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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. Most people in universities are on FT contracts, they get letters every 9 months like clockwork. Redundancy is a generous perk you eejit, you get a better pay off. If you count that, I've made about 20 people redundant personally in my time and I'm no grey beard. I don't think you know what you are talking about. And we do have to make a profit 'lol'. I raise about 10 times my salary in a year usually, not counting income from the few patents they can be bothered defending.
  2. Why bother? You seem to be labouring under some pretty serious misconceptions. Piss and moan as much as you like, but neither the student nor the government pays enough to make it especially worthwhile except as a sort of charitable service even now. Stuff your bums on seats, we don't need or want them. I think its ironic that those most insistent about taking on 'private sector values' would be the first to throw their toys out of the pram if ever actually happen. Be grateful you don't get all that you think you want.
  3. The pensions aren't "unfunded", you're talking about one of the largest pension funds in Europe FFS (40th in the world, 3rd largest in Europe behind ABP in Holland and BT). Quite possibly keeping more than one member here in a job with its varied investments. There is a shortfall, a plan to fix it has been released and voted on.
  4. UK IT is an expensive ponzi industry filled with amateurs and bullshitters almost to a man. Hopefully it will all be outsourced to India or even the cloud (depending) and we can all become free of the smelly nerd tax.
  5. I don't really like defending them because they are overpaid, but many of these people lead organisations that are in truth a lot more 'private sector' than many supposedly private manufacturing businesses and service providers. In terms of other employment, they'd likely be welcomed in other countries that, for the time being, admire our system for being the most efficient in the world (ironically enough).
  6. Although it is ironic that having specialised quite heavily to get it, as soon as you do get a PhD it more or less completely ceases to matter what it is in as you then enter a world where people recognise subject divisions are largely marketing fictions.
  7. Its a free market. Study here, don't study here, study in France, study in Germany, study in Holland (this is the smart choice btw), go to the states, compete for a scholarship for Cambridge, Cambridge or Cambridge, Mass. You pay your money and you make your choice. This 'encourage' thing is a red herring. And yes, the US government really does encourage children into HE in a way that certainly doesn't happen here. And no, they don't have a history of paying for it, you've got two entire generations on the GI Bill amongst other things.
  8. I haven't been funded by the state since 2002/3, since when I've done lots of marking, teaching, supervising and so on. I suppose I'm paid by the state in some form, but then I have also handed over millions to the state for the privilege. I'm hardly alone in this either, I'd say this was typical for people in substantive subjects, not sure about the humanities/hobbies subject types. In principle I could have pocketed the money and done some of the work at home (perhaps 'home' could be in Switzerland or something) and outsourced the lab work to East Asia. Perhaps that is what I should do in future, its better for the country apparently.
  9. Grant Shapps is introducing a 'right to move' and prepared to legislate. This could have quite interesting implications. I'd assume what will happen is that the population of London will get steadily younger while more scenic retirement locations will get older. Its fine if you are a Tory (ie. you live in the South East) but its going to murder to the council tax payer in the South West who is going to find themselves living in a retirement county and having to pay for everyone else's care for 25 year etc etc. This would be fine if we had national policies but the Tories are hellbent on 'localism' and 'big society'. The message is clear, move to London or expect to fund and have to carry out quite a lot of bumwiping over the next decade.
  10. None. Research funding subsidises teaching, not the other way round. I realise this contradicts "common sense" and 99% of the commentary you've ever read or heard about this issue but that is the fact of the matter.
  11. The problem isn't the absolute rate of pay vs. benefits. The problem (and what you'll NEVER get boomers to understand so lets just draw a line there) is that the defining quality of the NMW McJob is that it has no prospects whatsoever. Service sector jobs have been turned into process-following. You can't excel in them anymore than you can fail in them (unless you don't turn up, steal from the til or whatever). You just follow the process, any nervous system with basic verbal comprehension and arms and legs can do it to an acceptable level of performance, the jobs are designed that way. If there was a way of working your way up from the tools, as used to be the case, then the case for working for a low wage is quite clear. In today's hollowed out and gutted capitalism dystopia, its a waste of time.
  12. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM!????? Sorry for caps but this is driving me nuts. Where eh? Everyone is tapped out, personally, family-wise, institutionally, governmentally, internationally. Where do these rotting old farts think unemployed Gen Xs and Ys are going to get a further 20% on a 250k 1-bed flat from? Idiots.
  13. I think the late 90s/00s rediscovery of Jane Austen was a sort of lurch back from 70s feminism in that direction. Austen makes a more sympathetic case for 'marrying a rich man' as a lifestyle goal (and how this doesn't make you a whore at all), although it does seem to overlook that Austen's heroines have basically zero opportunities for independent earning...
  14. Not a shocker is it. 80% of spending decisions are controlled by women, commercials are overwhelmingly aimed at women, as is commercial TV given its main duty is to deliver the right marketing demographic. I think the High Street is pretty much that way as well. Most of my female colleagues have a sporty new German car of some description and live in city centre flats that they own. Most of the men drive old bangers and rent small flats on the unfashionable next town up. I have no idea what this means, but it means something.
  15. To be honest I don't think they even know what they want to that degree of clarity. Sorry folks, calling it as I see it.
  16. I once went to a meeting where there were five other people. It became apparent over the course of the meeting (1) they were all there to manage me (2) they didn't have any understanding of the work I was doing. Was very annoying at first but eventually they managed to tangle each other up and I just ploughed on as I'd intended prior to their involvement. Worked out OK in the end.
  17. I think I expressed doubt several times with thought like that in mind. I'm saying the Coalition overplayed its hand politically and now its going to bite them on the ****. To mix a metaphor.
  18. No, that isn't the case. I'm not sure where you've got that idea from(?) George Osborne accused Darling of fiddling the figures and claimed to have discovered that they were 'worse than we thought' (thats a quote btw). It has nothing to do with Mandelson and forms the justification for Osborne and Dave lavishing your money on a new QUANGO to replicate functions already carried out by the Treasury, largely on the basis that in opposition it suited them to say the Treasury lies and in Government it suits them to claim it tells the truth. Disgusting use of public funds but there you are. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/are-the-books-really-in-as-bad-a-mess-as-the-coalition-says-2000518.html<br />http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Finances-39worse-than-we-thought39.6362525.jp<br /><br /> I wonder why the millionaire George Osborne sought to undermine business confidence in the UK? I hope he explains himself.
  19. GDP has risen in services. We have a largely service based economy, it is wrong to assume that it equals people cutting each other's hair. Also construction is up, as are new car sales even after scrappage was stopped. I don't think its all flowers and rainbows either but the Coalition have been wrong footed by (vaguely) good news.
  20. The austerity debate is a separate issue in some ways, as was discussion about how this happened (QE, almost ZIRP) and whether it is a convincing as something sustainable. But Darling's statement is correct, he was right, a hell of a lot of other people were wrong (and some of them are on this forum). I wonder how many will have the intellectual honesty to admit it? Politically, the Coalition do have a problem now. If George Osborne, obviously the pre-eminent intellectual heavyweight of his generation, has misjudged the situation, he will have enough of the blame for the ensuing double-dip and possible depression on his hands and invoking the spectre of Gordon is -- rightly or wrongly --weakening as an argument by the day. The economy Labour left us with is strengthening...how will it fare when its properly on Osborne's watch? Unfair perhaps but there it is.
  21. You're quite right but over the last 50 years we've seen a move from the firm being responsible for training, to the state being responsible for training and now to the individual being responsible for training. The problem with the scenario you describe, which I'd like to see as well, is they'd be off to do consultancy after three years and not repay the costs of training. Joined up thinking would be not to pay expensive consultants several times what you pay your own workers but thats obviously far to complicated for the prior or current government to grasp. Anyhow, considered the nuclear inspection lot? I got an approach from them a couple of years back. Pays quite well but its a fairly tough job, not really suitable for anyone with a family because its all travel and living out of a suitcase.
  22. So what do you expect admissions tutors to do?
  23. There is also an advanced argument concerning how much of the wealth you produce in an advanced economy is in fact "yours" anyway. Ayn Rand's cheap trick was always to make her protagonists the producers of infrastructure. In real life the problem is (1) the things she credits them with are impossible, she couldn't even invent a plausible example when she was free to invent whatever circumstances she wanted (2) private infrastructure projects invariably bankrupt generations of people until a profit is made, if indeed profit is ever made. Then there are issues of security, the enforcement of the rule of law and all that stuff. If you were given the money to open a bicycle shop in Somlia and your friend was given the money to open a bicycle shop in Chelmsford, I think its likely you'd suspect somehow that the other guy had a bit of an advantage over you despite paying a slightly higher rate of tax. Wonder why? Never heard a compelling answer to the issue of public health incidentally. After asking Injin a few hundred times I eventually gave up because an answer was never forthcoming
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