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An Alternative Way Out Of This Mess

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An old, naive idea: If people spent less on housing, they could work for less.

In return for accepting a lower salary, they could work shorter hours. That would mean more jobs, which would mean less welfare payments. It would also mean greater productivity, because two people working 2.5 days a week will produce more than one working a five day week. If people worked for less (and produced more, too), the goods they produced could come to market at a more competitive price. So we could exchange them for stuff - oil maybe. Hell, we don’t really need all that plastic tat anyway. Why not reduce the working week to two days a week? People will have less plastic tat, but more time to spend with their families, to exercise, to grow vegetables and to learn.

So, lets allow the price of housing to adjust to more sensible levels. Sure, the landowners will grumble, but we outnumber them. Let's put a cap on mortgages of 3x documented single income. As to those that have already taken on higher multiples, they share the blame with the lender so we can allow them a debt jubilee of 50% of the difference between 3x single income and what they borrowed.

And yes, this may be lunacy, but I think it adds a nice counterpoint to the lunatic idea that currently holds sway: That a steadily reducing number of workers can support more and more parasites in greater and greater luxury by taking on more and more debt, as long as we keep the price of everyones shelter unaffordably high and don't stop the bankers from looting from everyone.

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Sure, the landowners will grumble,

In the begining there was only land theft

& some of that land inconveniently had peasants thereon <_<

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Guest sillybear2
In the begining there was only land theft

& some of that land inconveniently had peasants thereon <_<

The peasants working the land and giving over half their output under duress is the only thing that gives the land any value. The Domesday book basically listed people and animals as collateral for the king to borrow against, nothing has changed.

Edited by sillybear2

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An old, naive idea: If people spent less on housing, they could work for less.

In return for accepting a lower salary, they could work shorter hours. That would mean more jobs, which would mean less welfare payments. It would also mean greater productivity, because two people working 2.5 days a week will produce more than one working a five day week. If people worked for less (and produced more, too), the goods they produced could come to market at a more competitive price. So we could exchange them for stuff - oil maybe. Hell, we don’t really need all that plastic tat anyway. Why not reduce the working week to two days a week? People will have less plastic tat, but more time to spend with their families, to exercise, to grow vegetables and to learn.

So, lets allow the price of housing to adjust to more sensible levels. Sure, the landowners will grumble, but we outnumber them. Let's put a cap on mortgages of 3x documented single income. As to those that have already taken on higher multiples, they share the blame with the lender so we can allow them a debt jubilee of 50% of the difference between 3x single income and what they borrowed.

And yes, this may be lunacy, but I think it adds a nice counterpoint to the lunatic idea that currently holds sway: That a steadily reducing number of workers can support more and more parasites in greater and greater luxury by taking on more and more debt, as long as we keep the price of everyones shelter unaffordably high and don't stop the bankers from looting from everyone.

To some extent people can make this choice already, for example by living in another country, living further away from london, living in a smaller house, etc. It's a hard choice to make in the face of so much social pressure to do the opposite, i.e. climb ladders to earn more money to show that you can keep up. I know I can make the choice to work less ... but the hardest thing is not that it is impossible to do, but to do so is to risk alienation from friends, family and others. So therefore f*** it i'm going to do it! Now I need to see if my boss will let me do 4 days a week.

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To some extent people can make this choice already, for example by living in another country, living further away from london, living in a smaller house, etc. It's a hard choice to make in the face of so much social pressure to do the opposite, i.e. climb ladders to earn more money to show that you can keep up. I know I can make the choice to work less ... but the hardest thing is not that it is impossible to do, but to do so is to risk alienation from friends, family and others. So therefore f*** it i'm going to do it! Now I need to see if my boss will let me do 4 days a week.

Its a wonderful concept, being able to choose your lifestyle, but you need money to exercise this option. in the bad old days of union organisation and the division of labour, this concept was at the forefront of working class ideology. today you would need to incorporate these rights into the human Rights legislature, and then watch as employers scream at the additional costs.

Dream on.

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I work as an IT tech for a school, and the hours are spot on for me - 8am - 4pm, working 42 weeks of the year, with an hour for lunch.

I'd be set, apart from house prices being so high I can barely dream of living in one - hence I still live at home with me mammy. :rolleyes: (I am 23)

Looks like I'm going to have to ditch a job I enjoy and end up working much longer hours in a much duller job if I want something as outlandish as my own roof over my head... cheers Bulls.

I look at workers in corporations and it looks like they've had the life beaten out of them. Yeah, that's the life for me.

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I work as an IT tech for a school, and the hours are spot on for me - 8am - 4pm, working 42 weeks of the year, with an hour for lunch.

I'd be set, apart from house prices being so high I can barely dream of living in one - hence I still live at home with me mammy. :rolleyes: (I am 23)

Looks like I'm going to have to ditch a job I enjoy and end up working much longer hours in a much duller job if I want something as outlandish as my own roof over my head... cheers Bulls.

I look at workers in corporations and it looks like they've had the life beaten out of them. Yeah, that's the life for me.

Do not worry prices still have another 30% to fall. Unfortuneatly governemnt spend will also fall by 20% so I hope you can hold on to the job!

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I work as an IT tech for a school, and the hours are spot on for me - 8am - 4pm, working 42 weeks of the year, with an hour for lunch.

I'd be set, apart from house prices being so high I can barely dream of living in one - hence I still live at home with me mammy. :rolleyes: (I am 23)

Very few generations could expect to have an own home at 23. When I was your age (a young graduate), I was paying about two-thirds of my post-tax pay on rent for my part of a flatshare. A bottom-of-the-market flat, well below the level of housing benefit, and without luxuries like hot water that worked.

Think of your position as a reversion to something closer to a long-term norm.

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An old, naive idea: If people spent less on housing, they could work for less.

In return for accepting a lower salary, they could work shorter hours. That would mean more jobs, which would mean less welfare payments. It would also mean greater productivity, because two people working 2.5 days a week will produce more than one working a five day week.

Doesn't work like that. That would be a case of winding the economy down: less economic activity, and consequently less employment. Not necessarily a bad thing (that's a matter of your viewpoint), but we'd be materially poorer.

To stimulate more employment, you need to reform the benefits system, so that work pays. A much lower minimum safety-net level, but one which you don't lose because you make a few quid. The twin evils of the poverty trap (working people who have less than they would do on benefits) and benefits trap (can't/won't work because you can't afford the loss of benefits) are what kills work and productivity on the margins.

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An old, naive idea: If people spent less on housing, they could work for less.

In return for accepting a lower salary, they could work shorter hours. That would mean more jobs, which would mean less welfare payments. It would also mean greater productivity, because two people working 2.5 days a week will produce more than one working a five day week.

Doesn't work like that. That would be a case of winding the economy down: less economic activity, and consequently less employment. Not necessarily a bad thing (that's a matter of your viewpoint), but we'd be materially poorer.

I'm not sure what the outcome would be on productivity.

But if people spent less on housing, they would certainly be able to spend more of what they do earn on something else. Heck - they might even be able to save more (!).

No - people would rather sell ever more expensive houses to each other, meaning larger debts, giving more money to banks in interest payments, leaving future generations to taken on even more debt (and so on, and so on).

Because this view (that HPI is good) is so entrenched, and continued VI ramping abounds, I think the benfits of less expensive housing will unfortunately be seen as an outlandish idea for a long time yet.

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Because this view (that HPI is good) is so entrenched, and continued VI ramping abounds, I think the benfits of less expensive housing will unfortunately be seen as an outlandish idea for a long time yet.

You hit the nail on the head (sadly).

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Sadly, I shouldn't say this as a single woman born in the Greer era - but a lot of this house price stuff has been fueled rather nastily so - by govnt and bankers alike.

Because women were able to earn another income - houses prices have just sky-rocketed as a result - because bankers and govt saw the opportunity to grab parts of the second income.

Women thought it was a means to keep independence - govt and money fraudsters saw it as an excellent means by which to fuel the economy to the madness we have today.

And to this day we are in a situation were one single person will never afford a place to live unless on a silly salary.

And a single man has to wait until his 30's before contemplating a family - whilst contemplating his wife not working - perish the thought she stays at home and raises the kids.

It was a great idea - that women could be recognised not only for child-bearing and being forced to stay at home and look after the kids and "Daddy" (all over again) - was a lovely dream that women could be recognised for having other skills to bear and being a partner in a marriage.

Sadly the government - including Maggie's government corrupted that - and have forced women to be mortgage slaves in the same way as their husbands - because they saw the opportunity to make more money.

Rather than - keep market forces low - so that - ooops - oh yes - house prices should climb ... we'll get more income .... because there was the duel income - oh and houses prices rose - and rose ..... and all the rest have just followed.

I'm not saying that we go back to little women status - but that frankly ... all those around the immancipation of women saw the opportunity to make money and have used it such that today's family has to have a duel income to survive unless the man is on above average salary.

Maybe now we have to go back to single income basis - that even if you are married - you can only have one salary as the mortgage.

That way you have a choice - and you can keep fueling the property market in a sustainable level.

You have a small home to start with but with duel income you can pay off sooner and then get to another level if you forgo your kids. And you can only get your next home when you've paid X% down - or market forces mean you've saved enough to go to the next level.

But if you forgo your kids when young in favour of a huge house - you can't qualify for IVF unless you pay privately because you've left it too late?

Shoot me down ... ready for it.....

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The peasants working the land and giving over half their output under duress is the only thing that gives the land any value. The Domesday book basically listed people and animals as collateral for the king to borrow against, nothing has changed.

Amazing how a touch of sophistication cons the peasantry though.

Striving for a mortgaged hive in the land of their birth; & they rarely question this because they are competing with each other.

So simple & works so well.

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Its a wonderful concept, being able to choose your lifestyle, but you need money to exercise this option. in the bad old days of union organisation and the division of labour, this concept was at the forefront of working class ideology. today you would need to incorporate these rights into the human Rights legislature, and then watch as employers scream at the additional costs.

Dream on.

You are right ... it is a dream. Most employers wont want to accomodate people working very flexible hours when their customers want 24/7 service (or at least normal working hours service).

The irony would be me working 3 days a week, and then getting irate if I couldn't visit my local bank or post office on the Thursday because they've done the same thing :-)

However some jobs can be worked part time, or even the employer may favour it especially in a bad economy. An experienced worker who can work 3 days a week is less of a salary demand for a company. No training needed, can hit the ground running, and the company doesn't have to find funds for a full time salary.

So the dream may still work but it requires a bit of hunting. It is not offered on a plate or by legislation and probably never will be. Like a lot of things in life it's up to the individual to find it and grind it!

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Sadly, I shouldn't say this as a single woman born in the Greer era - but a lot of this house price stuff has been fueled rather nastily so - by govnt and bankers alike.

Because women were able to earn another income - houses prices have just sky-rocketed as a result - because bankers and govt saw the opportunity to grab parts of the second income.

Women thought it was a means to keep independence - govt and money fraudsters saw it as an excellent means by which to fuel the economy to the madness we have today.

And to this day we are in a situation were one single person will never afford a place to live unless on a silly salary.

And a single man has to wait until his 30's before contemplating a family - whilst contemplating his wife not working - perish the thought she stays at home and raises the kids.

It was a great idea - that women could be recognised not only for child-bearing and being forced to stay at home and look after the kids and "Daddy" (all over again) - was a lovely dream that women could be recognised for having other skills to bear and being a partner in a marriage.

Sadly the government - including Maggie's government corrupted that - and have forced women to be mortgage slaves in the same way as their husbands - because they saw the opportunity to make more money.

Rather than - keep market forces low - so that - ooops - oh yes - house prices should climb ... we'll get more income .... because there was the duel income - oh and houses prices rose - and rose ..... and all the rest have just followed.

I'm not saying that we go back to little women status - but that frankly ... all those around the immancipation of women saw the opportunity to make money and have used it such that today's family has to have a duel income to survive unless the man is on above average salary.

Maybe now we have to go back to single income basis - that even if you are married - you can only have one salary as the mortgage.

That way you have a choice - and you can keep fueling the property market in a sustainable level.

You have a small home to start with but with duel income you can pay off sooner and then get to another level if you forgo your kids. And you can only get your next home when you've paid X% down - or market forces mean you've saved enough to go to the next level.

But if you forgo your kids when young in favour of a huge house - you can't qualify for IVF unless you pay privately because you've left it too late?

Shoot me down ... ready for it.....

Well in the old days, a single man might be able to buy a house, but a single woman probably couldn't (and was in fact disbarred from holding a mortgage).

Wherease nowadays, thanks to feminism, we have equality of opportunity, because now nobody can afford to buy a house!

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An old, naive idea: If people spent less on housing, they could work for less.

In return for accepting a lower salary, they could work shorter hours. That would mean more jobs, which would mean less welfare payments. It would also mean greater productivity, because two people working 2.5 days a week will produce more than one working a five day week. If people worked for less (and produced more, too), the goods they produced could come to market at a more competitive price. So we could exchange them for stuff - oil maybe. Hell, we don’t really need all that plastic tat anyway. Why not reduce the working week to two days a week? People will have less plastic tat, but more time to spend with their families, to exercise, to grow vegetables and to learn.

So, lets allow the price of housing to adjust to more sensible levels. Sure, the landowners will grumble, but we outnumber them. Let's put a cap on mortgages of 3x documented single income. As to those that have already taken on higher multiples, they share the blame with the lender so we can allow them a debt jubilee of 50% of the difference between 3x single income and what they borrowed.

And yes, this may be lunacy, but I think it adds a nice counterpoint to the lunatic idea that currently holds sway: That a steadily reducing number of workers can support more and more parasites in greater and greater luxury by taking on more and more debt, as long as we keep the price of everyones shelter unaffordably high and don't stop the bankers from looting from everyone.

I think you're spot on.

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France with the 35 hour work week and 10 weeks of vacation seems a lot less affected by the unemployment problems than other developed nations. I personally believe in the national dividend as the way to deal with this problem of technological unemployment. But it can be done in combination with regulations such as the French have.

If you look at modern Britain a great number of people work in jobs that are completely pointless. We create insanely complicated laws and regulations, then need an army of highly trained and skilled people just to navigate the complexity that we needlessly created. We need less and less people to provide things that people actually need. For example 50 French Areva EPR nuclear reactors would provide all the electricity we need.. to fully staff all 50 would take 20,000 people. Hardly anything in a nation of 60 million.

For young people housing cost is like 50% of their income. Now imagine homes fall in half in price.. that would bring it to 25% for the young. The 25% decline in their expenses is the equivalent to them taking 3 months a year off of work and enjoying the exact same lifestyle they do now.

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Shoot me down ... ready for it.....

Great post and I agree. Insisting on smaller multiples of salaries would encourage a genuine housing ladder again. People could afford a starter home on a single, reasonable wage and move into bigger places should they repay enough (or create equity) to allow them to afford a bigger place should they choose to.

People are slaves to their own desires though. You only need listen to the TV media to see people complaining about not being able to borrow enough, rather than worrying about why they need to borrow so much.

I'm all for open markets, but the bankers will always try to lend as much as they can, which pushes up prices. Worse still, when they lend too much, they then get the tax payer to bail them out. If they're going to be treated like they are semi-nationalised, they should have a semi-nationalised protocol. This would include mortgage multiple caps for 'the good of the people', even if the people don't see the immediate benefit (not their fault, the economics isn't always obvious to people). Capping the silly money bonuses and CEO remuneration would be a good idea too.

A world where our additional income can be used to better our own lives, rather than inflating the income of bankers would be a much fairer world.

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France with the 35 hour work week and 10 weeks of vacation seems a lot less affected by the unemployment problems than other developed nations. I personally believe in the national dividend as the way to deal with this problem of technological unemployment. But it can be done in combination with regulations such as the French have.

If you look at modern Britain a great number of people work in jobs that are completely pointless. We create insanely complicated laws and regulations, then need an army of highly trained and skilled people just to navigate the complexity that we needlessly created. We need less and less people to provide things that people actually need. For example 50 French Areva EPR nuclear reactors would provide all the electricity we need.. to fully staff all 50 would take 20,000 people. Hardly anything in a nation of 60 million.

For young people housing cost is like 50% of their income. Now imagine homes fall in half in price.. that would bring it to 25% for the young. The 25% decline in their expenses is the equivalent to them taking 3 months a year off of work and enjoying the exact same lifestyle they do now.

Agree on all points again.

The problem with high debt levels, fuelled by long working hours results in a much more fragile economy. The government failed to see this coming and didn't help us to avoid it. Now we are seeing those high debt levels becoming suffocating for those who have little or no work. If the debt levels had bee more manageable and the working week less extreme, then the fall out would have been a smaller shock to the system. People should have thought this could happen, but the media was uncritical (and still is, mostly), the bankers were selfish/corrupt and the government was greedy. The average Joe never stood a chance, unfortunately.

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