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BlokeInDurham

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  1. That's actually a pretty cool idea in another sense, since it essentially overprices the earlier years of the tenancy period and underprices the latter years. With asymmetric notice terms whereby the tenant can leave at any point with notice of a month or so, it would provide a method to "softly nudge" tenants to see out the agreed tenancy period without compelling it. Early termination on the tenant side would naturally compensate the landlord by having skipped the "underpriced" period of the tenancy, with progressively greater compensation in this manner for earlier termination.
  2. Just as addition to this thread, following BuyToLeech's post above. It's worth noting that outright seizure and return to commons of privately-owned land isn't the only solution based on the idea of land as a shared national asset. A land tax that funds society's needs as a replacement of our existing tax system would allow landowners to keep that ownership, if they wished, grandfathering in old ownerships. It would retain the principle of exclusive private land usage and the security that comes with that, something which I think is widely appreciated. But it would collectivise the value of that usage, with society recompensed by the landowner for their level of ongoing usage. Even a halfway house between that and our current system would allow society to capture half of that value and only half to be retained on a feudal basis.
  3. I think that seems like what I think most would think is a fairminded approach. In reality I imagine the wrinkle in the analogy is contained in the "haven't eaten mine yet" bit. If you've already eaten one biscuit (maybe you've eaten the bourbon first, saving the custard cream and the malted milk for later because they're your favourites), do you feel more resentful? Even if you feel anger at being misled, which is the greater injustice between that and leaving those with no biscuits biscuitless? What if you've eaten two and only have one biscuit left, having carefully planned to save it? Only now do you see the unfair biscuit distribution. Do you still give your last biscuit? Which is the greater unfairness? That's probably closer to the situation of inter-generational fairness.
  4. I don't think that's the question. It's about what people do now. It's not a case of blame, of being punished because for some kind of malevolence. It's about acknowledging an iniquity and acting to redress it, not blame or guilt. Imagine someone's doling out biscuits at teatime. They go round everyone present giving everyone three biscuits out of the biscuit tin. But then they get to the last five people in the room and say "Oh, sorry guys, there are no more biscuits left." What's the appropriate response of the people who have already got their biscuits? They haven't done anything wrong. They have nothing to feel guilty for. But they can see an injustice has occurred. Should they all give one of their biscuits to the people who haven't got any yet? Note that the intentions of the biscuit distributor as to whether they intended the biscuits to run out or not seems rather irrelevant.
  5. Tesco is not the same. Tesco is a middleman for the farmers who produce the food, but if we pretend that Tesco is the actual producer of the food for a minute, there is actual valuable, productive effort that goes into food production. You till the ground, you sow the seed, you birth the lambs, or what have you. This is useful work that adds value to the sum of human civilisation. Once you've sown the seed of course, the crops grow on their own. This bit is the captured rent, since you're utilising the value of that land to the exclusion of others. But food production involves some productive work, it's not pure rent, which was the argument. And that portion of the value of the food sold in Tesco which is rent is down to landholding!
  6. This is why to me it seems that the people who most ought to be agitating for change are those from the generations who have taken the most. Grouping people along any social lines for collective responsibility and collective punishment is stupid, but what is appropriate is to acknowledge situation that have tended to unfairly profit and penalise particular groups. The egalitarian solution of course is to try and redress that by enacting solutions to try and right those wrongs: these will be policies that don't specifically target particular demographics, but tend to fall hardest on more people from those groups who have enjoyed the benefit of those historical inequities. The longer it isn't addressed, the greater the danger that less egalitarian elements will start calling for outright discrimination, and the more "scorched Earth" the demanded solutions will be. I think you see a bit of this in movements for things like Brexit and Corbyn's popular path to leadership: a small but perhaps growing portion of society desiring radical change not even necessarily to benefit themselves, but as much to punish the status quo. It seems to me that those who have most interest in seeing radical change happen quickly are those with most to lose, they'll probably be able to hold onto more of their advantage than if they hold out and change is forced on them. (But then I have just finished reading Simon Sebag Montefiore's history of the Romanovs, so maybe the danger of such stubbornness is foremost in my mind. Not that I am in anyway suggesting that the method would be the same, you understand!)
  7. BlokeInDurham

    "Landlords are social parasites" Guardian

    Renting houses, a good that has been produced, adding value to the sum of civilisation, is not parasitical. Landlordism, that is the extraction of rent for the naturally-occurring, unproduced wealth of the land itself through the abstract legal nicety of exclusive land title is parasitical. In reality, people colloquially referred to as "landlords" renting out houses are most often engaging in a contract where they are partially providing a service as house builder (most likely as a middleman), partially providing a service as handyman in maintaining the house (possibly as a middleman) and partially acting as a landlord. The last bit (very likely the largest segment of any monthly payment) is the parasitical portion, while the portion of the rent accruing to the first two parts is fair payment for genuine, useful services provided where useful, productive actions are behind that payment.
  8. BlokeInDurham

    "Landlords are social parasites" Guardian

    If you're going to moan about who is saying something rather than what they're saying, don't be surprised when any kind of ideological discourse in society withers into unprincipled, tribal identity politicking.
  9. That seems a very odd approach. Would you say then that if people stopped expecting the right to life you'd improve the problem with murder? Not from less people getting murdered of course (I'd most likely go up, if we valued life less), but simply because it'd be perceived as less of an ill because people weren't expecting not to get murdered. The pertinent characteristic of expectations is surely not if they are high or low, but if they are reasonable and desirable. If you are a member of a society or say 60 million people with a shared existence on a landmass, for instance, is it reasonable or unreasonable to expect roughly a 60 millionth share of the right to usage of that landmass? Is that a desirable aim for the running of that society?
  10. What was the deal when you went to university though? If you're looking at starting life at the sharp end of £60k in debt, and needing not only to pay that off but to find eight or nine times your expected graduate wage to even have a "starter" home to exist in, then presumably whether you get a Greggs cheese and onion pasty or a Byron burger for lunch is just the fluff on a grain of sand on the slagheap of life. Over the last couple of decades, the ideological value of money has been absolutely destroyed.
  11. BlokeInDurham

    Where to emigrate to, balancing housing, law, etc?

    Everywhere has it's foibles, doesn't it? Living in the North East having grown up in East Anglia, I really miss proper summers with hot days: I'm always waiting for summer to start and then suddenly it's autumn. On the other hand, I like the winters much better up here. You get rain and snow and patches of cold blue skies in between, far better than the months of unchanging, interminable greyness that epitomise winter in the Fens.
  12. It'll be interesting to see how it washes through in the coming years. Are the "old young" (i.e. later gen X-ers, earlier Millenials) lost forever? Even if radical change comes (whoever brings it), will it now be too late for many of them in practice? Not much use if suddenly twenty year-olds are able to afford homes and families again if your first mortgage would end after retirement age and your fertile days are over. Is there more potential in the "younger young" folk who still have hope? Can we therefore except policies to target them in the usual mercenary business of party politics?
  13. BlokeInDurham

    Landlords who say 'no DSS' breaking equality laws

    Could it be the worst case scenario for the landlord in that case? If it's not strictly illegal, would that mean that the landlord would be expected to still honour a mortgage contract term demanding it, while also somehow, painstakingly, ensuring that in doing so that they weren't being discriminatory in a procedure that the court is generally taking a dim view of and sees as highly likely to be discriminatory (and good luck with that!)? How does the law work?
  14. BlokeInDurham

    Corbyn Taps In to What's Eating Society...

    How do you think the 'Overton Window' moves other than through rhetoric? Persuading is doing, politically. You don't get to enact your policies before you persuade people of them!
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