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Everything posted by Goat

  1. Osbourne's plans are to reduce government spending to a post war low, how much more "free-market conservative" can you get? We also have the largest gap between the two parties since 1982, with Milibrain plotting 1970s style socialism against Osbourne's plans above?
  2. Alex Salmond sends his thanks.
  3. In my experience language is more of a use/value thing rather than anything else. You'll learn a foreign language if you think it'll make you better off (usually financially) but won't bother if it doesn't. If you're Dutch/Scandinavian and to a lesser extent German then English is virtually a requirement if you want to get a good job, hence their very good standards. I get the impression that if you're Greek a good job means some kind of government role or a position in a protected industry, none of which really requires English, hence a generally poorer standard of it. This also explains the age and urban/rural differences. Those living in rural areas will generally not expect jobs to require English, hence no incentive to learn; those living in urban areas are going to be more likely to want jobs in multinational companies, hence an incentive to learn. Ditto age, if you were educated in the 60/70s there was much less expectation of international mobility and communication, hence less incentive to learn.
  4. You'll note the phrase "I don't know" in my OP, I'm just offering a couple of possible explanations. Since you appear to know better why don't you enlighten us.
  5. The reality is the money's already gone, they just haven't owned up to it yet. What's the alternative? Keep lending them more money and hope the eventual default happens on someone else's watch? If you're a European taxpayer, buy grease - good advice.
  6. Good question. I suspect the answer is that those that can leave have already done so, this is however not a good thing since they are likely to be the most productive and this has the effect of further reducing demand and increasing unemployment.. For the rest I don't know. I get the impression that the Greeks generally aren't all that good at foreign languages, those that are probably come from touristy areas (where I guess they can find jobs) or have already fled. Is part of the answer that they don't have language skills to move abroad? Alternatively is it a sense of entitlement coming from having spent the last 20 or so years in an unsustainable debt fueled bubble? A belief that they're victims and the world owes them something? The election of Syriza seems to point in that direction.
  7. Traditionally LHA tennants were high risk, i.e. spend the money on booze and fags then trash the place before they leave. I don't know if things have changed but it's not surprising that landlords would want some kind of premium.
  8. The false premise is that scarcity=value (the title of this thread); you're confusing value with price.
  9. I think they probably will shortly. When they do it's going to be a massive embarrasment for a lot of senior people.
  10. Wonderpup pulling his usual trick again? Start from a false premise, blur a few definitions then arrive at a bo11ocks anti-capitalist conclusion. In this case the trick is confusing value with price.
  11. Don't get your hopes up, I think about 85% of thier debt is now owed to public bodies, ECB, IMF and ultimately European taxpayers. Didn't you read RK's article? 90% of the bailout money received by Greece went to repay financial institutions. The whole bailout was simply a scheme to move losses away from EU banks and onto ordinary Greek taxpayers and the EU public as a whole.
  12. Course not, not even in the Crimea that Russia formally annexed. They're all volunteers who've deserted from the Russian army, taking their guns, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons with 'em. They're not there under orders at all, they'll all be rounded up and jailed as soon as they step back into Russia. The Malaysian Airline plane full of Western civilians was shot down by a Ukrianian SU-25 in plot to involve evil imperialist west in attack on mother Russia. How could anyone possibly think otherwise.
  13. Yep, no Russian troops or arms at all are in Ukraine, move along folks there's nothing to see.
  14. So the Russians haven't annexed the Crimea and occupied large parts of the west of the country. Phew, I was getting worried for a moment.
  15. Large shopping centres and city centres maybe, where the shops are likely to be occupied by large well known retailers. I'd guess that the high street we're talking about here is suburban town centres, mostly one man bands that would be interested in the secondary/tertiary premises that you're talking about. True, but selling on an empty unit isn't going to be any more profitable than selling one on with a realistically priced lease.
  16. Yep. The point is that it's not really to do with the building itself, but that the lower rent provides evidence for the true value of all of the other properties in your portfolio. Get yourself maybe £100,000 in rent on one office, wipe £100 million off the capital value of your portfolio, blow your banking covenents out of the water and all sort of nastiness follows from there. This certainly applies to the large quoted property companies; I'll question whether the same holds true for your average high street shop. My guess is that the big boys aren't interested in your average high street shop (outside of large shopping centres); these'll be owned by private investors who bought them decades ago and might be more flexible on the rent.
  17. Read, understood etc. You're just plain wrong. Edit: If you want to test your theory of increasing marginal utility think about how lottery winners react to their win. If you are right that giving someone £100/week free income incentivises them to work harder what effect would giving them a capital windfall equivilent to maybe £10,000/week have on them? Presumably you'd expect them to suddenly start working every hour god sends before dropping dead from exhaustion. Do you think that is how lottery winners react in the real world? UB's strongly disincentivise work due to the high marginal withdrawal rate; CI could have a marginal effect on consumption preferences resulting in a slight reduction in hours worked. Two completely different things. That's because you don't know what you're talking about. I'm sure a few economically illiterate people might raise it as an objection, but they'd be (mostly) wrong.
  18. Leisure is a form of consumption, and I'm not going to spend any more time arguing about basic economic concepts. It's possible, you're one of the most un-readable posters I've ever seen anywhere. Nope, you're just plain wrong. You're argument flies in the face of observed behaviour; people pay for the essentials first because they value them more. You might think you like luxuries more than the basics but try living without water, electricity and gas for a week and you'll understand the reality. Also, you've conveniently skipped over the point that £100/week for someone earning £100/week is clearly going to be far more valuable to them than to someone earning £10,000/week, hence your theory of increasing marginal utilty is nonsense. And I simply pointed out that nobody was making the claim you said they were.
  19. Marginal utility is a pretty basic concept, a person is better off if they consume more, it's not arbitary, it's a simple statement of fact. You've got your argument completely back to front. Think about it, who's going to spend their money on dinner out and let the gas board cut them off? No-one. A meal out is nice but not freezing to death is nicer therefore the utility of the gas supply is more. So the marginal utility of the money earned to pay the essentials is obviously more than that earned to pay for luxury extras. Another way of looking at it is an extra £100/week for someone earning £100/week is clearly going to be far more valuable to them than to someone earning £10,000/week. I said that no-one was using it as an argument against CI, I didn't say it didn't exist. From a strict economic point of view it is a likely consequence of CI however this isn't an argument against CI. It might cause some people to cut back their hours slightly but I suspect the effect would be minimal and outweighed by the gains from the removal of the perverse incentives in the current system. Finally you cliamed that CI would cause people to stop working altogether, that's 1,000,000 miles away from taking Friday afternoon off.
  20. Actually, ignoring the fact that no-one is making the argument, this is a better question than I first thought. To understand it you need to imagine a simple supply/demand graph with the supply of labour increasing as the wage increases and the demand inversely related. The effect of a tax cut is simple, it moves the supply curve down/to the right so that people work more hours for a lower pre-tax wage. The effect of a CI is more complicated and involves an understanding of what the supply (of labour curve) represents but the short answer is that it makes the supply curve steeper than it would otherwise be. The reason is that the supply curve represents an indifference trade off between leisure and consumption. If people are given a certain amount of consumption for free this means their marginal utility from additional consumption is reduced, meaning that their preferences between leisure/consumption change so that they have a stronger preference for increased leisure and they require a higher hourly wage to work the same number of hours (or more accurately work slightly fewer hours for a slightly higher wage). How strong this effect is I don't know. I seriously doubt anyone would give up work entirely but it's not unreasonable to suppose that people might cut back their hours slightly to purchase more leisure. I'd argue however that any losses from that would be more than offset by gains from the otherwise unemployed no longer faced with absurd marginal tax/benefit withdrawal rates.
  21. Whoops, that almost slipped through unanswered. The question I asked you was: Really? I don't think I've ever seen that raised as an objection on any of the numerous CI threads we've had over the years; except as strawman set up for demolition. Perhaps you could provide a link to the many raising this objection. and all you've done is repeat the same strawman in an attempt to justify higher taxes on the well off. So I'll repeat, who exactly is advancing the claim that CI would lead to people not working.
  22. Greek government seems to be losing the plot: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11463568/Greece-demands-Nazi-war-reparations-as-rhetoric-turns-nasty-in-creditor-talks.html Greece's prime minister has demanded Germany pay back more than €160bn (£112bn) in Second World War reparations as his country is squeezed by creditors to overhaul its economy in return for vital bail-out funds..... ....The country's justice minister went further, threatening the seizure of German assets in order to compensate the relatives of Nazi war crimes. Nikos Paraskevopoulos told Greek television he was willing to back a supreme court ruling which would lead to the foreclosure of German assets in Greece. Can't see this going down well in Berlin, or indeed anywhere else. It looks very much like we're in the end game for Greece now.
  23. Are you sure about that? Hitler was in a world of his own, maybe one or two absolute believers as well, but surely the vast, vast majority were more connected to reality.
  24. I've skimmed the report and didn't notice anything, if I've missed something please highlight it rather than ask me to re-read 37 pages of bo11ocks. Post 31 is 10 posts after mine and doesn't make the point you claim it does.
  25. I think I'm the only person who's ever attempted to suggest a workable, costed CI; I do wish that other proponents would try the same. At the risk of repeating myself; the biggest problem is that it represents a huge cut in single parent benefits to fund a huge tax giveaway to wealthy families. I'm capable of accepting that but it appears that most of the loudest supporters of CI want a version that leaves the wealthy no better off and the poor no worse off. That isn't a CI.
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