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Turning the poor on the poor

2

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Economists like to pretend they are scientists but in reality they just stick a damp finger in the breeze and guess. Their guesswork is based on their political affiliation not empirical research. I think Professor Blanchflower is the best of the bunch but he so happens to be left-leaning.

    I don't know about "picking teams". I think everyone has an ideology which sculpts how they see the world. Tories think "fuck the poor" and I think "fuck the Tories". Labour are no better though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you've got a bit confused: I never asked you to prove anything was legit - though the burden of proof would rest with you were I to do so; Flashman, however, poked some pretty big holes in earlier stats.

    Apologies was posting from my phone. Don't mean to be incendiary. It is often hard to follow debates on the forums as there isnt a point that is being discussed in an individual 'thread', rather anyone could reply to anything or just create a new comment leading us to repeat ourselves and miss the point more often than is necessary.

    I was responding however to your point about avoiding criticism and responding with 'im right because im right'. If there is a specific point to answer then I can answer that however frequently when I end up wasting time in online debates it comes down to one person questioning everything I say, until after me spending hours linking everything I get the classic: 'Well, you can show anything with statistics really.'

    Don't want to go down that rabbit-hole unless people have looked at the source and sincerely believe its conjuring up something out of nothing. I can see the other side - you could argue the TUC are trying to invoke the politics of envy in order to win labour (who are arguably, very slightly more left than the coalition) some lovely votes. TUC scratch labour's back, labour scratches their back with some lovely new laws.

    However I think if people do a little cursory independent research they can find a range of sources to support the proposition that yes, we aren't having the best time in this country at the minute, and yes, things are getting worse for the poor. Then the argument which is far more interesting and relevent becomes this: is this necessary? Greece for example would be one example where letting the poor bear the burden is perhaps its only chance of economic survival.

    Though if people want to squabble about how great people on benefits have it then it just becomes an exercise in futility for everyone.

    To be clear, my position is that the severe cuts for the most vulnerable are not necessary, and that actually they do more harm than good for the bottom line (which isn't the only metric we should care about, unless you are an A level economics student who knows it all...).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Economists like to pretend they are scientists but in reality they just stick a damp finger in the breeze and guess. Their guesswork is based on their political affiliation not empirical research. I think Professor Blanchflower is the best of the bunch but he so happens to be left-leaning.

    I don't know about "picking teams". I think everyone has an ideology which sculpts how they see the world. Tories think "fuck the poor" and I think "fuck the Tories". Labour are no better though.


    I think to give economists their credit a lot of the work is quite difficult and imprecise. They are basically having to make judgements on things where guesstimates is all they have to go on. So you can see why different economists would come out with different results. It's not just them aiming for a conclusion they support, but also one economist may make an assumption about the negative behavioral effect of welfare payments and another may make completely a different assumption depending on who you've read.

    I personally am a bit of a slut for evidence-based decisions though, even if they're not perfect. I just don't see the evidence for cutting welfare to boost the economy. Can't think of a single example where its worked. And the whole government strategy of talking about people staying in bed whilst others are out struggling and working 12 hour days I find a bit too propaganda-rey. I grew up fairly naively believing we were one of the countries with less propaganda, that we really knew the truth from deception.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    I personally am a bit of a slut for evidence-based decisions though, even if they're not perfect.

    I think you'd be hard pushed to find anyone who has a boner for policy based on wild conjecture. The issues I have with the kind of "fact-based" fiscal ideology that's doing the rounds at the moments are twofold: 1) people are cherry-picking the most politically convenient facts and 2) a lot of the "facts" aren't really facts at all.
    I just don't see the evidence for cutting welfare to boost the economy.

    No one likes cuts - well that's not strictly true, the British public has a brief dalliance with it during the election campaign when everyone thought tightening the belt and toughing it out was an appealingly stiff-upper-lipped way of tackling the deficit - so it's hardly surprising the rhetoric has gone from "don't cut me; I'm important" to "these cuts are ideological" to "cutting never works".

    The problem is I don't think people have much of a grasp on the enormity of the UK overspend. And more pertinently just how much debt we've accrued due to past overspend.

    The current UK debt last time I checked was over a thousand billion pounds. Stop and think about that for second; the number is so big it's meaningless. My back-of-the-fag-packet maths shows that if we spread that debt evenly across every person in the UK that'd be about £16,000 pounds each. The interest on that, per year, is about fifty billion pounds. That's about £800 a year for every man, woman and child in the UK. Take out the fact that kids don't work and we've an ever increasing retired population taking out of the economy, the people working to service that debt are only a subset of out sixty-plus million population.

    No cutting is a dangerous fantasy. I'll agree to argue about where the most effective and fair savings can be (on which I suspect we'll probably be in agreement a lot of the time), but if I hear another simpleton (not anyone in this thread, yet, thank god) say "just make the rich pay there fair share and we'd wipe out the deficit" before flashing their shit-eating grin, Imma gonna watch the light go out in there eyes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ^ What he said!

    Although many people are struggling, I still think there are some people out there who wouldn't be in as bad a position now, had they not lived beyond their means in the past. People will tell me that its such a small number compared to those who's situation isnt their own fault, I agree, but people in trouble because of past and continued overspending through choice, should be a problem easily solved.

    I do like seeing the whole "right to a decent standard of life", what the fuck about people starving in africa who dont have iphone 5's and dont smoke 20 a day etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What about people in Africa starving? There are people starving right here, right now, right in the UK.

    The country has "spent beyond its means" because the banks were indulged. They were indulged when Gordon Brown sold the gold to protect them and they were indulged again when RBS and Halifax were bailed out by billions. That's where the "deficit" comes from.

    JSA is £71 per week. Iain Duncan Smith's fucking BREAKFAST was £39. Yet the fat bald cunt is lecturing the people on JSA about not getting "something for nothing"? Haway. He's a fucking hypocrite, just like all the filth in Westminster are, of all colours.

    Curiously nothing is being done about the 650+ MPs all troughing hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in dodgy property expenses claims. Nothing is being done about Iain Duncan Smith putting a £39 breakfast on the state's credit card. But then you don't expect a fat bloated bald twat to vote to throw himself off the gravy train. Not when there's some poor people to vilify instead.

    Gideon Osborne's SpAd was heard to say "who care about poor people? They don't vote for us". And that sums up everything about this government, and the previous one. Ed Balls is a hypocritical little piss-stain too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I dont think bailing the banks out had anything to do with prior over spending by the government. I'm with you on the point of IDS and his breakfast, I honestly think a high profile politician could do more good for their image by eating in a greasy spoon and claiming for it rather than any £39 breakfast. However, I pay for my own breakfast so why can't they?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The budgets were pretty much balanced until the bailout of the banks blew it out of the water. I don't think the Government were particularly overspending, much as that is the narrative the right-wing media love to portray.

    I guess my point is that we have no money for welfare benefits, but we have plenty of money for a corporation tax cut. Which is it, Gideon? It can't be both, you toffee-nosed Trustafarian prick.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Was the corporation tax cut portrayed as helping business drive us out of recession?

    But yes the deficit was for the most part balanced and not increasing before we bailed out the banks. Though from around 2003/2004 ish we still had a deficit running.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't care how it was portrayed, if the Government have the money to give money to business they have the money to give it to the most vulnerable people. The fact they don't speaks volumes.

    Not that someone like Gideon, with his family trust fund giving him a feathered nest, would understand what vulnerability is. I sincerely hope he doesn't* end up on a street destitute, getting beaten to a pulp every night. (*does)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I find it more interesting in the fact that allowing there to be the money for businesses to help pull the economy out of the doldrums, give people jobs etc. It flies in the face of the whole dont worry we wont stall the economy by making massive cuts and taking money out of it etc. I think anyone that argued that no cuts needed to be made at all needs to be taken outside and shot. The scale/level of the cuts and what to be cut is a completely different and very big argument that I don't think we can properly encompass.

    The worrying trend in my mind is successive government after government of all political parties, seem to have got us into a positions where the national finances are screwed after decades upon decades of abuse, meaning it hurts even more when some things have to be taken away.

    On another matter, I'm aware that once you hit a certain point of wealth then its usually off the back of workers, or making profit from customers. Some might go as far as calling it legalised theft. However, even if a business tries to be as ethical as it can, even in some cases if they are non profit, at what point do we turn around to people and say dont aspire to anything because once you hit a certain point you need to look after the people you made the money off. Which then leads to there being no rich person/business there to give back etc. Its all a very swings and roundabouts thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think things do need to be cut, we have been spending too much money on stuff that doesn't serve a purpose.

    My issue is entirely about what things have been cut, and how they have been cut, and why they have been cut.

    For some reason we are still giving billions of pounds a year in aid to India. India isn't far behind us in terms of commercial competitiveness, and they have some of the richest people in the world (the Mittals for instance) living there. So why in the name of all that's holy are we giving them aid money? Go ask the Hindujas.

    I don't see how cutting corporation tax will assist with anything, I really don't. Companies don't turn down profit because they might have to share some of it with the taxman. Letting companies keep more of their profit won't create jobs and it won't raise wages. So it has to be purely ideological: that the people at the tops of these companies, earning more in a week than I do in a year, are more deserving of the money than the people at the bottom of the ladder.

    I think the targets of the welfare cuts are telling too. As I said, it is our pensioners who cost us the majority of the money, but they vote Tory so they don't suffer. If the cuts were targeted financially the pensioners would be the first ones to get a cut, seeing as they get significantly more money in state handouts than working-age people do to start with. And that's before we consider things like the free bus pass scheme for pensioners, which costs hundreds of millions of pounds a year, together with all the other silly little perks they get.

    Things probably do need to be cut. But the Tories have targeted the weakest because the poor and the weak do not vote Conservative.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So potentially we might see future cuts to pensioners once traditional Tory support starts dying off? I do like that money is being spent to help people in India, but like you I dont think it should be our money. I think the problem is that now that the bracket of old age people is ever increasing, we're going to find this an increasing problem. Except old age people having things cut would cause just as much outrage.

    So like I said, perhaps the nation will be a lot better off once the traditional political party support for the conservatives moves to a younger base, and all parties tend to appeal to more of a middle age and younger audience, rather than having support traditionally at opposite ends of the age scale.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The budgets were pretty much balanced until the bailout of the banks blew it out of the water. I don't think the Government were particularly overspending, much as that is the narrative the right-wing media love to portray.

    This simply isn't the case, dude. Labour would love people to think that the banking crisis was exclusively the cause of our financial woes but it's not backed up by any of the figures:

    We've been in debt for the past 100+ years. And from the figures I've seen we've been running a deficit almost constantly for the past 40 years - apart from two very brief periods in 1990 and again in 2000. Labour and Tories both overspend, just to differing degrees. Both parties live in Financial Fantasy Land; they've been playing Stick it on the Never Never for the longest time.

    You remember Brown telling us he'd abolished boom and bust? Haemorrhaging knighthoods to psychotic incompetents like Goodwin? Brown turned a surplus into deficit in the "good times". The tsunami of the financial crisis would have hit us either way, that's certainly true, but don't let Labour (Balls in particular, that shit-eating fuck-cunt) tell you they were doing anything other than ripping out the few sandbags we had when the waves came in.
    I guess my point is that we have no money for welfare benefits, but we have plenty of money for a corporation tax cut. Which is it, Gideon? It can't be both, you toffee-nosed Trustafarian prick.

    The hypocrisy of Tory cuts and the apparent schizophrenia in their choices I can get on board with. They're making some shitty decisions - though none of it is all that surprising if you're only faintly aware of their ideology.

    It just makes me facepalm when people go beyond that and you see that they're busy jettisoning their memories of what a bunch of fiscally incompetent fuckwits New Labour were. And would be again given half chance.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We've been in debt for the past 100+ years. And from the figures I've seen we've been running a deficit almost constantly for the past 40 years - apart from two very brief periods in 1990 and again in 2000. Labour and Tories both overspend, just to differing degrees. Both parties live in Financial Fantasy Land; they've been playing Stick it on the Never Never for the longest time.

    Agreed.

    People kicked up a fuss when this compulsory pension thing was brought in recently, but we're in bigger trouble when the You Only Live Once crowd end up having to get supported by the state. I agree with helping the vulnerable in society as and when they need it, be they old, young or unemployed etc. What does nark me is if the state ends up indefinitely supporting those people who piss away all their money every weekend, dont save for retirement and expect someone else to pick up the bill if for some miracle these idiots dont end up killing themselves through living a reckless life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Without meaning to get into a discussion about healthcare reforms, or the effectiveness of the NHS, I'm mentioning the NHS in the following are purely an entity.

    In my ideal world I would like to see a "Less is more" government. I'm not going to say Laissez-faire policy as a purely economic policy, but like I said, in an ideal world less would be more for me. Less interfering from the big wigs. In no particular order:

    1. Education
    2. Healthcare/NHS
    3. Welfare
    4. Defence
    5. Law and order
    6. Foreign affairs.

    Ambulances come under healthcare, police under law and order, I'm not sure where the fire service would fit in, but it would somewhere. I realise that what I have listed above kind of encompasses most stuff anyway, but like I said I'm trying to do the less is more thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This simply isn't the case, dude. Labour would love people to think that the banking crisis was exclusively the cause of our financial woes but it's not backed up by any of the figures:

    We've been in debt for the past 100+ years. And from the figures I've seen we've been running a deficit almost constantly for the past 40 years - apart from two very brief periods in 1990 and again in 2000. Labour and Tories both overspend, just to differing degrees. Both parties live in Financial Fantasy Land; they've been playing Stick it on the Never Never for the longest time.
    QUOTE]

    Whilst I don't disagree we're spending too much and the state needs to be cut back, I disagree with this view the economy should ever be in surplus. In a perfect world we should be continually running a small deficit (about 0.5-1% imhnio), which is enough to be wiped away by inflation over time and not lead to massive debt. If the Government is in surplus it's taking more than it needs and it's not like a company, where its generating this by selling things people want to buy, but by forcing people to pay tax. Better to run a small deficit and let people keep more of their money than tax them more and Government just keeps it in the vault* (especially as it's often cheaper to let debts run their time and paying intereston them than to pay them off early, with all the breakage costs for early repayment)

    The deficit was too high, but not totally uncontrollable before 2008, the problem was Government spending was heavily dependant on the financial sector, corporation tax on the banks profits, PAYE and NI on their salaries + all the stuff they bought and the cheap investment which encouraged house prices to go up and all that lovely stamp duty land tax to go to the Government (and high share prices and lots of churn bringing in stamp duty on that) and it was the loss of all that tax money that so damaging.

    Ironically, Artic Roll is actually expressing the real right wing view, which would have been to let the banks go bust and you'll find that plenty of right wing economists (and politicians) arguing for that and that all the Government should have done was to protect people's savings. The Government stepping in to the save the banks is corporatism, not liberalism (to use liberal in its proper sense)

    * off course that's cos I'm arguing for economic liberalism, you could equally argue that the state should tax the same amount and spend more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    , I'm not sure where the fire service would fit in, but it would somewhere. .

    They'll come under local government spending
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ironically, Artic Roll is actually expressing the real right wing view, which would have been to let the banks go bust and you'll find that plenty of right wing economists (and politicians) arguing for that and that all the Government should have done was to protect people's savings. The Government stepping in to the save the banks is corporatism, not liberalism (to use liberal in its proper sense)

    It's not that ironic really, I'm not a socialist, I'm a traditional pragmatic Liberal. Help those who need helping as a basic humanitarian duty, but beyond that there should be a small state and as little interference as popssible.

    My real bugbear with this Government in particular, but plenty of previous ones, is that they are doing the exact opposite to this. They are removing support from the most vulnerable simply to enable the corporate fat cats to continue sucking at the taxpayer's teat. From a humanitarian point of view it is a moral disgrace. And from an economic point of view it is complete idiocy.

    People on the breadline will spend everything they are given, churning the money rapidly through the economy. Buying fags and booze with the dole makes the process even more economically efficient. But giving the money to the corporate fat cat troughers does no such thing; that money gets tied up in stock options, or property, or other assets. It is completely removed from the economy, leaving aside the moral problems with taking money from the poor to give to the rich.

    I can't decide if the halfwit Trustafarian ruining the economy now understands this or not. On balance I think I'd prefer him to be incompetent because the alternative- that he is deliberately making people destitute to feather his own nest- would make him a dangerous psychopath.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you look at the UK as a whole private wealth is actually increasing; some people are winners in this current economic climate.

    Lots of people have made good points though but getting back to the original thread discussion ; government propaganda. Media, high value private wealth, the government and corporations are all stuck into a feedback loop gaining of each other. This is great for them but there needs to be a stronger voice for the plebs too. That used to be the governments role but I think that's been abandoned now.

    Don't believe the scare stories of the debt. We had far greater debt than this when we *started* the nhs, and massive council house building. And we didn't do too badly out of that.

    However keeping the prospect of the UK economy going down the gutter at a moments notice unless we are careful (because Labour Ruined The Economy©) allows the four aforementioned groups to continue changing the country for their benefit and the plebs detriment.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »

    Don't believe the scare stories of the debt. We had far greater debt than this when we *started* the nhs, and massive council house building. And we didn't do too badly out of that.

    Greater percentage of GDP perhaps, but as for sheer amount of debt, we are far into uncharted territory.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Don't believe the scare stories of the debt. We had far greater debt than this when we *started* the nhs, and massive council house building. And we didn't do too badly out of that.

    Do you even believe the current level of debt is a problem?
    However keeping the prospect of the UK economy going down the gutter at a moments notice unless we are careful (because Labour Ruined The Economy©) allows the four aforementioned groups to continue changing the country for their benefit and the plebs detriment.

    Don't be so lazy with your parody. It just makes you look like one of them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Greater percentage of GDP perhaps, but as for sheer amount of debt, we are far into uncharted territory.

    I'm not saying it's not a problem, I'm saying that its important to keep things in perspective. It's tough times. It doesn't mean we have to cut everything, it doesn't mean we should cut the most important services.
    Do you even believe the current level of debt is a problem?

    Yes
    Don't be so lazy with your parody. It just makes you look like one of them.

    'One of them?'

    That's the whole point of this thread. Services are being cut ideologically, probably with sincere beliefs by those with the power to implement service cuts that its necessary, those vested parties also have the resource to put out rhetoric to the general public which is often believed. Most people you chat to these days do believe that the majority on benefits are scroungers. Whether the Tory party distance themselves from that (after the fact) or not, it doesn't matter that that's the message that's been conjured up and its on the back of that public opinion they are able to make these cuts easily.

    It's easy to blame people for being stupid and not seeing the wool being pulled out of their eyes. Case in point, the US, where people happily vote against their own best interests consistently. For some reason we seldom blame the most powerful and most resourced for spreading misinformation which benefits them.

    I know also that those people often sincerely believe what they are putting on - its not like they are intentionally trying to deceive people. They just have a different world view. Honestly many of my friends are VERY old school Tories and they believe that the people who have nothing just haven't worked hard enough yet. It's a view I disagree with but I understand why they hold that view (if one person can make it, then surely others could too?).

    But when one group has a world view and are heavily resourced vs another group with a worldview that are lacking resource, the result is inevitable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Disregarding any arguments about what should be cut, or at what rate, I think one of the worst things was saying the would solve things so quickly. The trouble is, if things are not solved in 5 mins then the public will bay for blood. Though if you do it more sensibly enough, it would take longer than 5 mins. It's almost like the government trying to clear a wonga debt that quickly.


    Sent from my whyayePad using Tapatalk
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you even believe the current level of debt is a problem?

    Not particularly. The deficit is a little worrying, but not too bad. Current policies which "on paper" reduce the deficit, but are likely to increase the deficit as a % of GDP are deeply concerning. thankfully it's not going to be my children that are left in the wreckage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you actually add up debts and assets, e.g. a balance sheet, the UK has grown mostly consistently with the exception of 2009.

    6VylA.png

    The deficit does present a risk that needs to be managed however, though I think the danger is overstated. The main thing to look at is are we still producing? Is the economy generating real wealth? Are we losing competitiveness? High debt increases perception of risk in the UK damaging our competitiveness.

    However if you damage the economy in a rush to pay down the debt its all for nought. I especially would look to make savings in areas that aren't yielding the best returns in economic and social costs. Its this that is often overlooked. There is no rigorous argument for reducing benefits, just 'the country is broke' and 'its not fair for scroungers to lie in bed whilst strivers work hard to rebuild the economy'. Well thought out analysis. Also, increasing pensions at the same time from £110 to £140 despite them being the most expensive part of the welfare budget already, paid for by increasing the pension age (yet again). What's the economic argument there? Pensioners usually have a home already and need inflation increases for fuel and for food. However they vote well so a big bonus for them is nice right?

    The policy decisions make no sense for getting the economy moving. Maybe I'm just dumb though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    People keep on telling me on the news about the recession being the fault of low retail sales. Yes its true, but I also think its at least partially due to people not only feeling a squeeze, but also not been completely reckless and living beyond their means. What if a lot of the problem with low economic growth is down to people realising that you cant spent forever.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    People keep on telling me on the news about the recession being the fault of low retail sales. Yes its true, but I also think its at least partially due to people not only feeling a squeeze, but also not been completely reckless and living beyond their means. What if a lot of the problem with low economic growth is down to people realising that you cant spent forever.

    I work in retail and this isn't completely accurate. To give a picture:
    Retail sales across the industry are up around 1%. However this breaks down to a rough 18% rise in online sales, and a small decrease in 'brick and mortar' sales. Shops like amazon are cannibalising the high street because nobody can compete with the price/variety/convenience they offer. High street shops are really struggling, because their landlords are basically refusing to lower rents and councils wont reduce rates. As you might expect, the margin (and profit) is higher for online sales, and they employ less people, so this means rather than circulating money around the economy it ends up being dividends. In theory that's ok but with MNCs it ends up being dividends to people in the US who wont spend it over here...

    The reason we have depressed consumption is because despite GDP / national income remaining stagnant, the amount the poorest and middle incomes have to spend has gone down. So if we look at the pie chart of 'income', poorer people have smaller chunks. Many argue this was necessary as before they were living a life of luxury off the state. The problem is, if poor people have no money, they can't spend it. If they can't spend it, there's no business to be done. With no business, no jobs. No jobs, no money.

    However, the UK isn't all about retail. Things like the NHS are invaluable, they create a huge amount of jobs, boost the economy by keeping people healthy, and allow productive enterprise to continue. However even the NHS has seen a real terms cut.

    What we need is a plan for growth. It doesn't need to be retail, but we need a credible framework to get jobs being created and the products and services they're generating demanded.

    If there was a serious problem of people living outside their means and having unaffordable debts, banks would dramatically increase interest rates to compensate for the risk. That's a self regulating system. I know there's a lot of envy of people with iPhones and twelve macbooks living on benefits - but those people may have made bad decisions and they still have to pay for them. Banks do make money from people getting credit afterall. So it should be a net gain for the economy, even if its not a great deal for the consumers in those cases. Welfare isn't there just for stopping people from starving (otherwise we could have food stamps surely?) but allowing people to try and plod along and keep their lives going.

    If other people make bad decisions for themselves, we can't save them from that. They are the ones that pay the price, same as if they ate too many KFCs its their own problem. Maybe we should regulate finance heavier but as others have said in the past when I have argued people on welfare shouldn't be able to get credit - some people will get credit for a purchase that makes sense and is cheaper than the alternative.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The problem with having the debt and the deficit as they currently are is that we're spending just shy of £50bn a year servicing the interest on the debt - that's before we start to tackle the debt itself. And the debt is still increasing. £50bn is about a third more than we spend on the MoD; it's just less than we spend on education; it's about two thirds of what we spend on all benefits other than pensions. I really don't think people have a grasp on quite how enormous the debt is. Moreover, if you wiped out our debt and deficit tomorrow you could increase spending significantly in all these areas you feel so strongly about.

    That being said, I don't enjoy the "skivers and scroungers" rhetoric coming from the government. Above all it's not helpful: it allows lazy parody from the government's opponents - as also can be found in any discussion about immigration - and it shows the government up to be lazy in their thinking and shameless with their political opportunism. We should tackle benefit fraud just as we should tackle corporate tax evasion.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The problem with having the debt and the deficit as they currently are is that we're spending just shy of £50bn a year servicing the interest on the debt - that's before we start to tackle the debt itself. And the debt is still increasing. £50bn is about a third more than we spend on the MoD; it's just less than we spend on education; it's about two thirds of what we spend on all benefits other than pensions. I really don't think people have a grasp on quite how enormous the debt is. Moreover, if you wiped out our debt and deficit tomorrow you could increase spending significantly in all these areas you feel so strongly about.

    That being said, I don't enjoy the "skivers and scroungers" rhetoric coming from the government. Above all it's not helpful: it allows lazy parody from the government's opponents - as also can be found in any discussion about immigration - and it shows the government up to be lazy in their thinking and shameless with their political opportunism. We should tackle benefit fraud just as we should tackle corporate tax evasion.

    Good points...
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