It is a leitmotif of the ConservativeHome manifesto that the future prosperity of the mass middle class is threatened – that “the great historical trends that transformed our economy, our society and our politics are in danger of going into reverse”.
For long periods post-war, a rising number of people in Britain gained the chance (as we put it) to own their homes; to find work that enabled them to get on, not just get by, and to have enough left over at the end of each month to plan for the years ahead.
In short, the building blocks that matter most of all to ordinary working people were in good shape – homes, jobs and savings: the trinity on this site’s masthead.
However, “the proportion of Britons owning their homes has been falling since 2001. Wage rates for ordinary working people are stagnant and undermined by inflation…[and] a culture of saving has been turned into a culture of borrowing – with household debt at record levels.”
No wonder support for capitalism is also under threat. But if some things are getting worse in Britain and Europe, much of the rest of the globe is, on the whole, getting better
Max Roser at the Oxford Martin School points out that “we are becoming less violent and increasingly more tolerant, that we are leading healthier lives, are better fed, and that poverty around the world is declining rapidly.”
The links are to Roser’s research, but the words are those of CapX – the daily evening newsletter edited and sent by Iain Martin, the Daily Telegraph columnist and author of Making It Happen – the story of, as he puts it, “Fred Goodwin, RBS and the men who blew up the British economy.
As its Twitter feed puts it, CapX is a new pro-market global news service, making the case for popular capitalism. It operates under the banner of the Centre for Policy Studies, and is “designed to save you time – by locating for you the very best writing on global markets and political economy”.
Iain’s weekly round-up this evening also cites a piece by Dan Hannan on the EU, an article by Zac Tate on automation, and Simon Nixon’s Wall Street Journal piece on the rift between the ECB and Germany…plus “a miracle material that could save the world”.
There is so much to read. But I’ve been gradually won over to CapX because it offers something different to the day-to-day-who-is-doing-what-at-Westminster that is necessarily so much of what we and others do.
As Iain wrote a few hours ago, “you can visit our website at www.capx.co or download our app in the App Store. Have a good weekend”.