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Smedge

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About Smedge

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    HPC Poster
  1. The danger is that so many people do listen to them, though, some financial instruments have reactions to ratings built-in, for instance. Also see bloo loo's answer. The ratings agencies have power, whether I have to listen to them or not.
  2. The ratings agencies are part of a plutocracy themselves! Just one that pretends it's something to do with a free market - they're clearly biased, as evidenced by the reasons that TGP has already outlined. The idea of self-appointed, unaccountable bodies wielding huge power should, obviously, be a complete anathema to anyone who believes in free-market capitalism or libertarianism or any other variety of individualist we-hate-statists type philosophy.
  3. Smedge

    Powerful Piece By Simon Jenkins

    Posted in error, please ignore.
  4. Smedge

    Is Britain Sliding Towards Hyperinflation?

    You're only a fool at the point where this nasty person from overseas appears. Before that your shower curtain rings bought goods and services and kept a roof over your head, so accumulating them was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I understand the point about fiat currencies not being backed up by anything etc but right now this minute that has very little effect on my day-to-day life. I could walk into a shop and say "Look at this silly money we're all so worried about, it's all just a collective delusion you know my dear shopkeeper!" And maybe s/he'd agree, but it wouldn't change the fact that I'd have to hand over some of my delusion-dollars if I want a bottle of milk. Sorry if this sounds like an attack, it's not meant to be, it's just I get fed-up with a kind of money-is-just-worthless-toilet-paper mentality, where the reality is that money, whether it's fiat currency, shower curtain rings, magic beans or whatever, is still essential for most of us to stay alive. That's the whole reason why hyperinflation would hit us so hard. There's was a very funny article on The Onion the other day, called U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion. It's great, but a lot of people seemed to miss this bit at the end: "For some Americans, the fog of disbelief surrounding the nation's epiphany has begun to lift, with many building new lives free from the illusion of money. "It's back to basics for me," Bernard Polk of Waverly, OH said. "I'm going to till the soil for my own sustenance and get anything else I need by bartering. If I want milk, I'll pay for it in tomatoes. If need a new hoe, I'll pay for it in lettuce." When asked, hypothetically, how he would pay for complicated life-saving surgery for a loved one, Polk seemed uncertain. "That's a lot of vegetables, isn't it?" he said."
  5. Yep, I think so too. It's a glimmer of hope though, at least. Loads of people do, have a look at the MSE forums. Anyway I acknowledged that people in denial wouldn't have joined in with the thread I was talking about. I know. I was simply relating my personal experience that I've come across a lot of people recently who have admitted that their debts are too large, and that are now engaged in paying them off rather than extending them. I realise this doesn't fit with HPC orthodoxy - please, forgive me my heresy - but I was under the impression that this had in fact been mooted as being part of the current problem by some, that people are using spare income to pay down debts rather than spending it on goods and services.
  6. I think it's changing, for a some people anyway. I know a few people who have credit card debts, but no-one I can think of who isn't paying them off. A thread on another forum about monthly budgeting revealed that many people had credit card debts, but all of them were paying them off. I realise people with expanding debts aren't that likely to to contribute to such a thread, but I still think it shows something about changing attitudes to debt.
  7. I agree with that statement for most things, but the problem is getting someone to teach you on the job. How do they know you're worth taking on?
  8. I wouldn't do that because it's against my principles, but other people would. I see what you're getting at though, I think. EDIT: Also see HumanAction's reply, which I hadn't thought of. I shouldn't really have to try it out if there are already countries out there demonstrating the idea at work. OK I understand what you mean when you compare western democracies with dictatorships, although I can't agree that North Korea adheres to any doctrines of socialism, however much it might claim to - and that's not a defence of socialism, just a stetment of fact. As to continental European countries being more socialist than the UK or US... don't France and Germany have higher standards of living than us? And what about Sweden? Also look at countries like Poland where they got free market "shock-therapy" and suicide rates went through the roof. Examples like Singapore and Monaco aren't that indiciative either, imo, Singapore has draconian laws and a conformist social culture, Monaco is basically where the mega-rich go to spend their cash, so I think their examples can't be applied somewher like the UK. I'm interested in Gibraltar as an example though. This isn't a chellenge btw, I'm interested in your opinions.
  9. Smedge

    Inflation Question: Buy Now?

    "Owning a home for your family would be beneficial and the mortgage would be wiped out by the inflation, if you can keep up the payments." In which case, if you don't see property as an investment, just as somewhere to live, then the answer to the OP would be yes - based on what this part of your post. btw I should point out that this isn't my view - I'm in the wait and see camp for the time being.
  10. Which countries would you give as examples of this?
  11. That's been covered in some detail earlier in the thread. I don't believe that a consensus was reached, but the arguments are all there already. EDIT: Also you've answered it yourself: So there's a law in place to stop people doing what you do. Of course, psychological make-up plays a part also, I can think of of no work that I could do for more than twice as many hours as the legal limit without becoming suicidally depressed.
  12. Smedge

    Bashing The Scroungers

    Half the problem is that the jobs available to people with no qualifications and no experience don't pay enough to make it financially worthwhile taking them as opposed to staying on benefits, so if you reduce benefits and the mimimum wage you just keep the same situation, only the people on minimum wage have lass chance of paying for education to better themselves because they've got less money, and the underclass get even more likely to turn to crime, as there's even less chance of them making any money legitimately. I like this idea, but I think it would be considered way too socialist for any major party to suggest. Interesting stuff, thanks for posting that.
  13. Some of them do, but they're hamstrung by ever-changing, over-complicate police prceures as far as I know. It doesn't, it just presents a reason why blaming rising crime on immigrants might be bogus. I'm all for an honest, open debate on immigration - in fact I think it's urgenly needed - but there's no way car jackings and robberies with violence have been imported by immigration. The OP talks about the stolen car being driven back to Wythenshawe, which is white as you like, and horribly crime-ridden, as are several other white areas in Manchester like Ordsall an parts of Reddish (or they were - I haven't lived there for a while). When I was growing up in Manchester all my brushes with violent crime were largely at the hands of indigenous whites. Great British criminals have been getting less an less bothered about the blatancy of their crimes for years, and they've done it all by themselves.
  14. I must admit this is pretty funny, it's like something from TheOnion.com, but we don't know the background, he might have have told them they couldn't lose, then again he might have told them it was a gamble. If they'd wanted a guaranteed return, they should have put their money in a savings account. My favouite bit was about how long it took them to duct-tape him cos they kept getting out of breath
  15. I agree. Yes of course, but to me that doesn't equate with the free market providing the actual service. Even accepting that the council use the free market to pay people, the free market itself didn't provide the service, the council did, even if they used (your definition of) the free market to do it. If the council hadn't been there in the first place the whole transaction wouldn't have been initiated, regardless of the free market. Someone else might have initiated it for a profit, but the school bully/mafia/local warlord wouldn't have to. That was my original point. Yeah, originally I was going to say something about the fact that I understood that we could be seen as hamstrung in being able to fight back against criminals. The problem is that someone would always take it too far - "I killed him because he might be a rapist." God knows what the answer is, really.
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