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Everything posted by LJAR

  1. A Large part of it is that the productivity of the public sector is measured by their pay levels, and those have not been increasing for a while.
  2. spot on, we should let people see lots of different things and help them choose what works for them.
  3. Well, a pretty big difference was that cutting expenditure in 1945 was pretty easy as a sizable war had just ended and the troops were sent home. Your comment about the 1% seems to have roots in the "fixed pie" fallacy of the economy and the idea that the 1% are a fixed unchanging group of people at the top, they aren't the people in the 1% change every year, in fact people's income changes throughout their life. People tend to hit the 1% when they sell up their business that they have worked for a lifetime to build, when they get lucky on a stock investment or sell their house and downsize. It really isn't made up of a cabal of capitalist robber barons crushing the poor beneath their boot heels. The economy has also grown enormously since 1945, if we wanted to have a 1950s "Beveridge report" style welfare system we could afford it no problem, the issue is that we don't have that sort of welfare system, we are a richer country and now have a much more generous system as we ought to. Unfortunately we are not willing, it seems, as a country to have the kind of regulatory and tax environment required to raise the revenue for such a welfare system. The Scandanavians get this pretty well. They have really high state spending, but they also have very "laissez faire" economic environments since you have to generate the wealth before it can be spread around. They have things like free schools, privatised fire departments and hostpitals (as well as insurance funded for all by the taxpayer). Public spending is also much more devolved than in the UK.
  4. hmm, their economic growth is based on very massaged GDP numbers due to massive state sponsored spending on infrastructure projects that have little real value, so economically they will slow down. Remember when Russia and then Japan were "about to overtake the US"? Socially they are going to have very big problems once people get rich enough to really start caring about corruption, lack of a democratic voice, etc. That could be a trigger for war, but realistically they don't have the domestic economy to be able to fight a big war they would end up against the US, UK, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan etc all at the same time. Economically and militarily outgunned. In response to Lambie I would say get them to learn spanish, I think south and central america will be a bigger player than China in the long run and they speak English in India.
  5. that is mainly because firing people is so hard it makes sense to invest in capital machinery instead of hiring more people to increase output.
  6. spot on. Or the fact that it is perfectly legitimate, and no abusive to claim benefits for a "disability" that does not prevent you from working or have any impact on your earning potential.
  7. there were many in the roosevelt administration that would disagree with you, and in fact if you look at the private part of the US economy, it didnt start growing until 1949ish when the public spending taps were turned off and people were allowed to invest without restrictions again. true enough - japan hasn't been as much of a disaster as the press they get but for they are an example of how to dig yourself into a really deep hole. I would argue that it hasn't competely played out yet that one. On the other hand they certainly are not growing like they used to. greece and spain etc are an example of the kind of problems you get when you need to devalue, but don't have a floating currency. The the market has to clear through unemployment and falling wages, which is much much more painful true, but then I dont think there were ever any "real" Keynesians. No politician wants to run a surplus during the good times. scandinavian coutries are actually pretty lightly regulated compared to the UK. Really, and they certainly have a much more localised mix of spending, which leads to less corruption and waste - all other things being equal.
  8. the joke is on you if you think that capitalism has produced rather than reduced inequalities...... people used to starve regularly in the UK each year many used to be actual or little more than slaves tied to the land nobody used to retire except the idle rich many didn't have houses, let alone ones with double glazing and central heating. Free market capitalism has leveled people like no other force in human history, and it continues to do the same thing on a global scale today. The countervailing force has always been concentrations of power in the governments and rent seekers that they support, trying to get something for nothing by leeching off the productive. (and I don't mean benefit recipients - think big landowners) the rule of law and property rights protect the little man from being trampled by the powerful, free trade stops him from being exploited by the government sanctioned monopolist, free markets and low regulation mean he is free to set up any business he wants without paying someone else for a license to practice. In short he is free to do what he wants and keep what he earns provided he doesn't hurt anybody. Capitalism isn't about justice, but any other system in the end isn't just either, capitalism merely replacespatronage with luck and work - which is an improvement.
  9. LJAR


    will help explain.basically a "democracy" is rule of the mob and eventually devolves into an oligarchic type of government. (the elite at the top of the pile have all the positions of power in all the parties and they run the country for their benefit and that of their friends) the only alternative is a legally restricted government that isn't allowed to do very much, but that requires a population in constant vigilance, and may actually be impossible to sustain for more that 100-150 years or so (at least it hasn't lasted longer that that before) Not sure where to go in the world to escape these days.
  10. LJAR

    Tony Benn - Why?

    Many are I wouldn't go so far as to say all. (you could consider Benn to be one since he hasn't voluntarily given away his fortune in order to decrease inequality in this country) But there are not many who think that they wont be the ones "in charge" when we are all "equal" - in essence it boils down to wanting to arrange people to suit their own desires, not to arrange people so that those same people are as well off as they can be. either that or they seem to want to punish people for being lucky, or talented, or hardworking. I fail to see the benefit that comes of this. If all they wanted was to make people more equal then you only need one tax and one benefit. Income tax above a certain threshold (say median income) and then a citizens income doling it out to everybody below that threshold. But they dont do that, they want to control how it is doled out, according to their preferences rater than those who are actually the poor. So yes many of them are hypocrites.
  11. Nope - there is case law in the US stating that sales tax is not due on items sold over the internet in different states. if you sell over the internet in the same state, then tax is due. Otherwise, no. @ durhamborn - spot on.
  12. you clearly plan to alter the population from human beings then?
  13. how about build more houses so the locals can live there too? it all comes down to market restrictions in the end.
  14. this is true, but the first move is helping people realise the extent to which government interferes in the price of housing in this country. they make the land more expensive (planning laws) , the building more expensive (climate change taxes), lower the quality of the build (high density requirements). they then push the price further by offering cheap money, subsidised rents for landlords, etc the list goes on and each piece has its own justification and lobby group determined to protect it.
  15. your own sig is a pretty good response to that statement.
  16. Unemployment benefits are actually a pretty small part of the benefits pie. we should be cutting the benefits that go to higher earners (above min wage) and child benefits to families who dont need them etc. then start cutting the cost of living, shale gas (long term I know but get going already), lower VAT, lower fuel duty, liberalised planning laws to lower house prices and rents. then get the economy moving again, getting rid of entire bills and types of regulations not just tinkering. (leaving the EU would help here, but fat chance) then lower taxes on employment, make the personal allowance linked to the min wage in law, abolish employees and employers NI and increase Income tax or introduce a LVT to cover the shortfall. none of it will happen though
  17. that sort of growth could happen again, but not before a big recession to clear out the deadwood. the sort of innovation we used to see has been choked by reams of red tape only in the relatively unregulated tech sector is innovation still running at full tilt. expensive energy, housing, too may people getting into debt for uni - these are all caused by regulatory or tax distortions of the market. uni should be expensive and not subsidised, shale gas could make energy even cheaper than it used to be, reduce planning restrictions and housing would become cheap again as well. the answers are there - the current political class is too involved with the VI revolving door to want to do anything about it though.
  18. well historically speaking this hasn't been so, competition has destroyed monoplies when they try to be abusive, this happened recently with china and rare earths. they tried to raise prices and provoked such a big competitive reaction that prices actually fell on world markets. the LIBOR situation exists because of regulations dictating how lending must be done, not in spite of it. airlines are similarly protected from competition by the difficulty in starting up a new airline or in building new airports. they are still not an abusive monopoly though, dominance I dont care about, I only get bothered by abuse. If they started raising their prices too high, people would desert them for their rivals in a flash. After all it would only be a few clicks of the mouse. a quasi monopoly, but not an abusive one, hence the consumer doesn't and shouldn't care. we need to stop abuse and price gouging. not simple dominance. basically in history monopolies have been very hard to maintain without government help. If there is a big profit to be made then money can be, and is, lent to start up a new firm. (de beers is the only exception I know of which you mention) but why are they a monopoly? is their position entrenched by special protections granted by the japanese government or governments past? I would be surprised if they achieved and maintained that position through competition alone. fair point I cant explain that oneMy main contention is that one of the worst effects of the regulatory burden is to reduce competition by restricting the number of new companies that come into existence. this both stifles innovation and drives up prices. But it also drives down wages as there is less competition for labour than there would otherwise be. I expect it also increases inequality for that reason.
  19. It would be correct to say the 2008 figure is largely labour - they had been in power for 2 terms by that point. however saying 2010 and 2011 are also labour isn't stretching the point too much, in the same way that saying the situation in 2001 was a tory credit - given that GB followed their spending plans for 3 years before increasing it again. applying the 3 years would mean that the coalition cant have a reasonable affect on the trajectory until about 2013, so up to that point would be reasonable-ish to allocate to labour. They are both big government thieves who think they should get to control our lives with barely a fag paper between them anyway. Hang them all
  20. temporary dominance will always occur, the point is whether it is a problem and if we need to worry about it. I think the answer is no. another eg (ebay competes with craigslist, gumtree etc as other 2nd hand sites as well as a plethora of online forums where things are auctioned off and posted for sale.) (on IE firefox was breaking the dominance before the competition rulings came in) I dont know the facts about hong kong or JP morgan, but would be interested in finding out more. As for standard oil, that is pretty interesting. at its peak SO had over 90% market share but had declined top 60% and falling by the time the anti-trust suits actually got anywhere. So the balance was being redressed anyway without action. Also - we hate monopolies because they restrict supply and raise prices. SO did the exact opposite. Prices plummeted and production of kerosene soared because they were so much more efficient than their rivals. They also started using bitumen to tar roads, just so they didn't have to throw it away and waste it - instead they developed something that the rest of the orld could use and it has been a massive boon to everyone. the antitrust suit was totally pointless from a consumer's point of view.
  21. none of those things quoted are monopolies, we already have had several generations of replacement and redundancy. for example, yahoo was entrenched until they weren't because google, now bing is starting to compete, along with many others myspace was entrenched until facebook and now google+ (and facebook is resolutely failing to make any money) Amazon is entrenched apart from all the other online independent stores and mixed models with bricks and mortar plus the big supermarkets getting into the online game. youtube exists but so do lots of other video sharing sites Internet explorer was dominant until firefox, now google crome etc, but before that there was AOL and netscape so I seriously doubt any of these platforms will be in anything close to monopolistic power in 10 years time. In the end we don't dislike monopolies just because they exist, but because they stifle innovation and drive up prices. In the world of the internet it is so easy to switch platforms or services that it is effectively impossible to gain and use monopoly power. Simply because market entry is so easy as demonstrated by the course of the last 20 years online. So legislation is simply not required to ensure competition, it takes care of itself without any interference.
  22. you know fascism is a left wing doctrine right? what with all the central control and de facto state/political friends ownership of the means of production and the colossal screwing over of the workers. anyway, anyone with an ISA or a pension or a trust fund, or taking dividends from their own business or being paid in cash or or etc is a tax avoider. they are mechanisms specifically set up in legislation to encourage certain behaviors through the grant of special tax free status. be suitably ashamed of yourselves.
  23. no he is not right through dint of simple observation. the present oligopoly (in banking or supermarkets for eg )is the result of regulations imposed on the market that restrict the setting up of new enterprises and thereby limit the "natural order" of competition and innovation. the "natural order" of laissez faire is for a multitude of different competing firms to exist with new entrants constantly appearing and old entities going bust. I am not clear on the meaning of revolution in this context, but if he means constant changing of those at the top, well yes that is the point. edit - It is also worth pointing out that a competitive oligopoly might be the result in the marketplace that best supplies the needs of the people in that marketplace. If that is so then there is no need to legislate against it. Particulalrly as the historical evidence is that oligopolies and monopolies and cartels are extraordinarily hard to keep together over a long period of time (10-20 years) the only ones that survive are those with some sort of government support either explicitly or through legislation.
  24. +1 "evisceration of the welfare state" - if we went back to 2005 level of spending we would be in surplus. I dont remember there being a crisis of the welfare state at that point.
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