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Cogs

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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. Well, public pensions cost 1.5% of GDP (-1.2% cotributions, net 0.3%) at the moment, they will rise to 2% of GDP in 2030 and then fall off again afterwards following reforms put in place some years ago. I'm not sure how an increase of half a percent of GDP will force the nation in default in 20 years time, as if anyone could predict that with any degree of certainty.
  2. So we should hire a load of a cleaners and porters? That would get the averages down. And by spending more money, it would make everything more affordable right? Good idea... Or we could stop pretending the averages are very informative when discussing them without regard to the distribution (and its qualities) that generated them. Or do you think heart surgery should pay the same as stacking shelves?
  3. How is a pension payable in 30 years time a debt? Its a liability but it isn't a debt, it doesn't come due in the next year whatever the comedy value super-mini piechart suggests. What you need is an analysis over time and despite the quote in OP, I don't see how he substantiates the claim.
  4. Yet you have no analysis of the nature of wage labour, statements such as "Think of it like a consumer good, a wage is just a price" demonstrate you aren't prepared to make any serious engagement although we should probably have guessed that from the deeply perverse opening paragraph.
  5. Well look, the study by those long-term fans of public sector largesse the Confederation of British Industry actually concluded that the problem with public sector pay fairness was that it had too narrow a distribution. Which is to say it was too easy to get paid just below the national average and too hard to get much above it. Their proposal was to expand the range in both directions. So sure, Whitehall. But I was only comparing it with a single department of a single bank.
  6. The French are epically ungrateful, its part of their charm. Save a Frenchman from drowning and he'd complain you got him wet doing it.
  7. Who are they going to sell them to? If the do flood the market, where are the gains they were worried about being taxed on going to come from?
  8. Er, you just have When I said "harm's way" I meant literally, not away from the ever-present redundancy axe. You have to think about it, do you want to be a 65 year old social worker and spend your days being spat at, threatened and walking around no-go housing estates in your dotage. If not, probably something you're going to have to settle at least 20 years in advance if not sooner given age vs. chances of getting hired in a completely different job.
  9. Corporate governance. He isn't to blame for operational decisions, he is to blame for 'bigger picture' stuff like strategy and risk management at the corporate level. Also senior remuneration... so guilty as sin really. Northern Rock's problems ran through it from top to bottom like a stick of, er, rock.
  10. True but then again... the nature of many public sector jobs is you start where you're going to finish. If you start out teaching maths, you're going to be teaching maths in 30 years time explaining much the same stuff you were explaining yesterday. You could become a Head Teacher, for example, but most likely you won't. I think this tends to concentrate minds a bit vis a vis whether you actually like your job or not and whether you can sustain it for the rest of your working life. Struggling by for a few years before moving sideways or getting promoted out of harm's way isn't really an option in the same way it is in, say, a corporate setting.
  11. Much higher than in the private sector anyhow. You can add to that the fact that the churn rate for non-administrative public sector jobs has always been ferocious because being a teacher or a nurse or a social worker is very much not for everyone whatever IT bods who have no idea what they are talking about may claim here. Teachers are about as likely to make it through their first three years as a WW2 Spitfire pilot. Indeed, the appearance of being anything like at the requisite strength in these occupations has only been achieved by hiring at quite a rate. When there is a hole in your bucket the only way to keep it full is to put the taps on full blast. I think fiscal hawks should think carefully about this. I don't care how tough talking the coalition are, there is a limit. While money doesn't grow on trees, there are a lot of people they could choose to throw under the bus if things got bad enough. You can't buck the labour market either.
  12. This whole CGT thing has the feel of the infamous 2005 interest rate cut.
  13. I was more interested in his failure to put his ideas about free markets into operation. It failed and the only reason he is still breathing and able to write more junk is that the evil state saved his hide. We've become very casual about what the implications of a full collapse of the banking sector would have been like, much as people are angry about the debt incurred, I think its as nothing to do the violence that would have resulted from the real thing. What I do agree with is that those who whine about the state in an extreme way do so from a position of considerable luxury provided by the institutions they attack.
  14. I had assumed the fat cats were (1) more numerous and (2) better paid. Whether they can admit it or not, I think many of the loudest howlers and table thumpers would agree. So, only the top 171 most senior people in the country, overseeing an apparatus with expenditure of 700 billion-ish (yes, yes, separate argument) are paid more than the PM. The PM, for reference, is paid around the same level as a "teaboy" in a City company (excluding bonuses) and less than a Daily Mail columnist or tabloid sports writer. I don't approve and I don't want to sound complacent about waste, but I just find it deeply underwhelming. Doesn't Applegarth's pension pay more than that? Last year Barclays paid its investment bankers alone an average bonus of 200,000 across 21, 900 employees. Does Barclays bank have a need for high quality staff that is 128 times greater than that of a country of 60 million people? Which would make BarclayLand a nation seven times the size of China if you prefer.
  15. http://www.guardian....ern-rock-ridley Now read on...
  16. Seriously, I really don't think so. Read OP's original post, I'm directly answering him and my answer has the advantage of being both parsimonious and meeting each of his concerns. This is why its so murky and its so hard to really define anything beyond hand-waving like "added value" that seems to be debatable in every context, domain or market situation its tested against, people are looking in the wrong place. "Added value" doesn't exist in the world, it exists on the pages of a ledger. Lateral thinking is required.
  17. What conclusion do you think that implies?
  18. Chasing a phantom here. "Wealth creation" is simply the result of double-entry bookkeeping. You can keep wittering about "wealth creation effect" or "adding value" if you want but it will lead you ever deeper into the fog.
  19. If there is, its coming from the right rather than the left.
  20. Neither military rule or totalitarianism are neither necessary or sufficient. The tenets of fascism are: its a nationalist movement whose aim is national strength. In the maintenance of national strength the following tend to follow (1) the maintenance of a strong, but not necessarily totalitarian, state (2) the purging of weakness seen to undermine national strength (3) the preservation of a strong national culture in the interests of unity (if you don't have one, just make something up) (4) the rejection of foreign influences and foreigners themselves. I think he passes the test, he even accuses people of not being patriotic! You'll note though that in the above, that is neither the view of the Tory party who I consider right wing, nor is it the view of right-wing Ayn Rand libertarian right either so a distinction can definitely be made, its a not a blanket "right wing" thing. The harder distinction is within different types of nationalist movements perhaps and probably goes back to who they think makes up their version of the nation and how they regard interacting with other countries. Some European countries have managed to have strong nationalist movements with a very internationalist emphasis for example.
  21. I'm not stereotyping anyone, his views are fascist. I'm not making a value judgement, people hitherto called themselves fascists and didn't see anything wrong with it. I've said this before; there are a lot of fascists about. Whether they want to own up to the name is neither here nor there.
  22. Fascism is a hardline "Draconian" (Draco wasn't a nice man either mind, probably the first statist as such) movement or philosophy in the interests of national strength through the enduring power of the state. What you've repeatedly described is textbook fascism, you are a fascist. You mightn't like word because it has too much resonance of jackboots and gas chambers around it but thats a separate issue.
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