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About nothernsoul

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  1. Looking at the money spent on furlough as precursor to UBI is a bit of a red herring in my opinion. Yes, employees are getting paid to do nothing at home, but the only reason government is willing to shell out up to 2500 a pound a month, is an attempt to keep people in jobs. Those on universal credit get 78 quid a week, nowhere near enough to live on even frugally, almost a token amount, a deterrent to not having a job. As unemployment has been relatively low for many years, the majority of the population dont know or care about levels of unemployment benefit, those that suffer and struggle are on the fringes and are ignored. However, if unemployment rises and becomes millions, including those who have worked and paid tax, the former middle classes, then the government has a problem. A large percentage of the population getting below subsistence benefits causes major social and political tension. If we do ever get anything approaching UBI the driving force that motivates government, will not be ideas, or campaigning, but intolerable levels of unemployment.
  2. It wasnt a mistake, it was deliberate. Compare how measly uk benefits are for those out of work (compared to those on the continent) with what furloughed workers can get. Unemployed 78 pounds a week, sick pay 98 pounds a week, pensioner 150, somebody furloughed up to 650 pounds a week. My opinion, they didnt want those not used to suffering (lots of their core voters) to suffer. Also aware of the huge debts carried by the modern middle classes and frightened of a collapse.
  3. Megadebt is spot on. Apart from a pension handled by an institution, property is the only investment held by the majority of the population. It isnt just lack of savings, private individuals owning shares is a lower proportion of the population than before the war. The other advantage of property, when the government represses rates, is protection against inflation. It is also the only investment that a bank will lend to the ordinary person to leverage on. Hence, the unprecedented stimulus during this crisis and dropping rates to effectively zero, to protect the majority who hold an illiquid asset that becomes a millstone during deflationary periods.
  4. Very poor people have never had much in the way of savings. However, with regards to the middle classes, i would say the answer is related to changing attitudes towards debt. For the generation born before the war, debt was something to be feared, or going back to victorian times something to be ashamed of. Conversely , thrift and saving was considered a virtue. Since the the 1950s, debt has gradually become more acceptable. It has now reached the stage as being a necessity to keep western standards of living going. So when we had the greatest private debt crisis ever in 2008,the message wasnt pay down your debts and start saving, lets go back to banks lending a lower multiple of income on property. It was, and had to be in an economy without any other ideas for growth, keep taking out maximum debt and all will be fine.
  5. Unfortunately, i think buying a house purely as a home is the minority mentality in the uk. If investment wasnt a strong motivation, why the constant obsession with house prices among those who already own? Why would there be such a thing as moving up the property ladder( unless more space was needed of course) instead of paying off the mortgage as soon as possible to live debt free? Why would individuals borrow to the max to buy the most expensive property they can, rather than what is sufficient for their needs?
  6. Magically created student bedrooms. It was a lounge, now a bedroom. Bit of plasterboard, one bedroom is amazingly transformed into two. Landlord bonus, as students are less picky than permanent tenants, you can spend even less on maintenance. People who have lived in that area their whole lives find the place is now noisy, dilapidated, overcrowded and a magnet for burglars.
  7. Unfortunately, politicians are more likely to appease people on mums net than those on here.
  8. The u turn from governments initial response was not motivated by public failing to follow measures. It was pressure from media and public, especially when most of europe had locked down. It was the tightening of the lockdown that was motivated by certain members of the public flocking to seaside towns for a holiday and the like.
  9. This is the worst financial environment to deal with. It isnt just inflation eating away at cash as happened in the 1970s, but the financial repression that goes with it in the form of negative interest rates.
  10. No lessons have been learned. Nobody wants to learn a lesson. The 2008 credit crunch should really gave been called "The too much debt used to pump a property bubble crisis". Again unpayable debt is the real underlying problem during this crisis, with governments terrified any deflation will bring bring the whole pile crashing down.
  11. The Pritty Patel bullying allegations seem a lifetime ago, but i think relevant to this. Ive been told by somebody in that department that this group of ministers dont like being told inconvenient facts, it is not civil servants being deliberately obstructionist. They will say yes of course we can do this, and will do this, but there will be problems. This is not appreciated. Anyone who has worked in education under michael gove and cummings will appreciate this. Policy that is made up off the cuff with limited or no evidence backing it, zero consultation with those meant to implement it. Halfway through the year, when somebody has stressed and struggled to make it work but cannot, policy is quietly dropped. Or those obligated to implement it are called the "Blob" or something, and gove is hailed a hero by the conservatives for tackling vested public interests.
  12. I dont like him as a politician. However, he is a fellow human being, hope he gets well soon. Upward movement in ftse was to do with virus looking like it had peaked in spain and italy over the weekend. Nothing to do with the prime ministers health.
  13. I wish the prime minister a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, i cannot honestly say this government have planned well for this. Most front line staff within education and health would probably agree. A small example, they hadnt even drawn up and sent out a list of occupations to headteachers that were considered essential until the day schools closed(a week behind most of europe). The fact they had an initial policy similar to swedens(but without the infrastructure to back it up) then bottled it and locked down should say it all. And no, the science didnt change in a week. There are people who would blame the government whatever they did, which is is wrong. But far worse are crude apologists, their are plenty of well paid people to do that in the media anyway. Failure to hold the government to account, and writing off years of warnings by NHS staff about a deteriorating service as pleading by vested interests is partly responsible for problems now. Whatever blame china holds, it doesnt alter the actions of the uk government.
  14. I dont like the World War two approach to this, ridiculous talk of a government of national unity and the like. We are not in a war. Nobody is going to invade. Pointing out the ineptness of the government is not giving succour to the enemy.
  15. The irony with threatening to ban public exercise because of those flouting the rules is that the government has already criticised the police (unfairly in my opinion) for over zealous enforcement of the rules. Something keir starmer and the press might point out if they had the backbone to do their jobs of holding the government to account. The motivation for punishing the whole class for the behaviour of a minority, may look strong and decisive, but is really born out of a weakness, or reluctance to take action against those who are actually doing the wrong thing.
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