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Everything posted by madpenguin

  1. I agree this isn't for everyone if your happy generally then fine, but there are plenty of people who aren't As I said earlier if you are considering moving properly investigate a country before you look for work in a particular place and definitely visit first, if you walk into something without investigating first then of course you'll probably fail, I check rent, tax, cost of living, and where is the best place to live, everywhere has areas best avoided no matter how developed, I'm the same as your family member I don't like heat either that's why I didn't even look at Spain, (though if you do property is pretty cheap there now!) As a matter of fact most of the Brits where I work are there because they couldn't get decent work in the UK, myself included, since the vast influx of ICT's from India over the last few years to the UK, IT jobs have become a lot more scarce and advertised salaries seem to be dropping, a lot of contract jobs have gone now due to onshoring of ICT's , also in my case my age could also be against me, though it seems to have worked in my favor with this job. I'm not saying where I live now is paradise but the climates almost identical to the UK, it's a 50 minute flight away,and I communicate regularly with my family using Skype, together with flights over once a month. Maybe a better question is why is the UK so bad at the moment, wasn't always like this, but then again that subject has been done to death in these forums every day
  2. I worked freelance for 20 odd years in the UK , mostly for large corporates, 6-12 month contracts usually, and as a result I worked for quite a few companies, there are very few places I would go back to. Personally I find work and lifestyle is much better outside the UK, all the British guys working in my office (4) currently say they will never go back, and have brought their families with them and got local mortgages, their wives and kids seem pretty happy with the decision too, I know mine was The examples you give might work ok particularly in the North of the UK where cost of living isn't such a factor and of course where and how you live is your own choice, personally I love the work I do (IT) and couldn't see myself changing career, most ofthe problem in the UK comes from management syle, the companies I've worked for over here have been far more worker friendly, in Germany senior management ate, and chatted with everyone else at lunchtime and there was much less a "them and us" attitude and the Dutch managers I've worked with are similer One problem with changing careers is acceptance, I know of very few employers who will take staff with no previous experience, you can of course go self employed but that can bring it's own worries. If your happy in the UK great, but for many particularly young people with no house, no chance of getting one, and fierce competition for jobs they would be better off leaving right now, even if they want to come back after a few years they will at least have some language skills, and knowledge of other countries way of conducting business which may give them an edge looking for work when they do come back
  3. No unified voice or opinion amoung the BRICS....just like everyone else then
  4. To be honest I think they have learned from the USSR's mistakes, you can either try to out compete the US military in terms of worldwide power projection and go bust in the process, or you can just sit inside your own borders and get the world to produce most of their goods on your soil, and end up basically owning the US and other countries anyway while spending modest sums on defense sufficient for ...defense. Why bother with destructive wars when you can just slide a bill in front of a powerful nations chancellor with a polite smile on your face and watch him shuffle uncomfortably
  5. ....and a kid making Nike's in the Far East has more available disposable income
  6. Sad to say but I believe you are right, the UK is a beautiful country, has great landscape and history but to be honest economically it is totally screwed up. If you were able to buy when prices were low or bought a council house off of Dear Margaret Thatcher and then used it to buy more properties which you flipped, yes you have probably done well and are now congratulating yourself about how "clever" and prudent you were....you weren't, you were lucky to benefit from a bubble, and a one off political giveaway by the government of the day, probably got your degree paid for by the state, and probably went to just as many parties, or got drunk just as regularly (students haven't changed that much over the years) as students do now, or you were just that boring introvert that every group has, you also probably benefited from company training schemes (graduate or otherwise) which allowed you to get the job you have now, no matter how "tough" you had it finding a job, trust me it pales into insignificance with the task facing young people today. One thing many people who would have young people behave like robots forget is that you are going to die, ...............so am I sadly and so is every other human and animal you will ever meet. When your life flashes before you do you want it to be images of endless drudgery, soulless offices and miserable colleagues, or do you want it to be of foreign locations, parties, and the faces of friends you really enjoyed being with, .....and of your children, having a family in the UK is a big financial challenge. I spent most of my life in the UK as a cog in the machine, I made some good money but in the main I got older. In the last couple of years I have worked in Germany and now the Netherlands, the thing I have found in both countries is food, public transport and utility bills are very cheap (well to a Southerner anyway ), Government and the tax authorities are far more helpful, in the Netherlands mortgage interest is refunded by the government, and after you have worked a few years if you are made redundant benefits are paid at 70% of last salary for a period dependent on the contributions you put in (after 5 years I think it's something like a year), benefits here would make a lot of people on this board speechless, (no the UK doesn't have the most lavish benefits system, actually pretty mediocre particularly compared to many Northern European countries, I'm not even going to mention Scandinavia, would be enough to give some on here an aneurysm) , bank charges pretty much don't exist, and from working in both locations I now have dozens of friends who I go out with regularly, at good restaurants and bars in very nice locations with cheap edible food, oh and due to low fees in the pensions industry the average Dutchman gets double the pension a Brit will get for the same contributions In the UK I lived on microwave ready meals or snacks from the Spar or Co Op, now I mostly buy fresh food and prepare it myself basically because food is so cheap and I don't spend hours either stuck on the M25 or the train. Yes owning your own house is prudent, yes saving is a good idea, but not to the exclusion of everything else. I can't think of a developed country which is as miserable as the UK as a place to live right now, my advice to any young person is travel abroad and find a country that suits you, in the UK unless you have money you will get nowhere and face a life of drudgery to buy a mean little pile of bricks which will either pay for your care home when you get older, or when you die your kids (if you managed to have any) may get just over half the value after tax, or the government gets it To any young person I'd say Investigate where you'd like to live, go there a few times to check (look for cheap offers on RyanAir or Easyjet), look for work there and then move, leave the people with their "£40k to build, now valued at £250,000" 3 bed pre war semi detached palaces to it
  7. ....and watch the value of the cash in that ISA depreciate as the BOE go mad with quantitative easing etc. with the resale value of Apple products they may get a better return from the iPad
  8. None of which changes the fact we are currently in an extreme case of all the above situations, knowing house prices will not be overpriced in the future doesn't help anyone wanting to buy now, if anything it makes them put off the purchase. I also had to look for work in the era you mention, it doesn't approach the situation now, particularly if you are straight from school or Uni and have no experience, there are any number of foreign workers who have experience, training and will work for wages previously only first jobbers or students would work for, this situation has only really arisen in the last 5 or so years. Try finding any company running graduate or apprentice courses anywhere
  9. Exactly, and if you are out of work for any length of time the credit rating agencies and credit companies will ensure you become a credit untouchable for up to 6 years after your problems (I have a number of friends who having lost work are almost immediately hit by the council for council tax arrears, or by credit companies for non payment leading to ccj's and other problems, even if they talk to them and explain the situation the attitude by everyone seems entirely unsympathetic)
  10. Agree 100% A relative of mine did a degree course some 15 years ago where they had to work out the "actual" tax paid in the UK, I think it came out at about 66%, would love to know if anyone has a current estimate
  11. It's a question of degrees, I'm not talking about paradise, but the UK has gone sharply in the other direction Our government thinks only of pleasing large companies and multinationals, you see it in every policy, why do you think we have high immigration (depresses wages, no training programs needed), privitised utilities/transport (large profits for private companies, no comeback on the government for failure). Ministers will feign disgust and amazement to the media but then go and implement policies specifically to make the situation worse, or shore up the existing situation Saw something on the news this morning that most government senior civil service managers and former Defense ministers end up working for BAE. Now I've worked in Germany and Holland I do seem to sense a different attitude here, they tend to support the smaller business a lot more , and offer much more support to allow people to work, (childcare facilities etc)
  12. What they should be doing is creating an environment where small/medium sized businesses can thrive and also attack basic living costs, (rent, food, utilities travel), then jobs, and economic well being follow automatically, if people have sufficient money and job security they will buy houses, and other things too, this is how it always worked in the past Problem is the UK government (of whatever colour) favours the big boys, who are exactly the kind of people who will want to run with minimal staff and low wages, or worse offshore/onshore the lot, we just need a Government who think of the well being of ordinary people first, and want to make the country a nice place to live
  13. A bit misleading as a guide to the tax government takes from you anyway, doesn't include council tax, TV license and a heap of other taxes, the UK government has been very creative in keeping income tax low but getting cash via a multitude of other routes, and other indirect costs due to privatization of utilities travel etc.
  14. Same in Netherlands, in most European countries you also tend to see actual spending by government in terms of keeping the place nice, good infrastructure, and a fairly safe environment, bit of culture shock for the average Brit, mind you we have nice Trident submarines I suppose
  15. The problem is buying a house by obtaining a mortgage is based around an outdated premise, basically that people taking on a mortgage have a job for life, steady, stable, join as tea boy, retire as a senior manager or foreman. That scenario is very rare these days, getting a job in the first place is hard enough for young people, with or without a degree, few careers offer that kind of security except those in government and even those are being cut back. House prices these days are ridiculous, as few people on this site would dispute, you always hear people saying "course I had it tough when I bought my house but I still managed it" ignoring the fact they were likely paying off a mortgage of 40-50k or less, whereas these days young people would need mortgages probably double that or maybe more, against a backdrop of falling or static wages, particularly in London and the South We are currently in the 2000's version if the 1930's (As a matter of fact I saw somewhere the current crisis has lasted longer) but we're judging young people with 1960-80's points of view By the way I'm in my mid fifties, but I've got kids who are late teens early twenties, it's clear to me young people haven't got it easy when it comes to getting stable work or a living wage these days
  16. As I said in a later post: "Ironically capitalism and globalisation's gift to the world may well be socialism, when most work is either offshored to the cheapest wage areas or automated it's either that or mass genocide of some kind, or a Charles Dickens style world of poverty, starvation and crime for those without jobs Don't think they will go the genocide route, industry needs consumers even if they are on minimum wage. "
  17. Too harsh I think, if the things that were obtainable to former generations are realistically unobtainable to this one, why not just blow the cash and have a good time, should they just meekly save every penny in the hope they may be able to buy a one bedroom flat when they are 55? This is a failure of the economy and the market, I don't begrudge younger people having a good time while they are young, life's bad enough without living it like a Trappist monk. Yes you saved and went without to get your house but at the time it was an achievable dream, otherwise you wouldn't have done it, I'm also willing to bet you had secure, reliable employment through the term of the mortgage. I don't think you realise how hard the employment market is now for young people and the extent to which wages have been driven down.
  18. Think what you say about the legal issues are true, also it probably acts as a salve to those still employed at companies "when we make people redundant we of course offer help" Doesn't hide the fact the UK economy needs real jobs. I am a big fan of remote working for traditional jobs, in terms of reducing the strain on travel infrastructure it would bring big benefits, the only downside is the appallingly bad communications infrastructure in the UK, ADSL in most places is crap compared to the services on offer in other countries. Most of my company and colleagues work around Europe but it's nearly always the people in the UK who have slow speeds and erratic service
  19. I think it's because the technology hasn't been quite at the point they need it until recently, ironically scandals (whether real or imagined) at companies like Foxcon will mean that companies will have to reduce competitiveness, by introducing better working conditions (not saying this is a bad thing, just that the reason many companies went east in the first place was laxer employee protection, if regulation is the same in China as in the US or UK it removes another incentive for companies to offshore, and wages in the East are rising). Ironically capitalism and globalisation's gift to the world may well be socialism, when most work is either offshored to the cheapest wage areas or automated it's either that or mass genocide of some kind, or a Charles Dickens style world of poverty, starvation and crime for those without jobs. Don't think they will go the genocide route, industry needs consumers even if they are on minimum wage.
  20. Winning means you actually do, or produce something in the first place which other people want, of course resting on your laurels will lead to failure. Most of the products originating from the East were developed in the West, being a cheap source of labour doesn't guarantee economic success, and in any case inflation in the BRICS is starting to erode the low wage cost advantages, certainly in countries like India this is already happening The rising cost of oil will also make shipping products round the world less sensible as time goes on. The growth of advanced automation will also almost certainly hurt economies reliant on plentiful cheap labour in time, I heard a Government minister recently saying that some manufacturing was already returning to the UK, it wasn't bringing many jobs however as it was heavily automated. Robots don't need wages, or ask for time off, they only need maintenance
  21. If you suggest that economic success is somehow linked to low corruption I would suggest you are ignoring several thousand years of human history, and would also suggest you never get a job in either sales or politics Corruption in one persons dictionary could be called expediency in anothers. Look at any great economic empire and tell me corruption didn't play a big part in it's development, the recent Wikileaks papers on how the US operates show this clearly. The British Empire virtually ran on bribes to local potentates and warlords
  22. And of course Russia, India and China are paragons of virtue with no corruption of any kind whatsoever China and Russia may have a chance, India..unless they change radically will slide back into obscurity, having more poverty than any other country (including Africa) is no basis for establishing an economic powerhouse
  23. Moving to Android was the best thing HTC ever did, they always had good hardware but it was spoilt by the appalling Windows mobile they used to use, used to crash at the drop of a hat. I'm seeing a lot more people with HTC devices since they moved to Android
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