UK living standards outstrip US

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Jan 6, 2008.

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    And who personally has contributed to it? You know him btw.
  2. This is interesting because if you Google the worlds richest countries this site is at the top of the list:

    Link here

    It appears that Ireland is richer by GDP than the UK by a very long way but by this account the UK is on £15894 GDP with the USA on £22019 GDP by todays exchange rates.

    I never know which yardstick to go by though because I checked a US government site once (don't ask, long night shift, very bored) and one day it said that the USA was about the same as the UK but I looked again a few days later and it had almost doubled.

    Who are you supposed to believe?
  3. GDP per capita, whilst a perfectly good measure of economic performance, does not equate to a measure of living standards. The lower tax rates in the USA and the lower costs of goods and services - think particularly of the cost of petrol versus the cost of "gas" - means that every $1.97 buys them far more than £1 buys us.
  4. Yes I was going to mention the cost of living but forgot. Half a job.
  5. Yes but then petrol is not as good as it appears either because of larger and less efficient engines and, on average, greater distances travelled than compared to the UK. Plus much higher rates for car insurance. For example I was paying £250 fully comp in UK, here in the US we're paying over $1000 per year, per vehicle.

    The property taxes in the US are really high as they are based on a percentage of the purchase price of your property.

    Groceries are more expensive than the UK.

    Then when you factor in possible medical bills...

    The grass isn't always greener!
  6. This is like a tennis match.
  7. GDP per capita isn't the best measure of standard of living. Even just within the economic sphere there are better indicators such as purchasing power parity.

    This struck home on Christmas Eve when, just after getting back into this country I was waiting in Paddington Stn for a train to my parents' place and in a little over 90mins I managed to blow the better part of $200- not including the cost of the train ticket:

    All-day breakfast and an OJ at the rather aptly named "Sloe"- $20
    5 Christmas cards- $35
    2 bags in left luggage- $26
    Zone 1-2 travelcard (offpeak)- $11
    Cashmere scarf (stocking filler) in S Kensington shop- $40
    2 pints of wifebeater for random squaddie and self- $15
    Clarkson's book- $20
    Bottle of water & sandwich for the trip home- $15

    In conclusion. The report is b0llocks. The UK is a rip-off and, once again, I'm glad I left.
  8. From Nation Master - Economy Statistics > GDP (purchasing power parity) (per capita) (most recent) by country
    Has Ireland seventh, the US eighth and and UK 28th.

    Of course this sort of stat is largely bolloxs. The distribution of wealth is skewed upwards in Ireland the UK and US. How egalitarian the wealth spread in a country is always needs to be considered. The Gini Index is an imperfect measure of this. Above the subsistence level there's a close inverse correlation between equality of wealth distribution and most measure of well being in a society.

    Economy Statistics > Distribution of family income > Gini index (most recent) by country. The higher the ranking the more unequal the wealth distribution. Here the US is ahead of much of the Third world at 39th but behind the UK at 70th and Ireland at 76th. The big EU countries are in there figures but behind the Danes at 122nd.

    Wiki has an article on this here. Green trends to red as the fat cats get fatter.
  9. Car Insurance cost are down to all the Lawsuits that happens a lot over there.

    Medical bills is one of the biggest cost for most US Citizens, Medical insurance is NOT cheap, I did a little research, the cheapest medical Insurance on maximum co-pay was $250 a month single person, it gets higher with spouse/Partner and kids, so much so, that the poorest cannot afford insurance, in fact last time I looked about 20m US citizen have no coverage and do not qualify for medicare.
    even having Insurance is no guarantee that you will be covered, their main motivation is Profit and they will find get out clauses such as declaring treatments or test as too experimental to be cost effective or failed to disclose facts invalidating cover etc

    Its quite scandelous.

    wages for the Majority is not that good, this is where GDP is a little skewed, the top 5% has most of the Cash and political clout, Unions are neutuered, Employment protection is practically nil, 2 weeks holidays for most, part time, hourly based and temp employment is making up the new jobs created out of the ashes of the Old, many Companies are dumping Medical Insurance as part of the perks.

    I had considered moving to the US til I worked out how much it will cost overall.
    too many Briits are seduced by the Florida lifestyle and rush into living there without considering the implications, Florida is fantasyland, real America is a little different, I like the Country, the scenery and the variety of Cities being so different from each other, you can make a success of it if you are willing to do so, but for me , no thanks, nice to visit but not to stay.

    Britain has a lot going for it in spite of the issues we are facing which USA and Canada is also facing Mass Immigration, incompetent Politicians etc

    personally I think the Dollar and American Century is over, its now the time of the Euro as a World Currency which is being widely accepted and adopted in place of the Dollar as prime trading currency.
  10. For us it was even worse than that. My wife and I's medical insurance was $700 per month. After the premature birth of our boy, the insurance just decided they weren't going to pay a sizable amount of the huge medical bill. So the bill falls on us and there's nothing we can do about it. This is not an isolated case, it happens all the time. Medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the US.

    Even with insurance, your liability can be large. Another example, I will be having a simple crown on my tooth next week. My part of the bill, after the insurance has paid its part, is $800. If I didn't have insurance the bill would be $1500. Last month a friend back in the UK had a crown done privately at a cost of under £400 without any dental insurance.

    As for Florida, the climate is rather difficult to live with 24/7. The first year it was great but the novelty of the heat and humidity soon wears off and at the end of the second year we moved to northern California. The climate here is much nicer, IMO.
  11. Ah, but that is central London. The rest of the UK is about 60% cheaper and 90% friendlier. And the dollar has bottomed out against the pound.