2. A reductionist way of putting it by picking one example, but yes. They wanted more money, and a major motivator for this consumerism. It wasn't because they were starving and homeless.
3. No, reductio ad absurdum. An increase in wages made heavier industry unaffordable. Miners as a specific example used power to strong-arm negotiations regarding wages. It was very free-market in their thinking - Britain relied on coal for power, so give us more money. They exploited their position, and the economy could not support their wages.
4. Thatcher was elected for among other tings because the wheels started falling off the idea that more of everything for everybody could be sustained with rise in wages and in personal wealth. She managed to control this taking a hard line and standing up to demands from miners. Diversification in energy sources, competition and unaffordable wages took care of the rest.
Of course, it *could* have turned out differently. Maybe in increase in taxation to subsidize domestic heavy industry, more protectionism as in France, or geopolitical/financial jiggery-pokery like what Germany did to make sure there remained a sustainable export market for manufactured goods. Instead we went down the route of allowing manufacturing and heavier industry to reduce, increased the size of the service economy and gave everybody made up jobs in middle management.
Yes, there is a very serious problem with wealth (re)distribution in the UK, and this now transcends class which is irrelevant as it has been historically defined.
Edited by Chopsen at 09:00:43 13-02-2013
Thanks for expressing interest in my signature!