The elephant chart in the room: Daily Bullshit, June 28, 2016


Fig. 1. The ‘elephant’ chart shows the distribution of income increases across global incomes. What they call the “global upper middle class” includes the working class in the developed world. Image via Bloomberg, fair use.

The English seem to have successfully slapped the financial elites hard in the face with their ‘Brexit’ vote. It’s a richly deserved slap, but I’m not holding my breath for anyone to do anything about it.

On another note, I gotta give the Gibraltar folks or maybe the Scots or maybe both credit for creativity. The idea apparently would be to divide the United Kingdom, allowing England to leave instead of Scotland, Gibraltar, and possibly Northern Ireland. With England out, the U.K. retains its membership in the European Union. There’s precedent for this, they say: Greenland.[1] Really?

On the one hand, if my assessment is unduly harsh, I suppose it’s possible to envision Scotland, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and maybe—let’s pause to consider border checkpoints on roads leading outward from the M25—London preserving the status quo while Wales and the rest of England split off. It might actually be a cleaner division than anything I have imagined for the U.S.[2]

I guess from my perspective, it’s entirely reasonable to imagine Denmark as Denmark without Greenland. It’s been recognized by all concerned for decades that Denmark’s sovereignty over Greenland is anachronistic. Greenland is remote, with a small population; I don’t imagine it figures often in how Danes or non-Danes imagine Denmark.

I’m not so sure that it would be possible to hive off most or all of England and Wales and still claim that this is the same United Kingdom that the European Union had struck its bargains with. Were Northern Ireland instead to choose to reunify with Ireland,[3] I think the claim grows weaker still.

Luke Kawa, “Get Ready to See This Globalization ‘Elephant Chart’ Over and Over Again,” Bloomberg, June 27, 2016,

Michael Birnbaum and Griff Witte, “E.U. leaders toughen line over British ‘divorce,’” Washington Post, June 28, 2016,

MercoPress, “Gibraltar talking with Scotland about how to remain in the European Union,” June 28, 2016,

Updated at 16:07:08
Christopher Whittall and Corrie Driebusch, “Global Markets Steady After Brexit-Related Rout,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2016,

Hillary Clinton

Models that forecast a victory for Donald Trump rely heavily on the economy.[4] Which suggests that the “Brexit” vote might be a tipping point for the November outcome.

Alexander Bolton, “Economic turmoil threatens Clinton,” Hill, June 28, 2016,

Idiots Economists

Mark Thoma, “Why the Public Has Stopped Paying Attention to Economists,” Fiscal Times, June 28, 2016,

  1. [1]MercoPress, “Gibraltar talking with Scotland about how to remain in the European Union,” June 28, 2016,
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Humans Without Borders: A Paradox,” October 15, 2013,
  3. [3]Simone McCarthy, “Morning after Brexit, Scotland and N. Ireland reconsider ties to Britain,” Christian Science Monitor, June 24, 2016,
  4. [4]Vicki Needham, “Economic models predict GOP White House, even with Trump,” Hill, April 4, 2016,

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