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Namaste

Telegraph: Tom Stevenson Article

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I don't often agree with him but this was a refreshing read today, and deserves some webspace. The whole article is worth a glimpse but I've cut the best few paragraphs below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment...-treadmill.html

We have today a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to throw the cards up in the air and bring them down in a new pattern. It is a moment that demands a clear distinction between what must be done now to prevent recession morphing into slump and what can be done in the longer-term to create a better, more equitable and sustainable economic landscape.

I have four suggestions for the new world. The first is to ensure that the financial services tail is prevented from wagging the economic dog in the way it has over the past 20 years. In the mid-1980s financial services accounted for 4pc of US economic output but this had ballooned to 12pc by 2005, much of it in the form of institutions whose reach was global but which escaped national or international oversight.

Second, we must find space in our education systems to teach our young people about the one subject that each of them will be affected by every day of the rest of their lives – money and how to save it, manage it and invest it for the future.

Only through education can we, thirdly, kick the addiction to debt which everyone agrees has brought us to this point. A people that understands the corrosive effect of uncontrolled borrowing and the magical power of its mirror-image, compounded saving, is a people that will start to ask the right questions.

Among other things, they will want to know how it makes sense to seek to solve a debt crisis by issuing mind-boggling amounts of new borrowings; they will ask why they are being pushed into assuming many thousands of pounds of debts to acquire a university degree that many of them are intellectually unsuited to and which for a while won't even land them a decent job; and they will question a national obsession with property speculation that steals from our children in the good times and throws an unfortunate few on the street in the bad ones.

This, finally, could wean us off a treadmill of consumerism that fills our homes with tat we neither like nor need and which can only be produced at the prices we demand by illegal immigrants earning £3 an hour.

Alternatively, we could just slash the cost of borrowing and print a load of money to get the old show back on the road again. What's the Chinese for missed opportunity?

Edited by Namaste

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nice turn of phrase:

...a national obsession with property speculation that steals from our children in the good times and throws an unfortunate few on the street in the bad ones.

that's it in a nutshell. why are there so many idiots who still to this day think that rampant house price inflation is generally A Good Thing?

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nice turn of phrase:

...a national obsession with property speculation that steals from our children in the good times and throws an unfortunate few on the street in the bad ones.

that's it in a nutshell. why are there so many idiots who still to this day think that rampant house price inflation is generally A Good Thing?

However, I have noticed that I, along with many others here have an unhealthy obsession about property prices. ;)

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I don't often agree with him but this was a refreshing read today, and deserves some webspace. The whole article is worth a glimpse but I've cut the best few paragraphs below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment...-treadmill.html

(snip)

Only through education can we, thirdly, kick the addiction to debt which everyone agrees has brought us to this point. A people that understands the corrosive effect of uncontrolled borrowing and the magical power of its mirror-image, compounded saving, is a people that will start to ask the right questions.

Among other things, they will want to know how it makes sense to seek to solve a debt crisis by issuing mind-boggling amounts of new borrowings; they will ask why they are being pushed into assuming many thousands of pounds of debts to acquire a university degree that many of them are intellectually unsuited to and which for a while won't even land them a decent job; and they will question a national obsession with property speculation that steals from our children in the good times and throws an unfortunate few on the street in the bad ones.

He's missed the key issue. How can the 'magical power of compounded saving' work, in a non-debt-based money system? If we keep the debt-based money system, what alternative can there be to (eventually) 'issuing mind-boggling amounts of new borrowings'?

If we throw the cards in the air but allow them to fall back into the old pattern but with different regulation/ownership structures/goals, nothing will really have changed.

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...a national obsession with property speculation that steals from our children in the good times and throws an unfortunate few on the street in the bad ones.

Just thought that worth repeating.

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they will ask why they are being pushed into assuming many thousands of pounds of debts to acquire a university degree that many of them are intellectually unsuited to

Ouch. Because of course we all know that University should be reserved for the Telegraph journalists children... Not.

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nice turn of phrase:

...a national obsession with property speculation that steals from our children in the good times and throws an unfortunate few on the street in the bad ones.

that's it in a nutshell. why are there so many idiots who still to this day think that rampant house price inflation is generally A Good Thing?

It's amazing that - after so, SO long, this sort of thing is FINALLY being stated in a part of the "mainstream" media.....

It is really so depressing how people just don't get it..... Despair - that's all I really feel... The Vested Interests are working full-time right now to just let everything go back to how it was before.... I just do not know what can be done to stop this - save a really bloody revolution.....

Edited by eric pebble

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He's missed the key issue. How can the 'magical power of compounded saving' work, in a non-debt-based money system? If we keep the debt-based money system, what alternative can there be to (eventually) 'issuing mind-boggling amounts of new borrowings'?

If we throw the cards in the air but allow them to fall back into the old pattern but with different regulation/ownership structures/goals, nothing will really have changed.

Nothing wrong with a debt based system and borrowing as long as the growth is sustainable (i.e. it is related to productivity growth as opposed to asset appreciation). The 'alternative' that should have happened is to let those that lent / borrowed unsustainably (i.e it was obviously never going to be paid back) go to the wall.

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Ouch. Because of course we all know that University should be reserved for the Telegraph journalists children... Not.

Higher education is a good thing in that it broadens the mind and character (or ought to). But there is an unhealthy prejudice against getting your hands dirty. If I wanted to retrain as a plumber, for example, it would be virtually imposssible. Opportunity for learning exists only within certain, narrowly defined categories.

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Higher education is a good thing in that it broadens the mind and character (or ought to). But there is an unhealthy prejudice against getting your hands dirty. If I wanted to retrain as a plumber, for example, it would be virtually imposssible. Opportunity for learning exists only within certain, narrowly defined categories.

Good Post.

Although to be fair, anyone can waltz up to a plumbers business and ask for an apprenticeship, even if they have a degree.

But plumbers without a further education are unlikely to become professionals in other fields.

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Nothing wrong with a debt based system and borrowing as long as the growth is sustainable (i.e. it is related to productivity growth as opposed to asset appreciation).

The trouble is that it's not sustainable as long as we stick to the one planet ... eventually we run out of space and resources, and are forced to reset.

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Good Post.

Although to be fair, anyone can waltz up to a plumbers business and ask for an apprenticeship, even if they have a degree.

But plumbers without a further education are unlikely to become professionals in other fields.

Well, this is like saying "The law is open to all, in the same way that the Ritz Hotel is open to all."

If I wanted to retrain as a plumber, there are no loans/grants available, and you have to study an accredited City & Guilds/NVQ course, especially for central heating. A person with responsibilities in life is not going to be able to become an apprentice.

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If I wanted to retrain as a plumber, there are no loans/grants available, and you have to study an accredited City & Guilds/NVQ course, especially for central heating.

Are you sure???? There are education grants/loans available to almost anyone these days.

A person with responsibilities in life is not going to be able to become an apprentice.

Different question. Why would you breed/buy a house/get in debt if you were not sure of your ability to support that lifestyle?

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The trouble is that it's not sustainable as long as we stick to the one planet ... eventually we run out of space and resources, and are forced to reset.

Sure - but we wouldn't need a big reset if corrections were allowed to happen along the way. Anyway - I like to think that eventually we'll be off this planet and have moon bases and be mining asteroids or some such :P

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Sure - but we wouldn't need a big reset if corrections were allowed to happen along the way. Anyway - I like to think that eventually we'll be off this planet and have moon bases and be mining asteroids or some such :P

Well, that may happen, but how many people could you house on the Moon or on Mars?

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Well, that may happen, but how many people could you house on the Moon or on Mars?

Dunno - how many people lived on moon base alpha in Space 1999?

(the serious long term answer is that the number is limited by the rate that the suns energy can be converted into calories, oxygen, and warmth for the inhabitants - so who knows - depends on technology available at the time)

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Dunno - how many people lived on moon base alpha in Space 1999?

(the serious long term answer is that the number is limited by the rate that the suns energy can be converted into calories, oxygen, and warmth for the inhabitants - so who knows - depends on technology available at the time)

The trouble with some sci-fi is that it seriuosly underrates how uniquely excellent Earth is for producing the means for life to flourish.

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Well, that may happen, but how many people could you house on the Moon or on Mars?

Gerard K O'Neill (author of the High Frontier) asks why, when you'd gone to the effort and expense of climbing out of one gravity well, you'd crawl straight back down to the bottom of another ;)

i.e. he says you'd construct habitats in space itself.

It would require more long-term thinking and gratification-deferral than we're capable of as a species, though.

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Gerard K O'Neill (author of the High Frontier) asks why, when you'd gone to the effort and expense of climbing out of one gravity well, you'd crawl straight back down to the bottom of another ;)

i.e. he says you'd construct habitats in space itself.

It would require more long-term thinking and gratification-deferral than we're capable of as a species, though.

Yes, but I think such an undertaking would bankrupt the planet. Are there any studies around of how much in money and resource terms such an undertaking would cost?

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Yes, but I think such an undertaking would bankrupt the planet. Are there any studies around of how much in money and resource terms such an undertaking would cost?

The High Frontier

From what I recall, O'Neill drew it up as a blueprint that was achievable using resources and technology within reach at the time (mid 1970s, I think). I can't really comment on whether it would have bankrupted the planet or not ... we've squandered an awful lot of resources on activities that are entirely frivolous, and O'Neill didn't envisage everybody living in space in a couple of year's time, so who knows?

(edit: I think he envisaged the enterprise being self-financing after the initial costs were met, and even providing a return on investment, things like space-based/zero-G manufacturing, and orbital solar collectors which would provide cheap energy beamed down to microwave receiving stations -- but I can't find my copy of the book at the moment).

Anyway, it seems clear that if growth is to continue indefinitely, it's going to have to be along the lines that O'Neill proposed. Probably too late now though.

Edited by huw

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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