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Everything posted by A17

  1. It can signify the end if you are on the left or the right. The left say that with the threat of future communist revolution removed, the capitalist leaders in the west no longer felt the need to share the wealth around. The Soviet Union acted as a constant reminder of what happens if you push too far and don't keep the proles happy, and offered a ready alternative. The right say that with Soviet communism removed, people in the west lost their fear of communism. Political ideas that pre 1989 would be unthinkable as "communism" gradually became allowed to infiltrate. This allowed for the encroachment on civil liberties, the expansion of the public sector, and "too big to fail". Both probably make good points. 1989 - The country is ran for the benefit of the 10% 2008 - The country is ran for the benefit of the 1% 2020 - The country is ran for the benefit of the 0.1%
  2. In the USA it is a complete free for all now. As there is no central healthcare system you have to book it yourself, but as there are so many providers (doctors, pharmacists, grocery store pharmacists, central government, local government) people have to check on multiple websites. When appointments are released in tranches they are booked in a matter of minutes. My fear is despite the high vaccination rates old people are missing out due to the complicated booking. In my state, healthcare workers were the first group allowed to book, but it has since moved onto a huge range of workers and industries. It is completely an honor system - nobody will check your eligibility. I had my first jab (Pfizer) yesterday at a huge central facility temporarily set up by the government. The military were running it and administrating the jabs.
  3. Personally I have found that any role that requires collaboration and joint problem solving is far better done together in person. These are the roles that are far harder to outsource. A job that is repetitive and can "easily be done from home but my boss never let me but now they have been proven wrong" is far more likely to be outsourced. In my experience companies tend to go to specialist outsourcing companies in India, rather than actually doing hiring of Indian workers. These companies tend to overpromise and underdeliver, and of course take their own cut. They have quite high job turnover, and so nobody really learns the tricks and ins and outs of things. Before pushing to work from home carefully ask yourself the following questions honestly: Is my job task related, or does it also need novel problem solving? Does my job rely on interacting with other people, either internal or customers? What do I actually "produce"? Does my salary accurately reflect my skills and value I bring? Will this be true next year, and in five years time?
  4. The example of travelers. Whenever they turn up everybody knows that there will be trouble. However, the police confronting them leads to more difficulties than letting them be, knowing that they will probably clear off in a week or so and become somebody else's problem. However, it doesn't give the ordinary person any faith in the system. Stand-your-ground laws and the second amendment act as a somewhat safety valve to the general population in the USA. And the cops are the opposite to the UK - instead of turning up hours later to give you a crime reference number, they will turn up quickly and open fire. No middle ground.
  5. It's the lead time. The goods backed up in the Red Sea now are probably due to to be on UK store shelves at the beginning of May, and the crap leaving China now is due to be on the shelves beginning of June. So if there is any seasonal crap from China that you would expect to buy in May or June, don't rely on it.
  6. I remember it was blocked years ago (2004) at Christmas. There was a shortage of Chinese made Christmas present tat that year.
  7. Strange sort of place. Doesn't look like a family home. Has incredibly dated features such as the wall heater, room dividing curtains and cabinets in the kitchen, but hasn't been cleared, so unlikely to be probate or care home fees. An elderly person selling up to be closer to family? But it has a loft extension (with no photos) which was probably done in the last 25 years, in which case you would think the whole house would look more modern.
  8. If the police had dealt with the initial incidents thoroughly it wouldn't have happened. Why feel remorse? The burglars wouldn't have had any. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes Your home is your castle. What should he have done? Call the police for the umpteenth time?
  9. True - correlation vs causation and all that. But it fails to stop the opinion that the police and courts are ok with letting repeated criminals stay free, but crack down on generally good people who retaliate.
  10. My point was that if I were attacked in the street randomly, the police would do little and the attacker would have little chance of being prosecuted, and if they did the sentence would be lenient. If somebody broke into my house at night and I attacked them I would be treated much more harshly by the police and courts. The government policy is to keep the 99% of good people cowed by throwing the book at them for any transgressions, at the cost of allowing the 1% of troublemakers to essentially roam free.
  11. The keystone of a modern society is the rule of law, and the government monopoly on enforcing it. If you are wronged in the UK, the traditional belief is that the police and courts can investigate, and if it is proven, the instigator will be punished. However, as an individual, you do not have the right to punish others. However, in the UK now it is very rare for instigators to be punished or suffer consequences at from the government, but as an individual you still do not have the right to seek direct retribution against those who have wronged you. So naturally, people are starting to take matters into their own hands, such as the video above. Another symptom of this is politicians breaking the rules when they should be setting an example, but receiving no consequences. The extreme end of this will be forming of clans of people banding together to protect their property, administrating their own form of justice. The police and courts lack the resources to enforce the laws, but the real trouble will be when they lack the resources to enforce the laws on those who enforce their own laws. I think this may be part of the reason the police crack down so hard on generally normal people who take matters into their own hands. It is easier to let the troublemakers run free and concentrate resources on keeping the 99% normal people scared of police retribution, than make an attempt at sorting out the troublemakers but allowing vigilantes and people who snap to get away with it.
  12. Population has gone up 30% from 2001 to 2018, all trying to cram into the Auckland isthmus. Anecdotally, housing is fairly poor quality there on average. Lots of prefab style chalets - pick a random part of Auckland in Google Streetview. 95% of houses have no central heating. I wouldn't mind paying the average price if the average home was four bedrooms and made of brick. Back in 2000 the average price was NZ$175, which was a little over £50k at the time! The young Kiwi working in London for a few years to save £5k-10k for a deposit back home is certainly extinct now.
  13. Population has gone up 30% from 2001 to 2018, all trying to cram into the Auckland isthmus. Anecdotally, housing is fairly poor quality there on average. Lots of prefab style chalets - pick a random part of Auckland in Google Streetview. 95% of houses have no central heating. I wouldn't mind paying the average price if the average home was four bedrooms and made of brick. Back in 2000 the average price was NZ$175, which was a little over £50k at the time! The young Kiwi working in London for a few years to save £5k-10k for a deposit back home is certainly extinct now.
  14. It would kill me. People convince themselves that their new 70 minutes on the train is only "20 minutes longer than what we were doing in London, and we can read or catch up with emails!" but it can easily become 2 hours each way, every day. Leaving the house at 6am, not back until close to 8pm. What about working from home? Stuck in the spare room in a boring village, with nothing to do each evening apart from watch Netflix and get drunk. It is the teenagers I feel sorry for. They are the ones who HAVE to catch the 90 minute bus to ferry them 20 miles, morning and evening, to get to secondary school whilst mum and dad piss about writing articles and sitting on conference calls. Complete lack of independent social life as school friends are scattered over 300 square miles, reliant on parents to ferry them anywhere other than the school bus.
  15. I thought fish had to be sold as cod, haddock, plaice etc now at the chippie rather than just "fish and chips". That's the problem. It's so difficult to know if it is cheap food being passed off as good quality until it is too late. That's why I think chain restaurants are so popular in the UK - they are generally a rip off, but at least there is a certain known quality, and it is very unlikely to be dreadful.
  16. That's my point - Norway works well with lenient sentences for everybody. Even Anders Breivik only got 21 years - he's almost halfway there! You can't have a system where non violent offenders are rarely imprisoned, but violent offenders are sent to prison for life. I suppose the opposite is a country like Singapore or the UAE - low crime and harsh sentences.
  17. The issue is that a successful police and justice system cannot be ran on the principals that jail time should be minimized, except for sexual and violent crimes which should carry a life sentence. There is a complete spectrum of the severity of crime, which is complicated by repeat offending. And as always, there is the constraint of money and prison places. Who is more deserving of being sent to jail if there is only one spot: the fifth time offender for burglary (who never hurt anybody) or the first time offender who broke somebodies jaw coming off better in a pub brawl?
  18. It's difficult. With organized protests/vigils the self-proclaimed organizers can only do so much - they cannot control who turns up, and they cannot control the behavior of the attendees. Naturally, the hard-left ACAB rent-a-mob types will attend and try to hijack it. They know exactly which buttons to press with the police in order to get the response they are looking for. There is an interview with one of the arrested. Not a mention of Sarah Everard. Calmly calling for more and bigger protests. She knew exactly what she was looking for.
  19. I quite like the idea of everybody being allowed to be furloughed once in their life during an "out of our control" economic slump. My job and employment is linked to the oil price - when it crashes we have lots of job losses, regardless of individual's performance and work ethic. Perhaps we could be furloughed for 18 months instead until the oil price recovers.
  20. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-december-2020/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-december-2020 Breakdown by employment type. Largest groups were as expected retail (including vehicle mechanics for some reason), accommodation and hospitality, and manufacturing. To me, furlough showed up the lack of unemployment benefits in the UK, and the dependence on in work benefits. In European countries where you receive 70-80% of your previous salary for a period of time if you lose your job, a similar furlough scheme would have no use. The UK faced a situation where lots of poorly earning people faced losing their jobs, and hence their in-work benefits that provided a significant portion of their income. Furlough wasn't just a safety net - it was a safety net for when the original safety net was taken away.
  21. Compared to the continental European way: great if you are a 55 year old who is untouchable and wants to wait it out until retirement, but terrible for the young who cannot get hired.
  22. Having experienced both UK and USA labor laws, there are advantages to both, but I tend towards the USA way of doing things. Job losses are never easy, but there are a lot of advantages of calling people into the HR office on Friday morning and telling them to collect their things. It means that Friday is ruined and the survivors spend the whole day complaining and angry, but by Monday morning people have calmed down. The UK way of months of collective consultation ends up with the unhappiness spread out. The similarity between the USA and the UK (and the difference with Europe) is that "if they want you gone, you are going". It just depends how quickly they do it.
  23. I have known people earning probably over the 90th percentile in the UK banging on about taxing the wealthy, completely oblivious that they will be the ones to be hit the hardest (the super rich have their wealth hidden, and the government has no incentive to go after them). "Tax the wealthy" is a great political slogan, as it is difficult to argue against, yet nobody thinks it will affect them.
  24. It's fairly obvious that most of the outliers still consider themselves Polish/Greek/etc first and European a distant second. Coronavirus has shown that even the "good" Europeans such as Germany and France will behave in their own interests first when the shit hits the fan (yes, they've put themselves first always, but have at least paid lip service to European solidarity). A national identity is incredibly difficult to develop. Maintaining separate identities within one nation is hard to maintain (e.g. Scotland in the UK, Quebec in Canada, Catalonia in Spain), let alone 27 identities within one nation, with some more populous and influential. If there was an elected president of Europe, would people vote along political lines or along ethnic lines - i.e. who would a German socialist vote for - a German conservative or a Spanish Socialist?
  25. Pound to Euro Rates Pound to Euro seems to be split into distinct operating ranges, but has never reached the pre financial crisis peaks. 1999-2003: The early days. 1.45-1.70. Euro behaves more like Italian Lire and Spanish Peseta. 2003-mid 2007: Establishment. 1.40-1.45 - very stable, German behaviour Mid 2007-End 2008: Crashes to 1.03 reflecting UK's position in financial crisis 2009-2014: Bobbles along at 1.10-1.20 2015: Shortish term peak up to 1.40 - European soverign debt crisis 2016-2021: Brexit vote: again bobbling in the 1.05 to 1.20 range.
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