Labour Losing the PPC/Oxbridge Social Mobility Battle

Well this is awkward for The People’s Party. Should Labour be the largest party in parliament, 25.51% of MPs are likely to be Oxbridge graduates. However, that number drops to 20.86% in a Conservative-led Parliament. According to research and analysis by the Insight Consulting Group, more newly-elected MPs would be university educated in a Parliament where Labour has the largest party (158) as opposed to the Conservatives (139). So much for being the party of social mobility… 

No Natalie, Capitalism Has Delivered an 80% Decline in World Poverty

As newsrooms across the land stop what they are doing to read the Green Party’s response to Labour’s non-dom announcement, it is worth picking Natalie Bennett up on this:

“The last four decades have seen wealth accumulate at the top of society while those at the bottom struggle to get by.”

Now hold on just a darn prosperity-spreading cotton-picking second. Over the last four decades the world poverty rate – people living on a dollar a day or less – has plummetted. As this graph from CarpeDiem shows, in 1970 almost 30% of the globe was impoverished. 40 years later that number is as low as 5%:

Rather than more of “those at the bottom struggling to get by” over the last four decades, the world poverty rate has fallen 80%. For all the ideological socialist rhetoric, the cold hard facts show that capitalism has freed hundreds of millions from the clutches of poverty.

Are You Happier Than You Were Four Years Ago?

Depending on whether you believe the IFS or Ed Balls, the jury is out on Reagan’s question of “are you better off than you were four years ago”. One barometer that cannot be statistically disputed however is the question of whether or not we should, based on economic indicators, be more miserable than we were in 2010. There has been a clear decline in Guido’s Misery Index during this parliament and we should be happier today than we have ever been in the last five years.

Cameron and Osborne inherited an unemployment rate of 7.9% when they took office, a number which rose as high as 8.4% in March 2012 but has now fallen to a low of 5.7%, the lowest since 2008.

Falling inflation should make us happier. Though the Retail Price Index remained around 5% for the first year or so of this government, it then embarked on a steady decline reaching a current low of 1.1% in February.

Today’s very slightly revised GDP figures – up from 0.5% growth in the last quarter of last year to 0.6% – also contribute. While the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement – the individual monthly borrowing requirement – this month stands at zero. When we are borrowing less, we should all be much happier.

On all four measures of the Misery Index, there has been an improvement under this government, albeit small. Guido started our version of the traditional Misery Index – it is actually a variation on the Robert Barro version of the original Misery Index created by economist Arthur Okun – back before the last general election. Adding in the PSNR to the composite to give the deficit reduction objective of the government some weight. Are we happier than we were five years ago? Statistically the numbers say yes…

Another Shot Fox: IFS Say Yes To Reagan Question

Last year Ed Balls wrote:

‘”Are you better off than you were four years ago?” That was the question Ronald Reagan famously asked the American people in his first Presidential election campaign.

The answer back in 1980 was no — and his Democrat opponent Jimmy Carter was thrown out of the White House after just one term of office.

Thirty-five years on, it’s clear that Reagan’s famous question will be centre-stage in next year’s general election. Every previous British prime minister in my lifetime has always been able to answer it in the affirmative. But David Cameron is currently set to buck that trend…’

Today the IFS announce:

“Average household incomes have just about regained their pre-recession levels. They are finally rising and probably will be higher in 2015 than they were in 2010, and possibly higher than their 2009 peak.”

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Yes, probably.

GUIDO POLL: Foreign Nando’s V British Harvester

The PM has claimed that foreign food from Nando’s is better value than a good old British Harvester. He probably focus grouped his answers, but is he out of touch?

iPen Ain’t Gonna Happen

apple_haptic_stylus

Tech journalists have been lapping up a report by analysis firm KGI Securities that confidently predicts Apple will unveil a Stylus for its iPad in the second quarter of this year. It would be quite a change of philosophy for Apple whose entire empire is now built on screens you jab your finger at, so you would have thought KGI had some pretty explosive evidence upon which to base their prophecy. But no, it turns out Apple has filed some patents for stylus type devices over the last few years.

headlines

As every Apple geek knows, the Cupertino giant patents anything remotely related to their products – they even have a patent for sensors that will tell your iPhone when your shoes wear out. It’s become a rule at Apple to be prepared to fight a patent war with anyone after they got stung for $100m by Creative who claimed the first iPod infringing its patents. And Steve Jobs did have quite strong feeling on styluses:

Techno Guido will eat his Nexus if they actually make an iPen…

Plummeting Public Trust in Lefty NGOs

Edelman has published its annual “trust barometer”, sampling a massive 27,000 people on how they rate politicians, industries and organisations on honesty. The stand out figure is the huge drop in trust for leftist activists disguised as do-gooders: NGOs. In the last year trust in NGOs has plummeted from 67% to 51%, falling below business in the honesty stakes.

Why? The survey found “an excessive focus on money and NGOs losing touch with the UK are the main causes for those losing trust in NGOs”. The report concludes that “the UK is drifting in the ‘trust doldrums’… NGOs are the worst hit”…

Are You Happier Than You Were Five Years Ago?


According to the Misery Index, the answer is yes. This is officially the least miserable we have been since Guido started recording the nation’s unhappiness before the last election. The fall in inflation today, as well as a slightly lower Public Sector Net Cash Requirement this month, means there is a clear downward trend in misery levels and that we are happier today than we have been in five years.

No wonder Miliband this week proposed a different index to measure the nation’s well-being…

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Labour Hit Back With Their Own Misleading Poster

Labour’s new poster out tonight is as deliberately misleading as the Tory effort earlier this week. What do the OBR say […]

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Danny’s Balls

dannys-ball-forecasts2

Guido has in the past reflected on the accuracy of Danny Blanchflower’s economic forecasting. How have his more recent forecasts of doom and gloom fared?

“Pay is going nowhere,” said the sage of Dartmouth last month, warning “we won’t […]

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LibDems Spent £1.5 Million on Winning One Euro Seat

The Electoral Commission today reveals how much each party spent on their European election campaigns. The big bucks splashed by the Tories and UKIP meant they paid six figures for each seat won. Labour got best value for money, spending […]

+ READ MORE +

Greens 2 Points Ahead of LibDems For First Time

Labour and UKIP types talking down […]

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