give Brown some credit on that, though.  He may have kept GDP in the black with all that spending, and God knows a few cities outside of the South could use it.  But he does need to get his act together.  If Labour can get Britain out of Iraq and hold spending lower than GDP growth, he'll close the gap fairly soon.  The deficit is less than 3% of GDP, -- and, more importantly, I believe it is now lower than the GDP growth rate -- so I don't think it should be a terrible concern.  Work needed?  Yes.  Something to flip out over?  No.

The rise in the Gini coefficient puzzles me, though.  The minimum wage has been rising strongly -- now higher, in pounds, than its American counterpart (at the federal level) stands in dollars.  And everything I've read shows real wages have been rising at reasonably strong rates, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3% each year, although probably slower now with higher inflation and more slack in the labor market.

You can, after all, have more inequality while also having gains to the working and middle classes.  The concern is the American case for most of the last five or six years, in which the rich get richer while the working class and a good chunk of the middle class see no real gains in wages.  The differences in healthcare-related concerns, as I noted the other day, shouldn't be neglected either.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 30th, 2007 at 09:50:46 AM EST
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