Thatcher’s great political trick was to analogise the running of the country with the running of a household. She was so stupid that she actually believed it, which made her performance of the trick so convincing to so many, and kept her in the Tory shop-window for so long.
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? You can’t spend more than you earn. The country’s just like a little household. Except, of course, it’s not. Not unless you push the analogy to the point where the dad hides how much he makes from the rest of the family, keeps them impoverished, and spends vast amounts of the income everyone else is ignorant of on hookers, gambling, fags and booze.
But here’s a better and more apt analogy for the country – a village of one hundred people.
This one’s somewhat more politically informative. Of our 100 people, one man owns vastly
more than anyone else.
Break the village down into 5 sets of twenty, and the top fifth own nearly all the wealth.
The chart is for America, but everywhere there is a capitalist system the story will be the same – the longer we run the game, the more money will run to the tilted end of the table. The poor get poorer and poorer, and the rich get richer and richer.
Until, of course, we reach that critical mass where the pitchforks and lanterns get broken out, and heads roll and blood is spilled. And while that’s in progress the rich complain that they weren’t happier anyway. It’s one of their favourite tales – “money doesn’t buy you happiness” – which really makes you wonder why they want so much of it.