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Everything posted by CrashedOutAndBurned

  1. Yep. I've repeated the anecdote plenty of times. Girl I used to know bought spacious 1 bed flat in South east in 1999 for £45k while working in a bookshop. Those flats now £160k+. Likewise, some arty types I know bought a house in the late 90s for £60k, those now £250k, and continue to enjoy their bohemian life. With cheaper housing work, pretty much any work, starts to pay and people can live their life quite happily.
  2. Yeah, Chromebooks blow MacBooks out of the water for a start. Want a good laptop? Get a Chromebook today. And Android rocks - all you need to do is root it and spend a week reading nerd forums and you might even be able to upgrade the OS. And that Nexus thing. This time it's going to blow the iPhone out of the water. This time. This is the big one. It's going to do for Google what the Zune did for Microsoft And Google+. I don't even know what that is exactly but it's taking the world by storm. Everyone I know's using it. And Adwords/Sense. It's amazing what good value it is and how it's completely free of scammers. Mac totally sucks. Everyone knows Mac OS is just FreeBSD with a nice window manager and you can download FreeBSD for any PC. Apple fanboy suckers. Lulz.
  3. Mrs did a language exchange with a polish girl with a degree in something or other that spoke Russian, Polish, German and English and a little Spanish. Worked in a Starbucks full-time. When the chavs have been 'booted off benefits' - this is who they'll be competing with,
  4. I believe in copyright but think far too much goes to rights holders and there's little logic in how it is applied. Say you are opening a cafe and pay an interior designer. You just pay them once for the work. The cafe visitors don't have to pay a royalty to consume the work every time they pop in for a coffee. Perhaps you bought some cool artwork from a local artist and hung it on the wall. Again you pay once, however many people consume the art when they gawp at it over a mocha. But why is this creative work any different from taking a photo or writing a story or a song that is published? Why should some forms of creative work get 'money for old rope', so to speak, others not? That's said, being a songwriter or a novelist can only work if you get an ongoing source of income wheel you work on you next project. You can't produce top-class work consistently as a hobby in the odd spare hour after a day job. Pop music has become dreadful now that only the manufactured acts can be full-time at it. So there should be copyright protection. However, why does it have to be so astonishingly generous, still in operation 70 years after you pop your clogs?! Your grandchildren getting royalties! How about letting it enter into the public domain, say, 10 or 20 years after the work was first published? Then others could use it, perform it, build on it, reproduce it. The public domain is a GOOD THING. I once knew someone that had a nice to little business selling quality art prints of 50s starlets and dancers. These images were all in the public domain due to the way the US copyright system once worked (you had to renew it or lose it) . They obtained an income selling them nicely reproduced and framed, creating new economic activity. Should some now idle, aged photographer (or his estate) REALLY still be getting a slice of this pie? Really? Do you get paid for the work you did decades ago?
  5. I seldom see see UK working class people employed in this kind of place. It's the either pretty, polite immigrants with degrees in International Finance or, in the provinces, pleasant plummy voiced students. People don't realise that 'chav benefits scroungers' would not meet the entry requirement of the most mundane jobs these days so there's no point bullying them. Who would you rather have serve you a £3 coffee? A wheezing Greggs-filled fat chav or a pretty Latvian graduate called Monika?
  6. Jesus. This is insane. Half the problem with the massive housing benefit bill is that that there aren't cheap, paid-off-years-ago council homes to put people in. Hence, the state now bids up the private rental market far higher than it would otherwise be. In day old days of 'tower blocks' living in flats was equated with poverty. Now 'apartments' are a UK staple so this wouldn't be a problem. We need to use brownfield sites to build spacious family-sized flats close to centres of employment and transport links. No other serious European country is mucking around with this ideological neoliberal extremism.
  7. Grandpa Ralph was a 'poor immigrant' but quickly groomed by the academic establishment at the LSE and wrote key Marxian texts that were reading lists standards for politics and sociology students for years and popular with general left wing readers. I'm sure he got relatively rich off his writings.
  8. I've noticed more flat developments including 3-beds. This was very rare in the boom. Is this an actual trend though? And is it a move to 'family' flats as seen in many European cities or just a way for BTL scum to appeal to impoverished 'young professional' 'sharers'?
  9. Not all poor people are in the social system. They are just grafters living in private shared housing or paying too much for rent to the BTL scum. Why shouldn't they have a grant too?
  10. It's amazing how these heavyweights of mobile phones are imploding. The iPhone came out in 2007 and RIM and Nokia were just, 'Hmmm, hope that kinda just goes away... yeah, let's just hope it does...' Early Android was a Blackberry-like crappy OS at the time but Google quickly made copying the iPhone a top priority which, combined with the open licensing has served it well.
  11. Dave and George are just far too thick to cook something like that up. Anyway, unless people drove miles to make special trips to fill up they won't actually be buying more fuel overall, will they? Unless the frugal people that deliberately drive with a third of a tank to save weight are now pulling full tanks?
  12. Excellent idea by Estonia. The rich people than run our country just don't seem to care that normal people (unless their work is paying for travel) cannot afford to use trains anymore as the prices are insane, especially if you decide to travel last minute. Worse, the buses are going the same way - the prices are no longer compatible with the tiny incomes of those using them to get to work. Privatisation of natural monopolies and basic infrastructure doesn't work and we shouldn't let neoliberal ideologues force their zany ideas onto us anymore than we'd let a Stalinist. Public transport especially should be brought back into public ownership and run on a not for profit basis, based on the realisation that it serves the entire economy. Just think how dynamic and entrepreneurial people would become if they could get around the country cheaply and easily. It would solve all sorts of problems and open up new opportunities for all. Plus, I'd sooner see the government spend its money on universally-beneficial infrastructure than pointless paper-pushing makejobs and social engineering... 'Hey, NEAT, would you like to be sent to Tesco to work for free in a chain gang or get given proper skills in building railways and a real job?'
  13. Apple has the AppleTV. It's a fairly anaemic device that lets you stream stuff. Apple have already killed off Nintendo in the handheld space and damaged Sony with $1.99 games on iPhone/iPad. Surely they could throw their cash mountain at making a powerful console with an App store and cheap disc-free games? Already, there are plenty of app stores for PC where you can download games. It's pretty obvious that bricks and mortar shops like Game are a console generation or two away from oblivion.
  14. Compete drivel. At several companies I've worked in 'middle management' was filled equally by people that had worked their way up, a few that had come through 'graduate schemes' and non-scheme graduates that had to start from the bottom anyway (ie. three years later than they would have). The only difference is that the graduates were, in general, more cultured, the non-graduates more Alan Sugar-ish. That's it.
  15. We are involved in a propaganda war with Russia. The biggest joke was the idea Ruskis smuggled in radioactive materials to do away with Alexander Litvinenko in some crazy spy-novel plot. Of course, if it had been a bullet in the head the culprit could have been just about anyone but 'mad radioactivity plot' could only be the Ruski state. Everyone knows that.
  16. Putin is another Thatcher - an authoritarian hated by a large chunk of the population but also very popular and able to comfortably win elections. If you are a middle class russian in work your standard of living is rising fast and Putin is your 'stability' even if you're not a massive fan. Plus the Arab Spring was a complete media invention not one spontaneous event triggered by social networking. In Libya and Syria the west is now supporting who they would usually dub 'Al Qaeda'. Libya is the real shocker now with bloodthirsty islamists gone tribal taking revenge in a once stable country with the best standard of living on the continent and no debts to the IMF. But the slaughter's not on the news anymore. because we 'won' (the oil contracts). Also, remember that Russia's predicament stems from Yeltsin surround himself with Chicago School devotees selling off the people's wealth for nada to favoured oligarchs. Gorby's vision was a move to a half-way house liberal social democracy modelled on Scandinavia. It's yet another failure of neoliberal scheming.
  17. The ownership of land has no real philosophical basis. It can only be taken from the commons by force. In many simpler societies you just go to the edge of your village and build a hut - simple as that, no mortgage, no hassle. Of course, in a modern advanced society we'll never get back to try land freedom so an LVT is the best way to acknowledge that collectively we all have a stake in the land. Ideally, I'd love the LVT to replace income tax altogether and be part of an overall lower taxation. Supermarket and commercial property hoarders, the landed gentry, etc. would get such an awful tax bill that it would be in their best interests to more widely circulate the land. It would make for a amazingly dynamic economy where people get money for, y'know, doing real stuff not holding everyone else to ransom using your properdee wealth.
  18. I think a real socialist government would offer free tuition to students able to study maths, science and engineering at university to build the infrastructure of the nation. I loved science at school but my Maths was average at best but if I'd been able to dodge tuition fees I might have knuckled down and got myself up to scratch, chosen science over humanities, and made a go of it.
  19. Could be. Heidelberg assembles printing presses in China now. Better to be in there doing it yourself than have the Chinese clone your stuff unofficially.
  20. I make a mental note of the charity chugging and remember never to donate. It's better to donate to small, locally based charities anyway that help people right on your doorstep, not the big megacharities with their fat cat CEOs and massive advertising budgets,
  21. Yep. Don't get the hate for this guy. He's got a disabled kid and works a full-time proper job. A middle of the road white collar worker could have had the same lifestyle on one income without a big benefits package a generation or two ago. The system's wrong, not this father.
  22. Even before the credit crunch I saw this pattern repeated - the £30-something K 'sales' or 'product manager' type that's worked their way up a bit in some nondescript company gets laid off and finds that they have no real hope of getting anywhere near that salary again anytime soon and end up having to go for 'starter' jobs again. If they based a big mortgage on that salary, well....
  23. The NHS is a fairly unusual healthcare system even among state-funded healthcare systems. France spends even more on healthcare but you do get more of a first-rate service with far better outcomes. But anyone arguing for a US-style system is a loon. That's just a way for corporations to fleece people while leaving millions without care. A perfectly normal American child WITH access to good healthcare will often get dragged to umpteen 'specialists' for the tiniest little 'potential problems' just to make big money. Also, people are wise to privatisations now. Buses and trains too expensive to use. Gas and electricity companies fleecing you. Water companies that just crank up bills rather than fix massive leaks to make easy money. Even quite liberal/conservative people admit that natural monopolies and fundamental infrastructure were better off in state hands,
  24. Not really market forces with thousands more turning up for new Foxcom jobs every week than there are jobs. More like the realisation that the slaves might get unruly if they're not given a few more crumbs. That's why the lot of workers usually improves - ruling class fear.
  25. Sounds very similar to what the Chicago School economists advocated for South American puppet regimes in the 1970s and would likely require a military junta to keep the people in check while it happened surely. Even Maggies who pulled a watered-down version needed to turn the police into a lawless private army to do her dirty work on the streets.
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