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Poverty in Wales, Yesterday and Today


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This is just an attempt to pry Adrian's economic discussion off the World Cup thread.

 

Yesterday:

 

The structural unemployment which struck the coalfield in the mid 1920s was exacerbated by the cyclical unemployment caused by the Wall Street crash of 1929. By 1932, when unemployment among Welsh insured males reached 42.8%, Wales was among the world's most depressed countries.

 

While unemployment was at its most extreme in coal mining, the depression also hit steel, tinplate, slate and transport workers. Agriculture experienced great hardship, with many fully employed smallholders and farm labourers earning less than those on unemployment benefit.

 

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/guide/ch20_part2_war_and_depression.shtml

 

Today:

 

 

It is a recognition that hard times are, and will be, a growing political story in the country, and an indication that it is bracing itself not just for a fresh dose of pain and social disruption, but a testing of community resilience not seen since the coalmine and steel factory closures of the 1980s.

 

Wales is no stranger to deepseated poverty, inequality and disadvantage. Between one in three and one in four residents live below the breadline; one in six working-age residents claim out-of-work benefits (second only to the north-east of England), and just over 9% of these are on incapacity benefits.

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/14/huw-lewis-wales-poverty-minister

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Wales is the poorest part of Great Britain and poor for Western Europe. I've been there, twice (for a total of about a month). It doesn't compare to Asia or the Caribbean or much of Central and South America. There are large parts of the US that are worse. It's a developed, first world country.

 

If you want to include Wales as a "poor" country that's good at rugby, you're wrong. Wales is not a poor country by any measure in this world. Most of the world is just not a very rich place.

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GDP per capita in wales is 80% of the UKs and that's down over the last 30 years in relative as heavy industry has declined. That's not poor.

 

I also think you'll see that for your unemployment during the depression factoid that your absolute number is skewed by its definition of "registered for insurance" and that the number was closer to 25%, and this number is about what you saw many places in the US and UK that had heavy concentrations of industrial workers.

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I also think you'll see that for your unemployment during the depression factoid that your absolute number is skewed by its definition of "registered for insurance" and that the number was closer to 25%, and this number is about what you saw many places in the US and UK that had heavy concentrations of industrial workers.

 

It's the BBC's number, not mine, and it's only skewed in the direction you suggest if unemployment is lower among unregistered males; one would expect the opposite--unrecorded unemployment artificially lowers unemployment figures.

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You'll notice "Wilfrid arguing in bad faith" only makes pg. 12.

 

 

I also think you'll see that for your unemployment during the depression factoid that your absolute number is skewed by its definition of "registered for insurance" and that the number was closer to 25%, and this number is about what you saw many places in the US and UK that had heavy concentrations of industrial workers.

 

It's the BBC's number, not mine, and it's only skewed in the direction you suggest if unemployment is lower among unregistered males; one would expect the opposite--unrecorded unemployment artificially lowers unemployment figures.

 

The way that number is calculated overstates unemployment relative to standards figures because the denominator is much smaller. I took my 25% number from a different UK Government Stats site.

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