Charts of the Day: Thatcher vs. Blair

Here’s a fascinating little chart courtesy of Thomas Forth. It shows income inequality in the UK (on the vertical axis) vs. growth in disposable income (horizontal axis). Here it is for the poor:

In the go-go 80s under Thatcher, the poor made no progress at all. Under Blair, their disposable income increased from about £9,000 to £12,000. But what about the well-off? They probably did great under Thatcher and then got the shaft under Blair. Let’s look:

Under Thatcher, the well-off did indeed prosper. Incomes of the 95th percentile went up from £23,000 to £37,000. Under Blair they went up from £42,000 to £58,000.

So under Thatcher the poor got nothing and the well-off saw their incomes rise by about 60 percent. Under Blair, the poor did pretty well and the well-off saw their incomes rise by about 40 percent. Choose which country you’d rather live in.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.