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brownbear

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About brownbear

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  1. "The point is that hedge funds, merchant banks, etc. don't expect me to fund the salaries of their employees through tax, so honestly I couldn't give a f*ck how much they get paid. Compare and contrast with these ridiculously highly paid non-jobs which are funded from taxation. Futhermore, you should realise that the money wasted on these apparatchiks could actually be used to improve the lives of poor people. Assuming, of course, that a ) you believe in the transformative power of the state (which I don't) and b ) you care about poor people (which I don't)." Actually, you should care, because these same employers and staff are often actively involved in tax aviodance and, sometimes, tax evasion. Not paying the tax you owe means that the rest of us have to pay higher taxes. The state can have benign effects, which is probably why more people would like to live in European countries with, more or less, strong states than, say, Somalia. You might not give a toss about the poor; however, survey after survey shows that most people do believe that there is such a thing as society, and we all have responsibilities to less fortunate members of it.
  2. Dog Running a council, or public body is a demanding job, and one reason many teachers leave the profession is precisely because they can get a better paid job, with less stress. elsewhere. The problem i have is that the employment market, particularly in the south east, is completely skewed by the highly inflated salaries many, but not all, can earn in the City. We could argue till the cows come home about the relative merits, or "worth" of one job over another, but it is hard to deny the damaging effect this is having on London, the social division it is causing and also the effect on the housing market. for what its worth, I think an over reliance on finance, at the expence of manufacturing and industry is bad for the country.
  3. Dog has been putting these fascinating lists together for yonks now. I still can't work out the point. Is it that public sector workers should really do their jobs for nothing, thanking the benelovent tax payer for allowing them to earn enough to eat? No, they're simply earning too much are they? Compared to the heroes in the City, who create nothing at all, but transfer money from one wealthy company or individual to another, people who gamble with other peoples' money and expect, EXPECT, a bonsu for doing their job. Teachers are wealth creators too Dog, and they requires administrators to back them up. Public sector workers are accountable to the taxpayer, through local and national elections for example. If your problem is that there are lots of "none jobs" in the public sector, I would have to agree, but there are also "none jobs" in all sectors, and they tend to be vastly better paid in the private sector. And yes, we do pay for them in increased pension contributions, and lower pay outs. In the week after multi million pound bonuses have been announced for several thousand City workers, i think you are targeting the wrong group.
  4. Just a couple of points. The murder rate in the UK is generally quite consitant over the last few decades, as is the rate of child murder and other violent crimes. There has not been a massive increase in violent crime. The attack shown on CCTV was utterly repulsive and seems totally unprovoked. This sort of crime is exceedingly rare, which is partly why it makes the headlines, and even rarer, in the sense that it was captured on CCTV. The calls for the death penalty are depressingly unsurprising, and wrong. As a deterrant, it clearly doesn't work. We have a much lower murder rate than the US, where many states do have the death penalty. The murder rate has not increased since we abolished capital punishment in the 1960s. For retribution, or revenge, well, aren't we then as bad as the people we execute? An execution is very much pre-meditated and in cold blood. Life meaning life is also an old debate which is spurious. Are all murders the same? A crime of passion, a drunken fight, do the perpetraors desrve to spend the rest of their lives behind bars? I'm not sure. I have always thought a good measure of a civilised society, as one where we do not have the death penalty and do not permit justice to be in the hands of a lynch mob. this does not make me soft on crime but, reading some of these posts, makes me realise that we are not too far from barbarism either
  5. No I just live on planet Earth, and i'm fed up to the back teeth reading idiotic posts that are ignorant, ill-informed and damage any remaining credibility left here. The last straw are the morons claiming murder conspiracies. This really is too pathetic for words.
  6. Is this forum being over-run by sad gits who don't get out enough? Can HPC ever expect to be taken seriously when so many posters seem to live on planet tharg? Should these people just sod off to a survivalist camp in Idaho? Why bother with HPC at all? There is no serious debate and, while Lost is on telly, there won't be.
  7. Parliament is becoming aware of the problems of affordable housing. How much will the media report this? http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/c...m/703/703-i.pdf
  8. Charming and reasonable as usual MarkG. I hope you've been watching Tory, Tory, Tory on BBC2 recently; its fascinating stuff and the riots, mass unemployment (3 million, gizajob mate), flogging off of state assets, creating two dreadful recessions, banning people from travelling in their own country (as were the miners) and helping to create a society that didn't believe in the concept of society (pace Maggie T), well Labour doesn't come close. Al of the civil liberty and foreign policy calamities - ID cards, Iraq, etc caused by Labour, were whole-heartedly supported by the Tories. I'm glad that the MP I worked for has voted against ID cards, the Iraq war and a whole host of moronic "free market" policies created by Neo cons and implemented by this government. I suppose my interest in politics is based on karl Marx's quote, "The philosophers (or bloggers as they are now called) have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it"
  9. Just a member now and a not very happy one at that. Used to work for an MP. Its funny, but when I'm with Labour friends, we spend time having a go about much of Labour policy (its not Left wing enough), but here, where Labour supporters are rarer than icebergs in the Saraha, I feel obliged to point out that the present government is not evil incarnate, and that conservative polocies, where they exist, would make things much worse. There are a lot of MPs who would support policies that could deflate the housing market, if they understood that it doesn't mean entering a recession (and thus losing an election). I pass on the more sensible comments on here to more influential people than me.
  10. Its seems as if the ose pesky New Labour types in power have been secretly cutting taxes http://rodneymcaree.blogspot.com/2006/06/l...h-tax-cuts.html
  11. Isn't the real point to be made that stocks and share prices have no real bearing on the ecoonomy? £X billions may be wiped off the markets, but no factories have been destroyed, nothing new has been created. Again its down to that hard to define sentiment. Jonny Trader has a hangover, feels bad, Dougie Gambler got dumped by his girlfriend and the market falls. There is precious little ratoinality there; Shouldn't stock markets be put back in their rightful place, at the margins, or at least not in the very centre, of the economy? Its the triumph of capital over both labour and industry. If someone can explain to me why we should celebrate huge gains one week, and deep troughs the next (truly, short termism rules the City) and why the financial markets should so much more important than any other economic sector, i would be very grateful.
  12. The Daily Express is not a Labour supporting paper. It flirted with them briefly and then reverted back to its traditional "middle England" right wing Tory stance. The Uk press is, and always has been, right wing, anti progreeive and anti Labour.
  13. Don't take my word for it. look at the OECD statistics. We are belwo the average level of taxation for OECD memeber countries. FACT http://ocde.p4.siteinternet.com/publicatio...2005061T017.xls Next myth to dispel please
  14. In the early 90s Labour were crucified on the tax, especially income tax, issue. They thought putting up income taxt was a vote loser (even though under the Conservatives you actaully paid more tax until you were on 5x average earnings than under Labour in the 70s - I'll try and dig out a source for this claim). now the boundaries have shifted and no one wants to elect a party that reduces spending on public services; hence Cameron recognises that it will not win many new votes by pledging to cut tax. Britain is still lightly taxed and regulated compared to most of the EU. The high tax claims are a myth, mostly propogated by free market loonies of the neo con Right. WE ARE NOT A HIGHLY TAXED NATION. I'm afraid much of our manufacturing base was wiped out under the Tories. An obsession with capital, the City, rather than genuine wealth creation by industry has been a problem in Britian and the US since the dawn of Thatcherism and Reaganism. "Only when the last tree has died and The last river has been poisoned and The last fish has been caught, Will we realise that We cannot eat money"
  15. Private Eye is a satirical magazine that unearths dirt on politicians, business an anyone in power. Its funny, and treats all politicians in equal contempt. the Spectator is a right wing weekly that used to be edited by the one and only Boris. he had to leave after he was offered a front bench role for the Tories, but alienating most of Liverpool and being unable to keep his little soldier in his trousers did not help his editorial career. There are some interesting writers and some complete nutters at the Spectator. I always think the magazine represents is the sort of reading material for angry toffs who don't like the modern world.
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