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Posts posted by HPC001

  1. I'm not sure why bristolhunter thinks it wrong to claim JSA, at a princely £71 a week, when they were actually looking for work. I have and view it as a small amount of my tax coming back.

    The dominant stereotype is anyone who happens to be unemployed is a lazy waster. No matter the circumstances. Complete rubbish but if enough people repeat it, it must be true.

    As for "iamnumerate" here, I was eligible for a whopping £10 a week in WTC when I did low-paid warehouse contracts. None once my income increased past £8 an hour. Housing benefit and council tax benefit disappeared past ~£150 a week in income. The hilarious thing is Universal Credit has actually cut back on these kind of rebates to people in employment - that is supposed to be an incentive to work?

  2. You appear to have misunderstood, I didn't need your breakdown, I watched in open-mouthed amazement as she messed up live.

    £2.59 a day? Substantially more than I spend, but ok, I might be able to get it up that high, let's try.

    Start with a big breakfast, 20 scotch pancakes. That's 20p. If you're greedy and cover them in jam, 29p for an entire basics jar. Add 14p for a 200ml glass of juice.

    For lunch, have spicy hummus on herby flat bread with a tomato and lettuce salad, that goes 70p

    Dinner, onion tarte 42p, with apple pie at 50p to round it off.

    Bugger, I'm 55p under. Better add potatoes to the tarte. Add cream to the apple pie, that might just bring it up if you're drinking enough to go looking for a heart attack.

    BTW, that's enough food for at least two people, (or two days for one person) (and in addition to being a tall guy, I cycle 40 miles a day, which I'm guessing she wasn't doing), so spending £2.59 on a day's food but the next day would be 0.

    My receipt this week was £11.07, and you might have noticed in addition to being delicious & filling, that diet had at least 5 fruit & veg (your lettuce may vary, my apple pie has 3 apples in, so if you're splitting it that's slightly more than 1 per person).

    Costs can be brought down further by growing on your window ledge.

    Her video series on how much money she normally throws away was offensive.

    Upon first glance I can't match those prices. Care to PM me with how you reached those numbers? I'm interested in the nutritional breakdown as well.

    While we're discussing numbers... I take it you would be able to fit everything else into £36 a week? (this is excluding your food total, and the portion of market rent and council tax not covered by their corresponding benefits, thus removed from JSA instead)

  3. "Champagne Socialist couldn't work out how to plan her meals without a restaurant" hardly makes for the conclusion drawn here.

    I doubt IDS would do much better. His clothing and shoes alone exceed my net worth, from what I see in the MSM.

    Basically a made-up figure (£18 for food for a week, ignoring that ONS say average spend is £23 so same ballpark), appalling spending, completely non-existent meal planning, whinged that she had to eat sandwiches for lunch three times, and wound up staring at a turnip asking "What's this?"

    I gave you the breakdown (in my second post in this thread) that it was based off of. Please show me your plan for £2.59 a day on food though, I'd be interested to see it.

  4. The story lacks credibility without the numbers? How much did she have at the start of the week? Why is she paying bedroom tax? Where's the breakdown of expenditure rather than silly statements like "small sums"? It was only a week and she claims not to have been able to buy much - so just give us a list of spend.

    By omitting the detail it's hard to make a proper judgment and we suspicious types begin to think it's deliberate in order to hide something. :ph34r:


    She discussed it in more detail there. It's based on this example:

    "The woman who wrote to the Bishop Auckland MP is about to lose £9.24 a week of her £71.70 housing benefit.

    Of the remaining £62.46, £16 is swallowed up by electricity and water bills, £19.50 goes on coal for heating, £5.25 on household essentials and bus fares are £4 – leaving only £17.71 for food."

    JSA is £67.50 for that age, so that would be presumably allocated to rent which isn't mentioned there.

  5. http://www.scotsman.com/news/joyce-mcmillan-myth-of-undeserving-poor-revisited-1-2878384

    Let us now praise famous women: or one not-so-famous woman, in the shape of Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland.

    For during the last parliamentary recess, while other MPs went skiing, Helen Goodman decided to have a go at living on the “generous” state benefits provided to typical women of her own age – Helen is 55 – who are either unemployed, or have had to give up work through ill health.

    After setting aside small sums to cover energy bills, water rates and the new “bedroom tax”, Helen had £18 a week left for food.

    After seven days of trying to survive on this, she found herself exhausted, cold, hungry, waking up ravenous during the night, and unable to imagine how anyone living on such a diet could possibly work up the energy to even look for a job in the current tough market, never mind also working 30 hours a week, unpaid, on “job experience”.

    There you have it ladies and gentlemen - MP declares it unsustainable to survive on welfare. Of course that won't stop the middle Englanders complaining that benefits are too luxurious, or not realising that the "bedroom tax" requires children to share rooms until the age of 10 or 16. I suggest they try doing it themselves to understand the reality of the situation, but I hazard a guess that they'll prefer the status quo.

  6. It's instructive that the biggest leg up that people are getting at the moment seems to come from unpaid interships which allow them to gain real world experience. Lower down the scale, other young people are actively prevented from getting the same experience through misguided minimum wage policies and the need to take on debt to study.

    I've done plenty of unpaid work, both out of necessity (to fill in gaps) and as charity for those less fortunate (because I understand how it is to be there myself). The difference with the likes of Boris and co is they had wealthy parents paying for their living costs and didn't have to scrape by on a marginal existence at any point. The unpaid work, for them, will actually lead somewhere and is the result of their unique social connections and status. I'd rather they sat at home and satisfied themselves with what they're already in line for without taking away paid jobs in the labour market. It isn't as though slumlords like the Duke of Westminster actually work for a living anyway, with his expensive education gaining him a whopping O-level or two.

    Plenty of experienced people find themselves unemployed or on zero hour contracts in this dire economy, and unpaid work is the answer? The fact is that labour in general is in lower demand, due a reduction in consumer spending and public sector budget cuts. Graduates that used to be taken on for paid training schemes that lead to a career should work for free instead? Since you, TCI, work on pure numbers, how about this: they would pay their loans back faster if internships with remuneration were the norm. Taking on debt is how the entire economy appears to function: banks lend to each other and the government, corporations borrow against assets to fund expansion or shortfalls, credit is used to buy raw materials and equipment.

  7. I wouldn't have a problem with private educational institutions charging what they wish, if they weren't also getting massive taxpayer subsidies and demonstrating the opposite of quality over greed (overpaid Deans come to mind).

    When Oxford considers the money from foreign students more important to them than providing grants or scholarships to bright youngsters from poor backgrounds, it removes any veneer of meritocracy that might exist.

  8. Even if there was a labour shortage, any wage increase would only lead to offsetting rent increases.

    You're wasting your time Blizzard, too many idiots only intent on blaming the victims of economic terrorism instead of the perpetrators. They've fallen for the age-old propaganda tactics of divide and conquer. That is why it is so easy for the social and financial elite to assrape us all in the first place, we are (collectively) too busy with distractions like Chicken Little predictions on Islam or looking down on the person below us on the economic ladder...

    “That’s the way the ruling class operates in any society: they try to divide the rest of the people. They keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other, so that they, the rich, can run off with all the ****ing money.

    Fairly simple thing; happens to work.

    You know, anything different, that’s what they’re gonna talk about: race, religion, ethic and national backgrounds, jobs, income, education, social status, sexuality -- anything they can do [to] keep us fighting with each other, so that they can keep going to the bank."

    -- George Carlin

  9. If you have that kind of budget, maybe have a look at Ealing instead - even there you could do better than a mere 2 bedrooms. The transport links are better as well. I say this as someone who lived in the vicinity of Uxbridge for a year. Low crime rate? Maybe... insurance premiums are still on the high side though. I don't know where you need to travel to or I would suggest other options as well.

  10. Great, when my current job contract ends I can look forward to being turfed out onto the street...I guess I'll be the client this winter and not the charity worker trying to alleviate a growing homelessness issue. Oh wait no, homeless people are just substance abusers or vagrants :rolleyes:

    Rents will continue to climb, because they have **** all to do with housing benefit. A tax system that rewards speculation over work and special privileges for people who are either idle or doing nothing useful is the problem. Throw in the increased incidence of occupational licensing and the parasitic management class endemic in the UK, and it's no wonder the percentage of (usefully) employed people is falling.

    Well, break's over, plus side is I get to keep the second half of my wage tonight :angry:

  11. Yes, because all of these problems like machines doing more and more of the work, in a sane world would be a great thing. Just as Wunderpup pointed out we have a system designed to work beautifully in a 19th century society, trying to function in the 21st century.

    The path I support is a combination of Traktion's ideas of deregulating everything. Like actually allowing enough houses to be built for people to live in, and stopping the lisencing and cartelization that we see everywhere in our society.

    Along with my own belief in the central bank creating the new money supply(instead of the private banks) and distributing it to all citizens equally as a citizen's dividend.

    The depressing part is we are many years, perhaps decades away from these ideas being instituted. Right now Europe is attempting to austerity its way out of the problems. Which me and some others pointed out from the start would fail.

    Actually the LVT ideas were quite popular at the turn of the 19th/20th century, but that was the age of thinkers like Albert Jay Nock:

    "This imperfect policy of non-intervention, or laissez-faire, led straight to a most hideous and dreadful economic exploitation; starvation wages, slum dwelling, killing hours, pauperism, coffin-ships, child-labour -- nothing like it had ever been seen in modern times....People began to say, perhaps naturally, if this is what state absentation comes to, let us have some State intervention.

    "But the State had intervened; that was the whole trouble. The State had established one monopoly, -- the landlord's monopoly of economic rent, -- thereby shutting off great hordes of people from free access to the only source of human subsistence, and driving them into the factories to work for whatever Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. Bottles chose to give them. The land of England, while by no means nearly all actually occupied, was all legally occupied; and this State-created monopoly enabled landlords to satisfy their needs and desires with little exertion or none, but it also removed the land from competition with industry in the labour market, thus creating a huge, constant and exigent labour-surplus."

    -- Albert Jay Nock, Free Speech and Plain Language, pp. 320-1

    Today there are too many people tooting the same old horn of lazy benefit scroungers from their ivory towers in the city or <insert corporate office here>, with a complete lack of understanding on economics. Little wonder given the modern education system, media and plutocracy that laughably passes for democratic republics these days.

  12. I wish the show had made more reference to the cost of housing compared to wages, to help the viewer see the situation more clearly.

    For some reason people object to paying say £3k council tax but are happy to lose 40% of their wages to the government. Astounding stupidity all round. Then again, perhaps they make more from property flipping...

    I'm clearly a mug for paying market rent in a largely council estate of highrises (a small portion of the leases are in private hands), compared to these swindlers anyway. Oh well, another day of low paid work and rack-renting, with no alternative..

  13. And when the slaveholders grip loosened, people became massively more productive. This is the problem the slaveowners are struggling with - if they have austerity they lose a generation of production. If they don't clamp down on their debts then people are free from an important measure of control. They still haven't picked one of these options.

    At best, it looks like a lost decade Japan-style, unless serious reforms are made.

  14. Well exactly - but if you think the problem with evil people can be sorted by anything but freedom.......

    You seem to forget how governments, or more accurately, the state comes to be in the first place.


    In process of time, the robber, or slaveholding, class -- who had seized all the lands, and held all the means of creating wealth -- began to discover that the easiest mode of managing their slaves, and making them profitable, was not for each slaveholder to hold his specified number of slaves, as he had done before, and as he would hold so many cattle, but to give them so much liberty as would throw upon themselves (the slaves) the responsibility of their own subsistence, and yet compel them to sell their labor to the land-holding class -- their former owners -- for just what the latter might choose to give them.

    Of course, these liberated slaves, as some have erroneously called them, having no lands, or other property, and no means of obtaining an independent subsistence, had no alternative -- to save themselves from starvation -- but to sell their labor to the landholders, in exchange only for the coarsest necessaries of life; not always for so much even as that.

    These liberated slaves, as they were called, were now scarcely less slaves than they were before. Their means of subsistence were perhaps even more precarious than when each had his own owner, who had an interest to preserve his life. They were liable, at the caprice or interest of the landholders, to be thrown out of home, employment, and the opportunity of even earning a subsistence by their labor. They were, therefore, in large numbers, driven to the necessity of begging, stealing, or starving; and became, of course, dangerous to the property and quiet of their late masters.

    The consequence was, that these late owners found it necessary, for their own safety and the safety of their property, to organize themselves more perfectly as a government and make laws for keeping these dangerous people in subjection; that is, laws fixing the prices at which they should be compelled to labor, and also prescribing fearful punishments, even death itself, for such thefts and tresspasses as they were driven to commit, as their only means of saving themselves from starvation.

    These laws have continued in force for hundreds, and, in some countries, for thousands of years; and are in force today, in greater or less severity, in nearly all the countries on the globe.

    The purpose and effect of these laws have been to maintain, in the hands of the robber, or slave holding class, a monopoly of all lands, and, as far as possible, of all other means of creating wealth; and thus to keep the great body of laborers in such a state of poverty and dependence, as would compel them to sell their labor to their tyrants for the lowest prices at which life could be sustained.

    The result of all this is, that the little wealth there is in the world is all in the hands of a few -- that is, in the hands of the law-making, slave-holding class; who are now as much slaveholders in spirit as they ever were, but who accomplish their purposes by means of the laws they make for keeping the laborers in subjection and dependence, instead of each one's owning his individual slaves as so many chattels.

    The key point here is that a group of private individuals presuming to "own" all the land comes first, and the state into which they organize out of common interest comes second.

    So what's it going to be, the robber baron state or a reformed state that we exert control over via democratic process?

  15. I quite like that way of thinking about it, but I don't think people always look at it like that.

    For example, trains from Woking in Surrey take under 30 minutes to get to Waterloo, despite being many miles outside the zone 6 border. This is actually slightly quicker than the commute time from Kingston which is in zone 6. The season ticket costs from Woking are £1k more each year, but this extra cost would be massively outweighed by the saving in rental/mortgage costs which would be 25-30% cheaper in Woking. This would suggest that Woking is relatively undervalued, but I see no signs of that changing.

    I am sure there must be more extreme examples than this, I just picked this because it is close to my area.

    It's also easier on the insurance.

  16. While I agree that helping the poor is a good thing, I'm unconvinced that any form of minimum/living wage is the solution. I'd much rather see a negative income tax, as then we don't have to mess with the pricing of labour (which we can leave to the market), while still providing the poorest with assistance. Moreover, a NIT means that any work pays, rather than the current negative incentives we have.

    Clearly, there are many ways a NIT could be funded too, which gives more flexibility over any minimum/living wage.

    Indeed. I'm also tired of being told that low-income people are stupid. Some just get trapped in the catch 22 of "it takes money to make money" (no thanks to occupational licensing and heavy taxes on wages\sales).


    The majority of the people in all countries are workers. The best policy for workers to elevate wages, reduce unemployment, increase worker security, and improve labor conditions is to eliminate taxes on wages. The ultimate resources are land and labor, so the ultimate tax is on land and labor. If taxes there must be, to untax labor, we must shift all taxation to land rent.

    Why is it that we see unions and progressives demand more money wages from employers, but not the shift of taxes from wages to rent? Why is the wrath of labor directed to their employers and not to their government representatives who tax their wages away?

    If taxation were shifted from wages to rent, there would be a loss of land value to the owners of the most valuable real estate, commercial and industrial land. To protect their interests, the landed interests indoctrinate the masses to think that the conflict is between labor and capital. They tuck land into capital and mask rent in profits and interest. Faced with high housing costs, people seek subsidies, which further pump up land values at the expense of wages.

    But labor advocates can't see beyond the immediate appearances, the companies which hire workers. They don't look beyond treatments of effects. They can't be bothered to investigate ultimate causes.

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