Coffee House

Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi

22 August 2014

Now and again, America puts its inequality on display to the world. We saw it after Hurricane Katrina and we have seen it again in the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. A white police offer shoots dead a black man, after having stopped him for jaywalking. Britain’s police don’t have guns, so these scenes are unthinkable to us. But American-style inequality? We have plenty of that too, we’re just better at hiding it – as I say in my Telegraph column today.

I came across a striking fact while researching this piece: if Britain were to somehow leave the EU and join the US we’d be the 2nd-poorest state in the union. Poorer than Missouri. Poorer than the much-maligned Kansas and Alabama. Poorer than any state other than Mississippi, and if you take out the south east we’d be poorer than that too.

I’ve been asked (on Twitter) to link to my source, but I’m afraid there’s no study to point to. It’s original research. But it’s also a fairly straightforward calculation. You take the US figures for GDP per state (here), divide it by population (here) to come up with a GDP per capita figure. Then get the equivalent figure for Britain: I used the latest Treasury figures (here) which also chime with the OECD’s (here). A version of this has been done on Wikipedia, but with one flaw: when comparing the wealth of nations, you need to look at how far money goes. This means using a measure called Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). When this is done, the league table looks like the below. I’ve put some other countries in for comparison.

It’s not surprising that America’s best-paid 10 per cent are wealthier than top 10 per cent. That fits our general idea of America: a country where the richest do best while the poorest are left to hang. The figures just don’t support this. As the below chart shows, middle-earning Americans are better-off than Brits. Even lower-income Americans, those at the bottom 20 per cent, are better-off than their British counterparts. The only group actually worse-off are the bottom 5 per cent. Here are the figures:-


In America poverty is more obvious due to White Flight, a phenomenon we just didn’t have. In the era of the motor car, the middle class (who tended to be white) worked out they could buy a lovely house in the safer suburbs and commute. The population of St Louis, where Ferguson is a neighbourhood, has halved since 1970. And back then, Ferguson was 99 per cent white. Now it’s 67 per cent black. Any Brit who has walked the streets of today’s Detroit will be stunned: this supposed city looks like a bombed-out ghost town. But 45 minutes up the I94 lies the gorgeous sprawl of Ann Arbor, and some of the loveliest spots on earth. America’s White Flight has created a visual spectacle with no equivalent in Europe. When urban trouble kicks off in America, this spectacle is there for all to see.

Britain has no space for white flight, we’re forced to live closer together. And we fool ourselves into thinking that proximity has brought cohesion. In fact, we have developed a new kind of segregation: keeping the poor cooped up in council estates, a stone’s throw from the posh parts – yet abandoning them in a welfare trap from which escape is pretty damn hard. Brits may be appalled at America’s gap in black-white life expectancy. But our Liverpool-SW1 life expectancy gap is just as big; we just don’t get upset about it. When you walk south over Westminster Bridge from the House of Commons, life expectancy drops five years.

No one beats up America better than Americans. They openly debate their inequality, conduct rigorous studies about it, argue about economics vs culture as causes. Their universities study it, with a calibre of analysis not found in Britain. Americans get so angry about educational inequality that they make films like Waiting for Superman (trailer below). And the debate is so fierce that the rest of the world looks on, and joins in lamenting America’s problems. A shame: we’d do better to get a little angrier at our own.

PS If anyone hasn’t seen Waiting for Superman, I can’t recommend it highly enough: it’s on iTunes.


PPS Time Magazine has run Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 09.09.30a peculiar critique of the above with has a smug sub-headline (with “er, not quite” at the end) implying they spotted a massive flaw. And what is it? My table adjusts for spending power between countries, it says, but not within states! Dohh!

The idea that a dollar spent in New York goes equally as far as a dollar spent in Alabama is laughable, but the comparison he uses proceeds from that assumption.”

I’m not sure that the author has worked out that he’s accusing me of understating my case. To adjust for spending power within US states makes Alabama look richer and Britain’s position look even worse – as Time would have realised had the author “proceeded” a little more from his own assumption.

Forbes magazine has done the maths which Time couldn’t quite bring itself to. The author, Tim Worstall, says that if you do adjust for spending power within US states (which I didn’t) then Britain ends up below every single one of them – including Mississippi.

And for those interested, the most thorough critique comes from Chris Dillow, who has also Fisked my figures here. GDP per capita is one way of measuring wealth; it’s also the most widely-used way. I’d (again) like to say that, while its fun to trade figures, all of the above working was done for one sentence into a 1,250-word Daily Telegraph column not about Alabama or Mississippi but the British problems that I recommend Brits focus on rather than gawp at Ferguson.

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  • Kehvan

    Statism… smh

  • EN

    One thing about Detroit he doesn’t understand is that Coleman Young, the first black mayor, drove out whites by not servicing white neighborhoods. All city services went to black neighborhoods. I doubt if many English cities (none that I know of) are run by the majority resident blacks, and the results have been Detroit. Whites fled for sure, but mostly we were driven out. I would say that the US is far more egalitarian than England and the results haven’t changed a damn thing.

  • Frank Ch. Eigler

    “A white police offer shoots dead a black man, after having stopped him for jaywalking.”

    Technically true, but the proximate cause for said man’s death was his 290 pounds trying to pummel the police officer, first in the latter’s car, then on the road.

  • Jason Van Steenwyk

    Well, that explains those cars on the Mr. Bean shows.

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  • Olaf Olson

    Here’s why: bad government policy, and cultural decay.

  • dave

    This is nonsense. Inner London on its own has a higher GDP per capita than any US state…so every US state is poorer than Inner London on its own. So it depends on how you want to view the numbers. You’ve just taken a broad number and applied it across the board to suit your theme, without taking into account differences.

  • PreserveOurRepublic

    And while we are on the subject, Blacks in this country commit over half of all murders, yet are only 12% of the population. It has nothing to do with poverty, as there are mostly white mountain people and Indians in the southwest who are far poorer, and yet have far lower murder rates. The black murder rate is over 500% higher than whites and asians in the US.

  • PreserveOurRepublic

    Fraser Nelson, you think you are journalist? Do a little research before spewing lies. The officer didn’t shoot Mike Brown for jaywalking. First, he stopped his cruiser because Brown fit the description of the individual who just committed a strong arm robbery of a nearby store. He shot him because Brown reached into his car and tried to take his gun, which actually discharged twice, in the vehicle, while the officer was still seated trying to fight Brown off, with one round injuring Brown’s hand which was on his gun. Brown later turned and rushed the officer, at which point the final shots where fired. Get your facts straight. Obama’s DOJ investigated it and could find no wrong doing on the part of the officer at all, and believe me, Obama and Holder were looking for ANY excuse to prosecute the white cop. They and the Democrat media over here are creating totally false stories about racist cops in an effort to anger blacks so they will vote for more Democrats. Ferguson is the shining example of this.

  • Jordan Forbes

    The US also has the highest number of BIllionaires in the world, is home to more Multinational companies in the world than any other country. A staggering 49 per cent of the country or thereabouts lives in a household which receives some form of government assistance. Detroit is a bankrupt city, you can buy houses there for next to nothing. They have a shorter average life span than we do in Britain. The big US cities such as Chicago, New York, LA etc have much higher crime rates and homicide rates than their British equivalents if we compare homicide rates and crime rates per capita. The gIni coefficient which measure inequality in a country also is lower in the UK than the US which suggests more equality here. My point is that GDP Per capita even when adjusted for Puchasing Power Parity tells us hardly anything of the conditions of a country and the wealth of the average native of that country and the living standards in that country. There are huge inequalities in wealth in the US, in fact over 45 million American citizens receive food stamps. That’s more than 2/3 of the British population. So I would say that although it makes for an interesting headline, it’s very misleading, you would get similar results if you compared this stat to a lot of European countries, even in Scandinavia, where the residents enjoy unequalled standards of living. It’s fun to twist the stats though hey. That’s what politicians love to do as well.

  • AqA1111

    want to see the effect of white flight from the inner city to suburbs in the UK?

    look no further than West Yorkshire, specifically Bradford. It also happened for the same reasons, rioting by poor people brought in to work in factories causing white people (not especially rich white people) to leave and seek refuge in nearby small towns and also east yorkshire (where they stick out like foriegners due to big cultural and class differences).

  • JP

    But if Britain suddenly became a US state then our purchasing power parity figure would chnange and your figures would become useless.

  • SmackMacDougal

    Fraser Nelson has the right idea, but his facts are wrong, woefully so.

    You can read the 2014 and see the incomes expressed either in British pounds or U.S. dollars. The UK ranks 43rd and not 50th, as Fraser Nelson wrongly claimed.


  • Marie Shanahan

    I am not an economist and don’t pretend to understand the numbers here, completely, but must say this: It still looks like an interesting amount of “on paper, number voodoo. Britain is not part of America and not likely to be, but if it were, it would be probably as rich as New York. Why is this? The same reason that California and New York are among our most wealthy: Tourism. Not only would the UK be booming with tourists, it would be booming with trade. Americans would flock there to open businesses, further booming the economy. The sky would be the limit for the UK. It would become and endless “treasure trove.” This thought is not formed on numbers, which seems just as “dreamy and philosophical” as some might say this opinion is, it’s built upon human nature and all the faith, passion, guts and dreams that come along with a fantastical venture as the joining of the UK and USA would be. Britain would be as rich as New York or California. I will say it once again: Britain would be as rich as New York or California. And America, itself, would benefit greatly. British businesses would be opening up across the nation, booming the economy. We would all be greater in wealth if we merged. But we will not. Britain needs to remain Britain. We could clear up the whole matter by revoking those “pesky passports” :) and form a strong trade agreement. That way, we both keep our nations, we just exist as brothers. I’m all for that idea. :)!!

  • Christos Georgantzos

    It is strongly evident that countries should spend on social welfare even as a mean of recovering from recession as in scandinavian countries.

  • TheGuy

    Thank you for this informative article. I feel it accurately reflects the high American standards in regard to the rest of the world. However, I noticed that the E.U. area is falsely placed at rank 44.1 instead of at 48.1. It would make me happy to see it corrected.

  • jeremyjanson

    “Britain has no space for white flight, we’re forced to live closer together.”

    Actually there is far more open land in much of Britain, especially the Fens region, Wales, Cornwall, the English-Scottish border and the highlands of Scotland, than in most of the Eastern United States. The Western US is very vast and open, but one cannot commute from Montana to NYC, which would be equivalent to commuting from Athens, Greece to London, England.

    The reason you live closer together has more to do with the structure of your economy and where the jobs are than scarcity – Britains greatest (and perhaps, in this day and age, only) economic strength is having the worlds greatest financial center, which takes all of 1 square mile on the Thames, in the Southeast of England.

  • Hyperspace

    But on the bright side, britain is ahead of mississippi,.

  • Jivin2001

    Yet, ‘Forbes’ has the audacity to claim that London is the new capital of the world? London might have more visitors than NY, but their are far from more influential. Forbes is feeding more bs for ratings recently than it has with actual facts.

  • Dynastius

    I see a lot of people (I’m assuming Brit’s?) complaining about unrestricted immigration as being the problem. As an American, I know our whole country was built around unrestricted immigration (In the past). However, I see one huge difference in the open immigration policies of US history and what is happening currently in much of Europe:

    Most immigrants to the USA during the 1800s and up through the 1950s were from Europe. We also have immigrants from other parts of the world of course, including Asia, Africa and the middle east, but in the past most people who came to the USA largely changed their behaviors to fit in with their new country. This didn’t mean giving up their religion or changing family traditions and so on, but rather that they realized they were now living in a country where people with many different ideologies and traditions lived and that it was expected that they respect those differences. (Of course I realize that racism and other forms of discrimination exist still, but that’s another story.) But now, many people immigrating to Europe are not only actively refusing to “fit in”, they are trying to force their beliefs on the people already living there and being intolerant of anyone who doesn’t think like they do.

  • ChrisRobinson

    It isn’t about RACE, it’s about CLASS. It’s the capitalist system that has failed and the vast majority, the ordinary working class people across the world, are expected to pay for it while the millionaires – the bankers, the owners of the big corporations, the financial houses, and their politician poodles are sitting back and raking it in at our expense. As long as they keep on dividing and ruling us, their system is safe and will go on exploiting us.

    The steady drip-drip of anti-immigrant stories in the millionaire-owned media is designed to set us at each other’s throats and create a climate of fear – that’s what divide and rule is all about. Our political parties have got no solutions other than to compete for our votes by instilling fear into us.

    Our political parties are now four cheeks (with UKIP) of the same backside. You can just about put a cigarette paper between their policies. They offer nothing but cuts – wage and benefit cuts for us and tax cuts for the wealthy.

    What we need is a new party based on our trade unions that will implement genuine socialist policies that will channel the real wealth in this country into investing in jobs, health, education, homes and services and a decent public transport system, plus a fairer, progressive taxation system, for starters. Once we have full employment with decent, living wages and a decent home and affordable mortgages and rents, open accessible health and education, racism will fall away. And the racists will crawl back under the stones from where they first slithered.

  • Alan Read-Lewis

    Britain’s income per head (GDP) is disgracefully low.

    That’s because we give people free houses, which don’t even “count” as income or benefits. We reward people for not working. Then we let more in, and reward them in a similar manner.

    That’s why we can’t afford a Scandinavian style welfare state, and never will. Too many scroungers.

  • mineralt

    I am a Yank and I lived in London for two years. My opinion is this. Everything in the UK costs about twice what it does in the US(let’s not include housing in that statement). The salaries however are just about the same.

    • Freedom

      No, salaries are higher if a) you live in the USA or b) you are given
      ‘equalization’ payments for living in the UK by your American employer. (I know what I’m talking about.) Other than that, you are correct.

    • Kevin Mcallister

      What costs twice as much in England? Not food, not televisions, not mobile phpnes, not the internet, not subscription television, not mobile contracts, not health care, not tertiary education, not cars, not public transport, not airfares, not the cinema, not watching sport (even football is cheap compared to NFL etc) not supermarket alcohol, not even cigarettes… help me out here.

      • mineralt

        Gas is $8.50 per gallon in the UK and $3.50 per gallon in the US. A taxi from Heathrow to Richmond is $100. The same distance in the US would be $50. Companies have a 12% or so tax on every penny an employe make. In the US this same tax is 8% and it is only on the first $100k. A zone 1-9 tube fare is 8 pounds, or $13. In NYC, it is $2.50 to ride anywhere. I spent $100k for a BMW 5 series fully loaded in the UK in 2000. The same car in the US was $60k. I could do this all day if you like.

        • Kevin Mcallister

          Ok London Tube is expensive but you should’ve got an Oyster card seeing as you were there for two years.
          speaking of the length of your contract, are you really expecting me to believe you bought a $100,000 car when you were in London for such a short period of time?

          Just looked up the prices and the dearest 5 seres car is curently $75,000. Why have they gone down in price? Strange. Car prices are very similar in both countries. With our 2nd hand market a lot more ‘competitive’.

          Not really sure when company tax has to do with anything.

          Did you take advantage of the low mobile phone bills? Broadband connection? Free museums? Universal healthcare?

          Other than petrol you’ve not really listed anything, so not really sure what you mean when you say you can do it all day. Besides with everything in America being so spread out and there being a toll road every 5 minutes the costs are probably the same.

          Try again chief.

          • mineralt

            Kid, don’t be so naive. I had a synter bmw. They cost more.

            Go to, and look for yourself. Don’t know why you have such a bee in your bonnet about something everyone knows.
            Some samples from the site,

            Utilities (Monthly)
            Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment
            US, $150/mo. UK, $230/mo

            Clothing And Shoes
            1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)
            US, $57.75. UK, $102.88

            Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax)
            US, $4,300. UK, $3,300(does that payroll figure I gave you earlier make sense now)? So things cost more but your people make less according to this. Do you get it?

            Internet and cell phone? Wow, I pay a whopping $150 combined for those in the US. I think the UK is cheaper if you live in a council flat and pretend to be disabled, but for real people it costs a lot more.

            In terms of your healthcare, one of your genius doctors told my wife she had lymphoma, when she had a simple infection. I wouldn’t brag about your low paid doctors.

            • Kevin Mcallister

              Oh so you’re still pretending to have bought the car. Lovely stuff. Erm, anyway the prices are similar in both countries.

              Not sure where you got those utility prices from, but I can tell you the UK figure is way off. Garbage is covered by the council anyway, surely you knew that? Tsk tsk. Errors are adding up here.

              Our houses tend to be better made so there is less need for excessive heating costs. Or air conditioning!

              Yeah Levi’s are dearer here. But trainers, football tops, basic clothes like socks, underwear etc are cheaper here thanks to Primark etc.

              Did they really? Who told her it was a simple infection? A doctor? Oopsy!
              Of course in America she wouldn’t even have had anyone diagnose it all unless she paid $5,000 or something.

              $150 for internet and phone? I pay less than $50. Over a year that’s a saving of well over $600. which is basically the same as your inaccurate utility costs. Also, as they compare the same size house and american houses tend to be bigger it’s not a fair comparison anyway.

              Also your food is terrible. Honestly, your bacon, chocolate, beer, bread etc are literally the worst things on the planet. Not really a price thing but if you want decent food in america you have to pay a premium.

              Car and house insurance are way cheaper in England as well.

              You’re having a nightmare here. Soz m8.

  • BigCheddar

    Mr Nelson, you prove only that statistics can distort reality. And white flight is a very real issue in the UK. Somehow you’ve managed to hide the real Uk behind your stats!

  • Shenandoah

    I don’t like the flavour of this, Mr Nelson. You imply quite strongly that Americans are good in so far as we beat ourselves up: in so far as we recognize our own wrongs. Well, these days it goes far beyond that, to a pathological unwillingness to acknowledge the achievements of our nation — dare I say, our civilization — and to realize that the Leftist project of giving to all instead of maintaining standards in education as in other parts of life has hurt the poor, not helped them (viz. Detroit, a Democrat-run city for several decades, as Exhibit A).

    Anyone with a high school education in America can get a job that pays a wage to buy food shelter and entertainment. And anyone in America can get a high school education — free.

    But that is the bare minimum. This country’s schools — private as well as public, perhaps more so — bend over backwards to accommodate the disadvantaged and the poor. The main problem seems to me that the property tax (more or less equivalent to your council tax but much more expensive in our cities than your tax) is going disproportionately to plump up the benefits and pensions of bureaucratic fat cats that do nothing but stand in the way of actual education for our youth. This also applies to teachers who think they are underpaid but are not, and who have — unlike most Americans — total job security, and don’t have to save for their own retirement.

    Abraham Lincoln grew wise and learned in a 19th-century schoolroom and in a ‘half-faced shack’, which was as dire a home as it sounds. We do not need billions of dollars and zillions of gadgets in order for our children to learn. What we need is genuine teachers relying on genuine learning mechanisms (like memorizing facts and tables) — and precious little money is needed for that.

    In short, American education is a fraud and a rip-off, serving entrenched Leftist interests more than anyone else. And shame on you, Mr Nelson, for buying in on the sham.

  • Gleeleegoolu

    The maths is flawed. Just divide the income by number of people? How does he account for income inequality? Income doesn’t divide equally among people. Some people in Europe make more money than their counterparts.

  • geofly

    The Brits let in huge #’s of Muslims, that’s why they are poor and soon to be extinct.

  • dave walsh

    The worst article I have ever read. Seriously, what a deluded fool

  • Lime Tasters

    What bullshit. Even if the U.K. was poorer than California it would still be the 6th largest world economy.


  • ander70655

    The west is committing suicide.

  • David12

    Shortly before she died, I took my mother to see the part of East London, Plaistow, and the street where we used to live. I regret doing so. It was utterly different from our fond memories. Our old house now had a beat-up car occupying its front garden, nowhere was there a white face to be seen, a neighbouring street was dominated by a huge mosque, shop names and signs in what was Green Street were written in an alien script. I have lived in the Far East, yet never have I seen such a desolate and forbidding monoculture.

  • Kevin Mcallister

    There are enormous problem with calculating GDP, extrapolating this to GDP/capita just compounds the error. Literally not got the time or the inclination to go through these with you, besides you no doubt came across these ‘issues’ in your ‘original research’!

    You seemed to have realised early on that even the problematic GDP metric was going to produce unfavourable results when you wanted to prove America poor arent poorer than ours so you swapped it to something called ‘purchasing parity’ which somehow implies everyone is better off in America. However, this doen;t include the unemployed, the imprisoned, the poor who need healthcare (i’m talking 50million uninsured), the inferior education system. Where is Britain’s equivalent of the tent cities that exist all over America.

    You really should have done more research, chief. Because as it stands you look a bit silly and a bit naive.

  • CoteMan

    The Brits like all of America’s “friends and allies” love to beat up on America because they know they can and get away with it. Seriously criticize China and Russia? No way, these guys will tell you to pound sand, mind your own business, and watch your mouths less we have to shut them for you!

    • Kevin Mcallister

      Yeah China and Russia receive absolutely no criticism. What planet do you live on?

  • Jacques Strap

    At least Americas rural poor have all that personal freedom and can just shoot their dinner and chop down the materials to build their homes.

    • Paul M

      Although they’re screwed if they hurt themselves doing so!

  • dw

    Does this take into account free healthcare in the UK?

    • Jacques Strap

      And the tax….?

    • Paul M

      It’s not “free” but it’s way cheaper on average. The average Brit has access to better care than the average US citizen. Although in the US obviously the more you pay, the better you get.

  • Anon

    The EU is socialism in action. Capitalism rises all boats – just some more than others. Socialism sinks to the lowest common denominator. To some EU socialism seems fairer – but it is really just unfair to all.

  • oatka

    “No one beats up America better than Americans.”

    Boy, that’s the truth. Most countries will try and bury their skeletons, but we shout ’em from the rooftops – and that is one of our strengths.

  • stig781

    The UK’s per capita was 39,600 at the height of recession, not 36,000. With recovery and now pre-recession levels, the per capita would place the UK in the middle of US states…

  • Freeborn John

    Don’t disagree with the thrust of the article but I don’t get the same gdp/person as Fraser for the Uk. The OECD site he links to shows UK GDP in current US$ as $2522259m. Dividing that by current UK population of 63.23m gives UK GDP/person of $39890.

    That also seems to match very closely the figures on the Wikipedia list of countriesby GDP per person at all of which show UK in the $39-40k range.

    • Kevin Mcallister

      Seeing as the ‘thrust of the article’ is entirely dependent on these figures it seems a bit odd that you don’t disagree with it.

    • FOARP

      Hmm . . . thing is, he’s using the PPP measure (the one that adjusts for cost of living). Since the UK appears to have a higher cost of living than the US, the UK is penalised when you use that measure.

      I’m not a fan of PPP measurements as they are highly sensitive to methodology which can vary from country to country and year to year – the 20-30% correct in China’s PPP GDP when they changed methodology in the last decade being an example of this.

  • Morton212

    GDP per capita is the best metric – but when comparing Britain to the US – you would have to adjust for the enormously better safety net that provides real benefits to British – that Americans simply do not get. If you factor that in I suspect that the average Brit would do rather well compared to the average American.

  • cristo52

    Yet every household in Mississippi has at least one big-screen TV and a bottle of Boodles.

  • spawn44

    Fraser, get you’re facts straight before spouting off otherwise it shows you don’t know what you’re talking about. The black teen was not shot for jaywalking. The black teen, who was originally portrayed by the left as an innocent school boy, was actually a THUG PUNK BULLY who had just pulled a strong arm robbery on a convenience store. After being confronted by the police officer, he attacked him and went for his gun. That led to the shooting.

    • Paul M

      The cop had no idea about the earlier robbery. As confirmed by the police themselves.

      Update your “facts”.

      • spawn44

        My Facts are updated. Fraser’s statement that Brown was shot after having been stopped by the Police for Jaywalking is BS and misleading. It was initially reported the cop did not know Brown was a suspect in the strong armed robbery. Then it was reported he received the call right before seeing Brown walking down the middle of the street. That’s not the point. Brown was shot because he ATTACKED THE POLICE and TRIED TO TAKE HIS GUN. Not for Jaywalking. Get your facts straight.

        • Paul M

          I don’t understand.

          All I said was that Wilson didn’t know Brown had committed an earlier robbery.

          Not sure what’s prompted your little rant…

  • Alejandro_the_Great

    Oh, and by the way GDP is a very rough indicator of wealth and well-being at best. It’s a terrible metric for economic health also.

  • Statalyzer

    “Now and again, America puts its inequality on display to the world. We saw it after Hurricane Katrina”

    Ferguson is a good example, Katrina is not. Hurricane Ike destroyed several cities in south east Texas, both “black” and “white” and “Hispanic” towns, and none of them got nearly as much help as the towns wrecked by Katrina got.

    • Alejandro_the_Great

      Right. People forget about Rita that hit the area right to the west and was even more powerful than Katrina. Whole towns were wiped off the map. That area got dicked compared to the New Orleans metro area.

  • Alejandro_the_Great

    If you think that US cops don’t kill unarmed white people, you’re just not paying close attention. Mike Brown being shot isn’t what made the news so much as the violent (rioting) response this particular cop shooting received. And then the military-police response to the protests (not the looting) got it even more attention. But cops kill people everyday in the US.

  • Jon Schwark

    I’d like to see more about how the Cost of Living and Purchasing Power are figured into this. In the UK/Europe, a large VAT is added into every purchase, and a high corporate tax also increasing the price of things, so there is an illusion that everything is more expensive. The truth is a little more complex. Things like college and retirement and health care that are major expenses and sources of anxiety for americans are funded this way.

    Does your purchasing power index take into account that even though I pay $1000 a month for health insurance, If i cut my finger and get 3 stitches I will still go home with a bill for around $2500?

    OR, that most educated Americans spend a significant percentage of their income well into their 30’s paying of student loans, unless they came from a very wealthy family?

    • LibertyIsTheAnswer

      If you pay $1000 a month for health insurance and still pay $2500 for three stitches, you’re doing it wrong on many levels.

      • Jon Schwark

        Family plan. Deductible.

        • abgood

          Even better post.

    • abgood

      Good post.

  • Jim Fox

    Norway? Things must have changed dramatically- when I worked there 15 yrs ago it had the highest wages and cost of living I’d experienced.

    • FOARP

      They haven’t – he’s using a PPP measure of GDP that adjusts for living costs. It quite often leads to somewhat whacky results to do so as the measurement of living costs from country to country can vary wildly. Calculated on a nominal basis the UK/Norway doesn’t look even nearly as bad.

      • Jim Fox

        Yes, C.O.L. was horrific in Oslo. That’s why I took my cash out of Norway to spend elsewhere.

  • Jim Fox

    “Britain has no space for white flight”

    Yet it is happening- your new muslim chums seem to want their ‘own’ areas where filthy kuffar are not welcome and where police fear to tread. Muslim grooming gangs have prospered with complicity of police, local authorities and social workers. Schools are infiltrated and non-muslim teachers ousted.
    No white flight?- you are delusional!

  • anonymouse

    If the UK was a US state, it would be far and way the most populous state and it would be the state with the fourth-highest population density. The demographics of the UK is simply VASTLY different from any US state. A much better comparison would be between each of the four UK “nations” and their comparative US states.

  • GW74

    the usual specious drivel from Fraser Nelson, a man entirely unaware of socrates’s maxim “I know that I know nothing”, and in love with the idea of his own wisdom.

    “a calibre of analysis not found in Britain” drivel. evidence?

    “they make films like Waiting for Superman” what are the films of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach to you, Fraser? chopped liver?

    “if you take out the south east” – did you actually take out the south east? how did you do that and what figure did you arrive at? what do the figures for the american states look like if you chop out the most prosperous, densely populated parts?

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