Remember all that stuff about how the credit crunch was going to usher in a new age of austerity? The financial industry would shrink; the gulf between the haves and the have-nots would close; and taxes would rise for the top earners, forcing them to contribute more to society.
Well, guess what? It didn’t happen.
In fact, we just had a “rich-get-richer” recession. U.K. data suggest the gap between the wealthy and the poor has widened. We can give up any idea that it is going to close by itself. The government usually bails out the rich; the wages that the highly skilled can command are rising all the time; and globalization means the well-off increasingly occupy a whole different economy than the rest of the country they live in.
While the U.K. economy as a whole may be struggling, people at the top end of the income range are doing surprisingly well.