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Posts posted by 'Bart'

  1. Sony stuff tends to get good reviews and I've bought Sony stuff in the past based on that. And it's been OK, not brilliant, but OK.

    Sometimes Sony just shoot themselves in the foot.

    Example: I bought a Sony PRS-650 ereader.

    Nice bit of hardware, it has the premium feel that the Kindle lacks (although I still prefer my Kindle).

    But the Sony software was rubbish. No choice of fonts, limited choice of font sizes, dreadful brightness/contrast sliders.

    It was only when I put http://ebookapplications.com/ software on it that I realised how good it could be.

    Ok, books take 10-15 seconds to load now, but the greater control I get over the fonts, screen gamma etc. is more than worth it.

  2. If only a politician in the UK had these policies...

    After decades of listening to political horsesh1t I've reached the conclusion that it's not the policies a politician has that matter, but the ones they actually carry out.

    The Boy David's recent u-turn on the surveillance state for example.

    …stopping the state from exerting too much power over us demands another big change. This Government is running not just a control state, but a surveillance state. In 2007, Privacy International ranked Britain’s privacy protections joint 43rd out of 47 countries surveyed – with the worst record in Europe, and only marginally better than Russia and China. Faced with any problem, any crisis – given any excuse – Labour grasp for more information, pulling more and more people into the clutches of state data capture… And the Government doesn’t want to stop with the basic information. They want the most complex, important, personal information there is… Scare tactics to herd more disempowered citizens into the clutches of officialdom, as people surrender more and more information about their lives, giving the state more and more power over their lives. If we want to stop the state controlling us, we must confront this surveillance state.

    You said it brother.

    Wait a minute, you said that?

    David Cameron defends secret courts and surveillance plans

    Cleggy similarly criticised Labour's surveillance state plans yet now backtracks, while googly-eyed Milliband says what he thinks the public want to hear. If he gets in office, prepare for more of the same.

    Hollande may well deliver on his promises, but wait until he does before singing his praises.

    1. Party voted into power.

    2. Electorate become disillusioned by said party.

    3. Electorate reject incumbent party for opposing party.

    That was pretty much the pattern I grew up with as a kid. 1970. 1974 (twice). 1979.

    It seemed as if the pattern would continue with Mrs. Thatcher in 83/84 but for Labour veering sharply to the left and a little spat in the South Atlantic.

    There are always "mid-term" reactions against the incumbent government. However, turkeys don't vote for Christmas, so expect Prime Minister Milliband within 3 years.

  3. Mike Benner, the group’s chief executive, said that pubs are “so central” to society that “whole communities” can grow around a particular pub.

    Mike, you do know that Coronation Street isn't real?

    The two pubs closest to me are now a curry house and a 7/11 convenience store. I've not been a "customer" of either for about 38 years. And I've never been inside either one. In those days I sat outside with my lemonade and crisps.

    Costs are a major factor no doubt, as is the smoking ban. But people's drinking habits are changing (especially those of younger people). If I meet friends for a drink, we meet in town, as we're scattered all over Sheffield. And we meet in a bar, not a pub.

  4. He's a disaster at predicting inflation.

    Mervyn King in 2007:
    Delivering the Bank's quarterly inflation report, he made clear his belief that it will be 2009 - the likeliest date for a general election following Gordon Brown's decision not to go to the country this month - before growth picks up and inflation is brought under control.


    And by the time 2009 came along....

    "With Bank rate following the market yield curve and a stock of asset purchases of £175bn, inflation is more likely to be below the target than above it in the medium term."


    BoE 2010 inflation report

    inflation is a little more likely to be below the target than above it during the second half of the forecast period


    Mervyn King in 2011

    “inflation is more likely to be below than above the target”

    It [the BoE] expected inflation to fall rapidly from 5 per cent to well below its 2 per cent target by the end of 2012


    And from the BoE February 2012 inflation overview

    inflation is judged somewhat more likely to be below the target than above it for a good part of the forecast period.


  5. Sound reasoning, links and historical comparisons

    Does it mention John Cowperthwaite?

    Overwhelming Case For Top Tax Rates Of 50-70%

    Please don't speak in absolutes, the case is far from overwhelming. Just ask anyone from Hong Kong.


    Time index 54:24

    But in a country where the state has to scrub some people's floors, it all seems a bit beyond poor old Blighty these days.

  6. the UK was stupid enough to tie to the DM in the 80s and got their ass wooped by a currency speculator so naturally Switzerland tieing to the defacto DM means the same will happen because there is as much correlation between the UK and Germanys economies and cross trade as there is Switzerlands and Germanys economies and cross trade.... ohhh wait a minute

    To stop the Swiss Franc becoming too expensive, and hence stopping Swiss based companies from competing, the Swiss Central Bank is, presumably, going to buy Euros. Either that or they are going to flog Swiss Francs for half price.

    Either way, that looks a loser - a bit like Lamont/ERM mechanism. Now long can they do that - lots of Euros out there.

    Cheers m'dears.

  7. Opened a can of Branston baked beans over the weekend

    You'll regret that when you're sitting in a cold room lit by candlelight, an empty plate on your lap and the street next door in flames.

    Although, in such circumstances, maybe a can of beans isn't going to do much to cheer you up very much.

    Live now, pay later.

  8. no problem here, as according to just about everyone in the MSM and everywhere else, lowering taxes will RAISE the take.

    Sticking with the Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story documentary theme, that's exactly what happened in Hong Kong.

    When Sir John Cowperthwaite, who has died aged 90, became financial secretary of Hong Kong in 1961, the average resident earned about a quarter of someone living in Britain. By the early 1990s, average incomes in the colony were higher.

    Cowperthwaite made Hong Kong the most economically free economy in the world and pursued free trade, refusing to make its citizens buy expensive locally-produced goods if they could import cheaper products. Income tax was never more than a flat rate of 15%. The colony's lack of natural resources, apart from a harbour - and the fact that it was a food importer - made its success all the more interesting.


    That 15% rate was for top earners. Most people in Hong Kong pay no income tax at all.

    Yet Hong Kong's transport, health and education systems make the UK's look third world.

    Lower taxes can increase revenue

    Once the public sector becomes so large that huge taxes are required to fund it, the private sector suffers. Business taxes reduce profits for companies, which prevents them from reinvesting their earnings and growing. Meanwhile, high income tax, particularly on the poorest in society, gives less incentive to work. When the government punishes hard work and success you will quickly find that people simply commit less of their time to working and tax revenues drop.

    In contrast, a system that allows individuals and businesses to keep a large portion of their earnings will encourage high levels of production. Once taxes are low enough it will also encourage entrepreneurs from overseas to invest in the economy, proving growth and jobs. Taking a small portion of a huge pie can be better than taking a huge portion of a tiny crumb, which is exactly what they discovered in Hong Kong and Eastern Europe when they introduced a low flat tax.


    I think the guy behind Trillion Pound Horror Story Martin Durkin is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks that Britain can emulate Hong Kong though. The modern UK mindset is all wrong.

    The government (it seems) must manage the economy, although the record of successive governments in doing this has been pitiful.

    We're like one of those characters in a slasher pic set in the woods, who will invariably choose the path that leads to their doom.

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