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Everything posted by Riedquat

  1. Adverts showing real, ordinary people that the viewers can relate to. It's depressing, but they've probably got it right.
  2. I had one once where the landlord was trying to claim one but the agent wasn't. His excuse was that he only used the agent to find people and did the rest of the admin himself, but in any case he backed down in the end after trying to claim that the fee was in the contract when it clearly wasn't. Tried it again next year, when I left.
  3. I suppose that I'm part of this problem. Don't have many friends, don't want many friends. Constantly keeping in touch with people sounds like nothing more than an irritating chore, as does not having most of your spare time to do what you want with. One evening a week in the pub is as much socialising as I want or need. That said, I do know and get on with my neighbours. I've lived in both urban and rural places (although nearly all middle-class areas in both cases) and came to the conclusion that there's more rural / urban split than poor / wealthy area split in terms of friendliness, or at least some sense of a society. I know more people where my parents live than where I do.
  4. Yes, I was being sarcastic. I've little but contempt for "Developer's" attitude. Build over everything - doesn't really matter what you leave in your wake as long as you make some money from it.
  5. You're missing the point. The whole purpose of land is to build houses on, building more houses doesn't possibly affect quality of life.
  6. The conclusion I'd draw from that is that it makes sense to spend money on them so they don't resort to that. Why would African crop yield be lower? Because of the land and climate or because of the agricultural methods they can afford to use? The problem with aid is not the giving it, it's making sure it's spent where it's needed and not mostly going to support the corrupt and wealthy. That's the only real issue here.
  7. That sort of analysis can be used to give a rough estimate of the upper limit, although in practice it's a bit over-simple. For example, if Tesco hadn't grown so big what would the effect be? Businesses are ultimately faced with the conundrum that the best situation for them is to pay peanuts to their own staff whilst everyone else (suppliers aside, I suppose) pays their staff a fortune (giving their customers more to spend). Calculating where it'll all balance out the best is almost certainly going to be more complicated. Even then, the best average might still not be morally acceptable if it leaves some earning less than survival wages.
  8. In that case apologies for not really paying much attention. I can't argue that there isn't a level at which it won't do more harm than good.
  9. Somewhat contradictory - which are squeezing us, the rich and powerful, or the lack of resources? Lack of resources will always cause a pinch (which can be made up for sometimes by technological advances), and when that happens the rich and powerful will be the last ones to lose anything because they are rich and powerful, but are they the cause or just another effect?
  10. Right, so how would removing the NMW help the shelf stacker? His labour is still needed, his job would be automated if practical anyway. So all his wage has to be in order to make someone take the job is higher than what he'd get from not working. That's either more than benefits in the current system (which makes benefits a de facto minimum wage by another name) or, if no benefits, simply be a little better than nothing. The only other alternative - find a better paid job - only works if there's full employment. With any unemployment, work that needs doing, and no social protection, you get incredibly gross exploitation simply due to anything being better than nothing (in reality it has to be a little higher than that, i.e. better than crime, begging, or scavenging).
  11. That's my worry. If they really think those services can be run more efficiently by the private sector they should just run them like that anyway. Selling them off is a very short-termist attitude that might make the government's finances look better but doesn't change anything much for the country as a whole (well, perhaps it does, by making it easier to run them cheaper simply by denying the poor access to them). I'm all for cuts so that the numbers add up - as someone posted above, it's simply arithmetic, not politics. I'm not at all for selling off. Still, whatever the Tory solution is it's hard to imagine that a continual unaffordable Labour spend could possibly be better in the long run.
  12. If you equate killing to food and killing for fun, yes. The yobs and the snobs have in common not being bothered about the latter, which is far more reprehensible than not being bothered about the former.
  13. How much people are willing to work for is ultimately whatever they need to do to survive. They'll only be able to find higher wages if there's 100% employment. As long as there's unemployment, and no legislation stopping them some employer will be able to exploit the basic urge to survive by offering the minimum needed to do that for as much work as they can get in return. Or we'd end up with what we've had in the past (and appear to be heading towards again) - housing owned by the few wealthy so that their peasants are able to survive well enough to work for them. But people never do have that freedom because at the end of the day you have to face the basic requirements of survival. That's something that others are able to exploit. It may well be reasonable to subsidise the prices of basics at the cost of increased price on luxuries. I'm not going to debate 10p or not because that's an argument for where the level should be set, which is distinct from whether one should be set or not. Prices and economics are merely one way of determining the distribution of resources. I see no reason to believe that they're the best way of doing that in all circumstances. In a time of famine, for example, such free pricing results in the wealthy surviving with a minimal drop in living standards whilst the poor starve (which is also why in my opinion sanctions against despotic regimes tend to be a very bad idea).
  14. The reason people don't take such a job as that is because it offers absolutely nothing, because we have a system that prevents such gross extremes of exploitation from being able to take place. With no laws and no social protection in place people would sell themselves into slavery in order to survive. It is precisely the sort of thing that you're decrying which stops that from happening. OK, perhaps not at 10p an hour - you couldn't survive on that, but no pay, no freedom, but basic food and shelter? The only alternative for some would be crime, which some people would go for and others would decide was too risky.
  15. What do building businesses do? The builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians etc. that get work from them are all getting employment as a result of houses. However, I'm playing devil's advocate a little here because I agree with the general trend of your post. They have to be building something genuinely useful, and over-production is not, however appealing it might look at first sight. Whether or not more building in the SE would be over-production is somewhat more questionable; it certainly isn't the case for the country as a whole that there's a housing shortage though.
  16. The only fact is that you appear unable to tell the difference between fact and opinion. Any form of minimum legal working working conditions can be regarded as being equivalent to a minimum wage. Otherwise it would be legal for people to sell themselves into slavery in order to survive. Do you think that's better or worse than what we've got, and do you think it's ethical?
  17. That sounds so naive I can only assume it's sarcasm.
  18. No, benefits to 2nd and 3rd world countries wouldn't stop it from being deployed if there were also benefits to the first world countries. Refusing to globalise on that principle would be cutting off your nose to spite your face, and there aren't many people happy to do that where money is concerned (or who don't realise that that's what they're doing). There's a good argument that the disadvantages often outweigh the benefits, though. However, without any form of globalisation how could anyone benefit from what they can't produce themselves? No oil? Tough. Not enough agricultural land? Tough, whilst other countries have got surpluses that they can't do much with.
  19. In theory there should be some merits to globalisation - every country could work to its strengths instead of having to waste limited resources on those things that it isn't good at (easier to grow crops in France than Greenland, for example, easier to have heavy industry where there are the natural resources to support it). IMO the problem is that only really gives a level playing field when the living conditions are otherwise equal, thus meaning that producing the same thing will cost the same amount in two places with equivalent resources. What we actually have is work being spread to where you can get away with paying less for it. You can still argue that it's better than otherwise - the poor countries get some money from outside where before they'd have had none, the rich countries get the benefits of cheap goods, so whilst far from ideal it's better than otherwise. It doesn't give best use of resources though.
  20. Is someone really trying to claim there's anything at all to such a small number? I'd need a bit of convincing that such a number isn't merely noise on a stationary figure.
  21. Yet by somehow forcing people into getting better paying work you haven't removed the demand for the badly paying work. Someone still has to be at the bottom, and you're either think it's fine for those people to have to live really poor lives or you don't. The socialist's solution seems to be to support them, but usually make a mess of doing so, the capitalists to shift the problem abroad and to pretend it doesn't exist (or be happy to settle for "Not our problem any more").
  22. That's about as sensible as saying a spacecraft is a failure of gravity. Actually, it's even less so. It's as sensible as saying that a spacecraft is a failure of the laws of physics.
  23. The same is true of its value, and hence any wealth created by making it, otherwise all you've done is change one pile of bits of metal and plastic into a differently-shaped pile of bits of metal and plastic. Wether or not that creates any wealth or is just a waste of everyone's time and resources all ultimately depends on what you can do with that resulting pile.
  24. You're asking that just because I'm saying "Look at the bigger picture in order to assess whether something or not is wealth creation"? That's just plain daft. Narrow it down to a small enough field and the activity of the bankers certainly was wealth creation - they did very well from it personally, and even if they hadn't been bailed out they would've stayed rich as a result if they'd left in time. If socialism is looking at the big picture and not ignoring consequences then I am one.
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