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malk

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  1. Selling off council houses with no replacement meant the loss of a buffer stock of rental accommodation. That coupled with poor regulation on the rental sector afterwards led to the inevitable creaming off of value by parasitic rentiers. Building new houses is a good thing but I'd be as keen to see a mechanism where lots of privately owned houses are brought back into the social rent sector. Get rid of housing benefit completely along with new legislation to stop eviction of tenants unless the house is sold or there are new tenants to replace the existing, plus punitive taxes on empty properties. Then allow local government (or whatever suitable co-op/non profit/no leech organisation) to buy them at the new, crashed, market rate. Then also allow local government to boost local economies by employing people to properly retrofit to a high standard. Rent these houses back to the local community at maintenance cost thus reducing pressure on household finances, increasing disposable income and aggregate demand (or reducing competition for jobs). Bingo, cheap housing to live in rather than as investment.
  2. What's the best/easiest to use dataset for household income in a given area? EDIT: Ignore that, ASHE by local authority is close enough.
  3. Thank goodness indeed. The sooner people realise the better!
  4. Leaving debts to future generations is a myth and flying will get a technological solution but for the others, the sooner we accept that they're unacceptable the better!
  5. Bingo! Obvious this is a bit of a generalisation but single use plastics just need to be banned. They're a convenience but one we can, and have, live(d) without. There will be some issues to sort out, food spoiling for example, but I'm sure The Market will sort that out once the parameters are set. Seems a pretty classic example of not pricing externalities. If the market can't or won't do it, regulate for the public good. Stuff like this should be really simple. There was a similar thing, iirc, with a UK company that had designed coffee cups that didn't have the plastic liner that stopped them being recyclable. They didn't get much uptake at the time as companies didn't see the extra cost as worth it. Now there's lots of faffing around with different options and yet more expansion of the different types of recycling facility needed. Personally I don't need choice on what type of coffee cup I use so outsourcing that decision to a regulator to make a good, sustainable choice makes sense. Indeed, it's what Adam Smith suggests!
  6. Tell you what, why don't you give up 8% of your income, it's only a p*ss in the ocean after all.
  7. Did you intend to show up the poverty of your argument in a chart? 8% of the total tax take is hardly a p*ss in the ocean, and that's the amount taken once a shed load has been avoided, aggressively or otherwise. Now taxes might not pay for spending but avoiding them allows for distortions in the market that have real negative consequences.
  8. I know this isn't directly apples to apples but I recently bought a Kia Soul eV for £16k nearly new. Less than 9k on the clock and five and a half years warranty remaining. At £1.25 per gallon that 50 miles is £5.68. A full charge of the Kia is £3.51 (13p per kWhr x 27 kW battery). I'm getting about 90 miles at the moment (with air con and not at all driving carefully) so 50/90 x 3.51 = £1.95. 34.3% of the fuel cost is quite a saving. Tax is £0 and, as established earlier in the thread, servicing and repairs should be less over the lifetime of the vehicle. Of course battery life is a potential issue but I'll be interested to see how the lifetime servicing costs compare even including the battery and history would indicate that the replacement cost will be much lower by the time it becomes necessary. So you wouldn't need to pay many multiples of the initial cost, even buying new you can get a Kia Soul eV for about £23k. Plus that £8k difference in purchase price would be recouped in just over 100k miles based on the figures above. This will be the next big difference. The generation of eVs that are 5 years old have a number of foibles, typically range. Already we're close to older versions of the Kia I have dropping under £10k. Of course that's a far cry from when I used to get whatever car for a couple of grand tops and then pile on the miles... but the fuel saving is significant and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't nice to have a much newer car with some mod cons.
  9. https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/10/london-toxic-air-pollution-killing-thousands-every-year/100304958/ Yeah, I'd say it really does cause some problems. Death is generally considered to be all bad.
  10. Diesel particulate filters barely work over short journeys and particulate matter doesn't need to be identifiable soot to be hugely detrimental to public health. It is more of an urban problem but most of the population is urban/suburban so that's neither here nor there. I'm with you on the rest of your post but the thing is, there's nothing stopping us sorting out both problems at the same time.
  11. I just like lighting a fire under the collective arses of sclerotic corporations. If they had a hard deadline to meet or lose money they'd stop sitting on cash piles, buying back stock and instead do some R&D. Renewable might be taking off now but if we had forced development earlier we'd be further along. I can certainly see eVs being part of the storage solution. My guess is that capacities and charging speed will increase sufficiently in the relatively short term that range anxiety just won't be a problem. With all that storage grid connected we'd be able to get rid of the need for peaker generators for a start and I don't see any good reason there won't be significant local generation in the near future. Building regs could be changed so that most roofs are fitted with solar pV tiles. The tech around that isn't far from being economically viable and would make a massive difference if rolled out on national scales. That said, I suspect that a few iterations of home batteries will lead to those being an easier way of having fixed storage in the home and vehicles will benefit from reduced size and weight rather than needing to have the capacity to also help with home power.
  12. I'd recommend this podcast (https://www.reknr.com/latest/5-a-job-guarantee-jg-vs-a-universal-basic-income-ubi/) that goes into a little about your first paragraph, well in a roundabout way. There is a brief mention about how current policy around disability is actually more to remove "disabled" from working society as it they were too difficult to integrate into the workforce and by giving them a token payment society can abdicate their responsibility to all. There's a destructive trend in the hard centre (Blair/Brown and their follow ons, Cameron and the Liberal Tories, the Lib Dems etc.) who have a patrician, paternalistic view of Liberalism (full disclosure, I'm not a Liberal) that seeks to entrench negative liberty, ignore positive liberty and assumes that anyone can have their success merely with hard work, i.e. ignoring their own personal circumstances. So when you say the lefties on the Labour side I think you're referring to those people. Corbyn isn't like that even though he isn't radical. I back him because he will promote greater democratisation and a return to more honest, less opaque politics. Certainly it won't be a sea change and there are forces that will try to stop him, even if he wins. Hell they may well succeed. Little reason not to try though, there aren't any other options. On housing, it's a subset of understanding money to me. I'm frustrated that Labour hasn't taken on a proper view of Modern Money, seemingly because they're scared of a Magic Money Tree backlash from the Tories, the Austerian Centre and their press cheerleaders. Certainly that would come but there are argumentless to win irrespective. I am frustrated that the new builds being thrown up are awful, more so than the pricing as that can change whilst the quality of the slave box can't. What I really want to see is Labour's "Fully Costed Manifesto" replaced and enhanced as a "Fully Resourced Manifesto". Show how Modern Money would allow for a large expansion of the public sector to properly staff healthcare, social care, education etc. along with rebuilding and expanding our crumbling infrastructure. Once that's in place the next step is to expand democratic decision making and accountability to the most local level practicable. Anarcho-communism for the win. On Brexit, this is a good start https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/04/brexit-labour-party-socialist-left-corbyn
  13. I'm with you all the way. All of the above is already nice and I'm already happy that I don't need to go to petrol stations any longer, driving out of my way on my commute to fill up is a thing of the past. I just wish that we'd legislate better to accelerate the changes. Banning diesel engines by 2040 is utterly pointless, why not ban the sale of any new ICE vehicles in five years and force anyone who wants a piece of the UK market to be better. My lungs would be very happy at the prospect!
  14. It's legit, I'm not running a cable out of the window or anything! It's a green initiative along with cheaper parking. Hence why it won't last forever, once they're de rigueur they'll charge unless... Governments sadly don't understand what tax does/is for! Since taxes don't pay for services they should be happy to forgo taxation on things that don't need it. Now perhaps they'll want to modify the behaviour of drivers via taxation, which would be fine, but I'd hope we'd invest in infrastructure (plus R&D) to the point where we had abundant renewable energy. A better system/grid with some combination of local storage, flywheels, ultra capacitors, cheap batteries (saltwater etc.) and advances in wind, solar etc. and we'll be able to generate plenty of energy. At that point we could effectively give it away for free with maintenance delivered by state funded (money creation) locally delivered/administered services. Not that that will happen any time soon but there's no good reason for us not to do so. I don't think this is a valid argument. The pure drivetrain element of an eV isn't any more complicated than an ICE one. All cars seem to be getting more complicated and computer controlled but I don't see a particular reason why the kind of older, more simple, car couldn't be replicated with an electric drivetrain. Yup, the lack of moving parts in the drivetrain is a huge plus for me. These things should run and run, especially if replacement batteries are on the cards, a big if admittedly.
  15. They're so much nicer to drive. I bought one recently after realising my 50 mile per day commute over b roads was likely to cost around £2k per year in fuel. Now I can charge for free at work (which admittedly won't last forever) which is quite a benefit! It's a Kia so I'm not looking at Tesla performance but up to 60mph it's a dream, instant torque and great acceleration even in the low power mode I use. That's a car with a range of 70-120 miles. Stick in a solid state battery and that range goes up massively and charge times drop, we're probably one major upgrade away from them being better than ICE drivetrains in every area. Plus that's without mentioning the huge reduction in maintenance from removing loads of moving parts. And if that needs more infrastructure, great, more jobs.
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