Dave the Puma’s contribution ran like this:-
There was a brief period when the greatest disparities in income and ownership of wealth were reduced. It ran from the end of the 40’s to the 70’s.. Remember that? For most of us, that was your childhood , youth and early adulthood, that was. It was based on hard lessons learned in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, and in two world wars. Basically, these were: we are all in this together, certain goods should be provided collectively, e.g. health and education, and progressive taxation is good. Oh yeah, and that did not stop people having material progress, and quite a few getting fairly rich in the 50’s and 60’s: Lord Rayne (Max Rayne) made stupid amounts of money re-developing central London, for example; so you can’t complain that it was all Stalinist and there was only one kind of knickers available, see? Of course, the improvement in household economic equality wasn’t quite enough; I (we?) wanted personal liberation and other kinds of equality as well, so it wasn’t the desired end state, either..
During that magic time, in the words of one commentator, the bottom three quarters of society ganged up on the top quarter and made them behave themselves, for once. More equal societies are, on the whole, happier (see “The Spirit Level”, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket, pub. Allen Lane, 2009, if you want an argument). Of course, the Tories hated it, and will do anything to get rid of the vestiges. Blair/Brown didn’t do enough (much?) to reverse what That Woman started. However, Cameron will try to finish the job. Currently, the distribution of wealth is back to what it was in 1937, I believe.
(That was addressed to members of Slim’s List, most of whom met each other at the end of the 60’s/early 70’s, and now look on the current situation in mild horror. A fair number lived in, or knew of University College London’s Max Rayne House, funded all or in part by Rayne; hence the reference to him)