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Posts posted by fluffy666

  1. I agree with the thrust of your points, except that the "free market" is a myth in some areas - most especially housing.

    Housing benefit has become a necessity to keep the pyramid from collapsing. The actual beneficiaries are hardly the tenants.

    I used to support the idea of the Citizens income, now I'm not so sure.

    I'd rather see the State slimmed back to the bare essentials, and so a flat tax of maybe ten pence in the pound.

    There would be an additional, voluntary tax - call that another penny in the pound - which is essentially a philanthropy fund from which all Welfare spending is taken. Anyone who chooses to can opt out of paying that tax. You can choose whether to be charitable, or not.

    Completely rework the model of "benefits" into temporary allowances, none of them having any ongoing aspect or automatic entitlement. If you want other peoples charity then you'd need to make a case, the local authority then looks at what money pot they have, and allocates it to the very most desperate with the focus on people who have never claimed before, those being placed automatically higher up the list and taking into account their own contributions - no contribution, no assistance. Any assistance is always a one-off, with successive claims being less likely to succeed.

    Welfare has become entrenched now - on that programme there was a single mother with a couple of kids, one of whom couldn't "do inglish or maffs", had her benefits "sanctioned" again - whatever that means - and was given a choice of a couple of avenues one of which was law. She couldn't comprehend the fuss or why she'd do that. Why work for a living? Mum has been living off the State supporting her, so the cycle can carry on to the next generation. She could of course learn to be better at English and maths, but that thought simply doesn't occur.

    Mum in the meantime didn't want this for her daughter, the lack of self-determination and success, and set about making an example to her daughter by getting a part time role delivering groceries for Iceland. Which she was struggling with having made some mistakes.

    Her self-confidence totally shot to pieces, she thought she couldn't "stick it". Given that she's brought up kids, I tend to think that more likely than her being as useless as she thought she was. For where this all leads, refer to the film "Idiocracy". We're into the second or third generation of welfare junkies now and this isn't going to be easy to turn around; the sense of entitlement is break-taking.

    "Why should I move? It's my house".

    No, it is not.

    I'd like to point out that when making a TV program like this, you don't go for the people who are consciously grateful for their benefits and looking for ways of get off of them.

    Also.. you may be unaware, but the whole non-pensions benefit system is at best 1/6th of the total tax take, so you are going to have to elaborate on your plan. (And to clarify, I am fed up to the back teeth with people making stupid, innumerate claims that the state can just be scaled back by some vast amount with no consequences. Do the maffs. ).

    The plan of using the stick of starvation and desperation to force people into doing anything for money, well, it might work. And giving council officers powers like that, that'll be just like the lovely 1930s means tests. Perhaps the workhouse for those who are really down on their luck?

    The interesting thing is that when we had full employment, we had far fewer problems with welfare dependency. Specifically, when a person could better themselves - buy a house, save a bit, etc - through hard if only moderately skilled work, we didn't have these problems to anything like the same extent. You may wish to consider that.

  2. 27.. :)

    Bit misleading though, I had a couple of years working, and if you are a PhD student you have a teaching workload which you are effectively paid for. (Indeed, 8 hour's helpdesk work, 8 hour's lab tutorials, plus ad-hoc Computers course support and a week's lecture course to give, for a total income of perhaps £7k a year..

  3. Hmm, voids near me can be 2 months. I would put in 1 month void/year into the figure. The days of there being so few rentals that they cleared in a week are long gone. Christ, at the moment there are about 5 rentals To Let in the streets adjacent to me - that's a couple of minutes walk.

    Maintenance for a OOO house tends to be £100/month over the medium to long term.


    By all accounts, the Wilsons have been doing the bare minimum maintenance and upkeep - and a lot of those 2005 era newbuilds will have end-of-life combi boilers, cookers, and carpets. At least based on our experience of buying a newbuild in 2000 and moving in 2006 - by then the boiler was on the blink, the cooker was on it's way out and the downstairs carpets at least needed replacing. And that was owner occupied. So anyone buying that portfolio might be looking at perhaps another £5 million in repairs and upkeep straight off...

  4. I think I read somewhere that quite a high proportion of blokes are effectively disabled after the age of 50 too. Also I wouldn't mind betting that the vast majority of women who are married stop working well before 60 too.

    You only have to look around you. There are astonishingly few 70 year olds in most work places.

    Indeed, as a 41 year old male I'm looking at these tables with a slight chill. At least my plans don't include earning a lot of money past 60.

  5. That'll be from birth. Those who reach age 1 (let alone adulthood) healthy have a much better chance.

    More google research..




    - You have a 99.3% chance of reaching 1

    97.3% chance of reaching 30

    95.8% chance of reaching 40

    92.6% chance of reaching 50

    85.7% chance of reaching 60

    72.9% chance of reaching 70

    49.4% chance of reaching 80

    And behind these figures will be those who have ill-health and have to stop working.

    It's certainly a gamble to plan to be working till age 70.

  6. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/10/house-price-inflation-to-outstrip-pay-rises-for-years

    Fantasy house prices backed up by every larger LTV ratios?

    Considering lenders are clamping down how the feck do they think this is going to work?

    More and more stock transferred to privately owned property 'empires', so only the very well paid can afford to buy at all. Ever more complicated shared ownership/HTB style schemes. Restricted supply dribbled onto the market.

  7. There's no such thing as systemic risks, it's just banker propaganda. An unpayable debt defaulting does not cause a payable debt to become an unpayable debt. If one debt defaulting causes another debt to default, it's because they were both unpayable debts in the first place.

    If my 5 year old nephew promises to pay me £1m in a year's time, and then I promise to pay you £1m in a year and a day's time, is his debt a bad debt and my debt a good one? Am I a responsible market maker while he is a systemic risk? Obviously not. We are both failing to manage risk, we should both suffer whatever loss comes with defaulting next year, and anybody who believed our promises should learn not to invest in debts backed by the word of 5 year old children.

    I think that the average 5 year old is probably more trustworthy than the average Banker..

    But yes, I do see it as a gigantic confidence trick, and one that makes 1970s-era industrial bailouts/nationalizations look widows-and-orphans prudent..

  8. Portugal's Largest Bank Misses Bond Payment; Bonds Collapse


    Brussels, we have a problem. As we warned 6 weeks ago, Espirito Santo International SA - is in a "serious financial condition" according to a central bank driven external audit by KPMG identified "irregularities in its accounts." Sure enough, the 'ponzi-like' maneuvers have left the bank unable to pay its bonds as Bloomberg reports bonds plunged to record lows after a parent company delayed payments on short-term notes. More importantly, given the divisively dependent nature of the domestic sovereign bond market (and hence the health of the EU) and its banking system, it is noteworthy that Portuguese bond risk has surged to 4 month highs with the biggest 2-day spike in a year. As one analyst noted, “The bigger question is whether the government will have to get involved,” leaving the EU taxpayer on the hook once again (for fear of M.A.D. threats) as most critically, it "will have to step in to prevent systemic repercussions?"

    Bank collapse imminent?

    I suppose it would be impolite to ask why this kind of systematic risk is still allowed to exist six years after we had to perform a gigantic round of bailouts due to systematic risk?

  9. You are making it difficult to have a debate with you:

    1. You are putting words in my mouth. I said nothing about theft.

    2. When people disagree with you, you say they are immature.

    1 - 'Taking money by force' and 'Arbitrary theft' are essentially synonyms as far as I am concerned. You need to explain if you think otherwise.

    2 - Not people, you, because of what you posted. The simplistic 'Tax=Taking money by force=Wrong' argument is simplistic and takes no account of wider context, and is therefore immature, much like the Marxist phrase 'All property is theft'.

  10. You have made two statements, but statements are not actual reasons. Give me the reasons why you say taking money from people by force is moral and why we need SOME public sector.

    Because we don't live in Libertarian FantasyLand.

    There's several hundred years of political philosophy - indeed more than that, going all the way back to The Republic . Wailing and stamping your feet about taxes whilst completely ignoring the benefits of living in a civilized country is just immature, to be honest.

  11. Again, this is a standard public sector binary response: NHS or American system. What about SIngapore or Scandanavian health system?

    The American system is very good but very expensive.

    End of the day, once you get beyond primary care - vaccines + child birth + A+E - the rest of the health system does not add much value for the average person. You're better off having a healthy lifestyle - food and exercise. Having drinkable water from the taps and a good system has done more the nations health than the NHS.

    The thing is, if our political parties could be trusted to openly put alternatives on the table for the NHS, it would be worth looking at them - there is no law of nature saying the the NHS is the best system ever. Problem is, they seem more interested in farming out revenue to their donor's private healthcare companies with zero transparency and no penalty for failure.

  12. Also reported as a big story here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2685713/Three-bed-semi-cost-330-000-just-six-years-live-London-average-home-set-565-000.html

    From his March 2014 article, and his easy money isn't going to return. http://pwc.blogs.com/economics_in_business/2014/03/is-there-a-house-price-bubble-in-the-uk.html

    I guess there is no end in sight for trophy home buyers wanting and able to buy at very high prices in London, stamp duty, new tax regime, and never any situation where more sellers may come to market, with some of those sellers willing to accept lower prices at the margin, to bring values down.

    Nor MMR, stress tests, or standard FTB/upsizer hesitation at these prices - unless you drag them into the banks to make them borrow - how some see 2000-2007 anyway with the easing that's been done to save the equity-rich house price wealth of older VI overstretched victims.

    Half of take home pay when rates are at historical lows..

  13. I was a Labour voter. This is one of the stupidest idea's I have heard. More benefits in cheap housing areas would make more sense. That would help to boost the poorer areas in Britain and encourage unemployed to move to cheaper housing stock.

    Yes, it's like a lot of the coalition policies. Nibble around the edges, make the system more complicated and therefore put in more ways to game it. Hit a few people disproportionately hard.

  14. Leaving climate industry change out of this for the moment, shouldnt this information be on the conveyancing report before you buy? And so, caveat emptor and all that.

    We had a flooding report as part of the survey when moving in 2006. So, yes..

    Before moving, we looked at some new builds.. flat land, river perhaps 100 yards away - typical flood meadow. Suggested to the EA that there might be a flood risk to buying and they were all 'No, no, no, can't possibly happen..'

    The only excuse is that unless you happen to be a map geek with an interest in the subject, either you won't understand the risk maps or will tend to skip over them, since you only get the report when you are already a couple of weeks into the whole process.

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