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Alistair Darling - you are a twat. Or...

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is one of the contradictions in Capitalism, that no economist (FM, Marxist, Keynesian, neo-Liberal or otherwise) has been able to solve (indeed the extent to which it is a 'solvable' problem is unclear).

    What is needed is both a body of consumers able to purchase commodities and drive markets, but the production of commodities also requires the continual rationalisation and steamlining of the production process to increase surplus generation (by reducing the number of workers, increasing efficiency, lowering wages, lowering the long term commitments of contracts, de-skilling where feasible etc.).

    There was a move to try and mediate this process, which was one reason for the rise of financial services - loan people the money to buy the things they aren't paid enough to have enough of to keep the wheel turning.


    That's not right at all. Wages are roughly paid according to productivity hence over the last two hundred years real wages have increased as production has.

    Minimising costs is certainly an objective of a firm and in terms of labour this is done by maximising it's productivity with investment in capital, increased education, developing skills etc. This drives wages upwards.

    The role of financial services is to allocate capital efficiently, not fix the non-existant problem that capitalism can't keep itself going because it continuously drives down wages.

    There is definately a big problem with low skilled wages being almost stagnant but it isn't a problem with capitalism it's the simple fact that the the productivity of low skilled workers cannot be raised as easily as a skilled person's. A hoover can only hoover so much while computers double their power every couple of years.

    To ISW's comment about consumerism. Money held at the top of society is usually always invested in productive capital. This is what drives production and consumption.

    Lay off Marxist economics. It's bollocks.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It seems to me that consumption is the cause of the depression that is only just beginning. Over consumption that is.
    Sums it up pretty well. Everyone seems to be agreed that the cause of this (not global at all) recession was over-indulgence - people and business spending far too much money that they didn't have. Yet the Government thinks we should get out of a debt bubble by adding about £700billion more to the national debt. Am I the only one here who finds the logic behind this utterly insane?
    minimi38 wrote: »
    There is definately a big problem with low skilled wages being almost stagnant but it isn't a problem with capitalism it's the simple fact that the the productivity of low skilled workers cannot be raised as easily as a skilled person's. A hoover can only hoover so much while computers double their power every couple of years.
    Just out of curiousity - what is your view on the minimum wage?

    P.S. If the likes of Calvin finds my opinion predictable, I must be doing something right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That may be a long term aim if you believe that, but all you'll be doing at the moment is moving people from public sector employment, where they are at least contributing something, to unemployment, where they're taking money out of the system for no return at all. But I don't agree that governments are parasitic by definition. Many of the things they do actively improve the profit-making potential of the country. Roads don't make a profit, but plenty of businesses do because they exist and are well maintained. The investment sees a return in increased profits for UK businesses, and therefore increased tax income.

    That is, erm, "classic" keynesianism. Not to my liking but if it is for you then you have a lot to look forward to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    No, just that a lot of people in that tax bracket are amongst the people who shafted us in the first place.

    Not everyone was shafted. Some remained celibate when the smooth talking, tall dark handsome stranger came calling.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's not right at all. Wages are roughly paid according to productivity hence over the last two hundred years real wages have increased as production has.

    I wasn't disputing that, as I pointed out in previous comment the fact is not that the absolute value of the lowest wage, but the relationship between the lowest and the highest wages.
    The role of financial services is to allocate capital efficiently, not fix the non-existant problem that capitalism can't keep itself going because it continuously drives down wages.

    That's not even the way I formulated the problem; the problem at the moment is not that capital cannot 'keep going' at all (i.e. in the sense that Marx stated, that capital would 'contain the seeds of it's own destruction' - which I don't believe, certainly not in the sense of capitalism inevitably leading to another system) - it is that the gap between the richest and poorest is widening by the day and has been for ages. It is pretty uncontroversial to state that a primary role for all human endeavour is the pursuit of happiness (not the only, but in its many formations certainly one of the most ubiquituous).

    Virtually all happiness studies show that the places in which we get the highest indicators of unhappiness are in societies where the greatest inequality occurs; the corrolation is not as strong for stable societies with a low absolute rates of wealth.

    Anyway capitalism is not a 'thing' - it is a socio-economic relationship. This 'non-existant problem' is not what I meant, and I believe I have clarified this.
    There is definately a big problem with low skilled wages being almost stagnant but it isn't a problem with capitalism it's the simple fact that the the productivity of low skilled workers cannot be raised as easily as a skilled person's. A hoover can only hoover so much while computers double their power every couple of years.

    People are not hoovers, is of course the first and most pressing problem with this statement (ethically, if for no other reason). The second is that 'productivity' is a relative term - GDP is not longer linked exclusively to the production of tangible commodities, the finance industry being the most striking example.

    Finance investment and banking are of course most fundamentally linked to the idea of supply and demand. But the other obvious thing to mention is that the demand for capital is always the greatest of all, therefore financial services that maximise capital while producing nothing tangible (for example: by packaging up toxic assets into triple A; by offering tax avoidance services such as those leading to the explosive growth of KPMG and PriceWaterHouseCoopers) will always clean up because there is no better product to sell, in a finance driven economy, than capital itself. They produce nothing but creat a ton of surplus on the balance sheet.

    The returns for these people are easy to raise because their product is essentially the a priori top one - the level at which this operates however is a tier of society that very few people have access to, and the 'real' value of such work relative to the market returns for it's pursuit are highly dubious.

    I'm not disputing your point entirely - I'm not even suggesting that inequality can be totally eradicated; what I am stating unequivocally is that we are currently in an economic system where the excesses of highest relative to lowest are unsustainable, that sectors of the economy are at an a priori advantage simply by virtue of thei location within the realm of finance capital, and also that the value of such work relative to 'real' products and services (those with direct use value) is a big problem.
    To ISW's comment about consumerism. Money held at the top of society is usually always invested in productive capital. This is what drives production and consumption.

    Yes but production for production sake is not an absolute good, this is plainly ridiculous. Making more stuff, to get more capital, to make more stuff, to get more capital is unsustainable and ludicrous. Further more it directs all energy into greater forms of efficiency towards capital generation, not to serving peoples needs.

    Lay off Marxist economics. It's bollocks.

    This is really getting us nowhere. What the twentieth century taught us, and what (as far as the New Scientist lit review informs me) all studies of complex systems (economic, transport etc.) teach is that an a priori ideal driving a command system of administration (such as the command economy of the Soviet Union) doesn't work, is worse for ecology, and also worse for humanity in terms of the repressive social system that results.

    We also know that unfettered production and the pursuit of capital - the magic of the marketplace - will not solve these problems either, and indeed has proved pretty damned disasterous particularly in the least affluent parts of the world. The challenge of this century will be to balance two demands - neither left nor right at this stage in human history has been able to synthesise the prudence and productive insights of free market economics with the equally important ethical and ecological demands of socialism.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Child trust funds for disabled children to rise by £100 a year, £200 a year for severely disabled children

    What about adults and those children who missed out on the trust fund because they were born too early? Or do they not matter?

    And how will they decide whose severely disabled and whose not?
    From November the limit on savings pensioners can have before their Pension Credits are reduced is to be raised from £6,000 to £10,000 to help those hit by low interest rates.

    And what about people of working age hit by low interest rates?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    What about adults and those children who missed out on the trust fund because they were born too early? Or do they not matter?



    You'd end up getting thousands of spurious claims from people who pretend they are disabled, or exaggerate their conditions.
    Like the wankers who use disabled blue badges but you see them jogging away from their car, their disability being a simple case of arseholeitis.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    You'd end up getting thousands of spurious claims from people who pretend they are disabled, or exaggerate their conditions.
    Like the wankers who use disabled blue badges but you see them jogging away from their car, their disability being a simple case of arseholeitis.

    We already get that with parents with claim their child has "ADHD" so get loads of money from the government. Meanwhile, they get loads of money because they can't control their child, and blind people can't get any because apparently we were all born like it and should've adapted by now.:rolleyes:

    Can I just point out, that not every blue badge holder is the driver, nor is every disabled person a wheelchair user.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As for blue badges, if the disabled person isn't in the car then they shouldn't be used, and I'd question the requirement for someone who doesn't have a problem with walking to need a blue badge, any somehow all of this is irrelevant haha.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    minimi38 wrote: »
    To ISW's comment about consumerism. Money held at the top of society is usually always invested in productive capital. This is what drives production and consumption.

    Yes, and that's why we have seperate rates of income tax and corporation tax. If you want to invest in the country, you pay the latter. The things that create jobs for society pay less tax. In fact, they pay no tax unless they make a profit. If this is your aim, then you should be calling for cuts in corporation and small business tax, not lower taxes for high earners.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    As for blue badges, if the disabled person isn't in the car then they shouldn't be used, and I'd question the requirement for someone who doesn't have a problem with walking to need a blue badge, any somehow all of this is irrelevant haha.

    I suggest you look up the criteria for a blue badge.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    On the DFT website it states that the only time a blue badge can be used is when the disabled person is in the car, and that they are for people with severe mobility or visual problems.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    and that they are for people with severe mobility or visual problems.

    Read it again. It says it's for other people too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And people wth bulky equipment to cope with an illness, severe problems with their arms which means they wouldn't be able to operate a parking meter (although surely they wouldn't be driving, so the able bodied person with them can pay......??? Weird.) and people on the higher level of disability allowance, blah blah blah.

    My point was you often see people misusing them, those who appear perfectly healthy jumping out of a BMW X5 for instance and jogging into a shop.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    severe problems with their arms which means they wouldn't be able to operate a parking meter (although surely they wouldn't be driving, so the able bodied person with them can pay......??? Weird.)

    They sometimes have a knob on their steering wheel to allow them to drive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, and that's why we have seperate rates of income tax and corporation tax. If you want to invest in the country, you pay the latter. The things that create jobs for society pay less tax. In fact, they pay no tax unless they make a profit. If this is your aim, then you should be calling for cuts in corporation and small business tax, not lower taxes for high earners.

    What would you suggest for an individual that beliefs whatever one produces is one's to dispose of (or keep) as one sees fit ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What would you suggest for an individual that beliefs whatever one produces is one's to dispose of (or keep) as one sees fit ?

    Solipsism and another planet.

    Individualism increasingly will not be able to keep pace with the complexity of systems of the modern world, further strengthening the case for interdependence. Ergo, this demand is responded to by having some framework of common institutions to confront common problems.

    I'm not rejecting your idea out of hand; there's an important strand in this thinking about freedom and resisting overarching forms of domination, but I don't think that the idea that most people produce things in isolation to the extent that we can opt out of any social responsibility is tenable one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That they fuck off to Bermuda and never come back?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Individualism increasingly will not be able to keep pace with the complexity of systems of the modern world, further strengthening the case for interdependence. Ergo, this demand is responded to by having some framework of common institutions to confront common problems.

    That sounds like a quote from the Illuminati. I also recall something similar from Mussolini back when he was popular.

    There may be individuals who have no desire to keep pace with that runaway train.
    I'm not rejecting your idea out of hand; there's an important strand in this thinking about freedom and resisting overarching forms of domination, but I don't think that the idea that most people produce things in isolation to the extent that we can opt out of any social responsibility is tenable one.

    People are assessed and taxed individually.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    That they fuck off to Bermuda and never come back?

    I guess it is fortunate for them that you are not a member of the Law Society who is writing the laws.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What would you suggest for an individual that beliefs whatever one produces is one's to dispose of (or keep) as one sees fit ?

    I'd say that if their profits are created using a workforce educated by the British education system, and kept healthy by the NHS, and delivered using roads paid for by general taxation, they should be obliged to put some of those profits into those services. I think public wellbeing is higher on the list of moral priorities than people's property.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess it is fortunate for them that you are not a member of the Law Society who is writing the laws.
    I guess it's unfortunate that this Government doesn't have the balls to rescind British citizenship to people who refuse to pay their way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd say that if their profits are created using a workforce educated by the British education system, and kept healthy by the NHS, and delivered using roads paid for by general taxation, they should be obliged to put some of those profits into those services. I think public wellbeing is higher on the list of moral priorities than people's property.

    And what if that individual's workforce consisted of the individual, the individual's partner and their children (their produce !), who are educated by their parents and they all live healthy lifestyles on a piece of ground producing their own food situated in the legal jurisdiction known as the United Kingdom ?

    Would you agree that what is produced and earned is theirs to keep or dispose of as they see fit ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    I guess it's unfortunate that this Government doesn't have the balls to rescind British citizenship to people who refuse to pay their way.

    It is in a Government's best interest to make someone a citizen. That is the legal bait and hook.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is in a Government's best interest to make someone a citizen.

    And whose interests are the governments?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And what if that individual's workforce consisted of the individual, the individual's partner and their children (their produce !), who are educated by their parents and they all live healthy lifestyles on a piece of ground producing their own food situated in the legal jurisdiction known as the United Kingdom ?

    Would you agree that what is produced and earned is theirs to keep or dispose of as they see fit ?

    As far as I'm aware, there is no tax on food you produce with your own resources for your own consumption. There is no tax on fixing your own plumbing with pipes that you have made yourself from scratch. The second you try to sell that for money provided by a state-run financial system, you get taxed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    They sometimes have a knob on their steering wheel to allow them to drive.

    The simplest answers always seem like the most sensible ones lol.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    I guess it's unfortunate that this Government doesn't have the balls to rescind British citizenship to people who refuse to pay their way.

    here here
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    @ ShyBoy - thanks for your earlier detailed reply btw, I had only got round to reading it today
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And whose interests are the governments?

    The same as all corporations, I should imagine.
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