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Why should they deign to sacrifice 40 hours a week to work when by comparison with working british people even 40 years ago and most of the current world population, they are living in the lap of luxury with every need provided for by the hard work of others?

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Yes, of course- the American approach to welfare is so much more sophisticated after all:

I'm unemployed over two years now, a 99er without any benefits for three months. I followed Unemployed Friends almost from its start, never posted until now, but am grateful for my time with you all. I did as asked with calls and e-mails, etc. I've a confession to make to you all. I'm a criminal.

I've obeyed the 10 commandments and all laws except: I'm unemployed and that's now a crime, I'm poor and that's a crime, I'm worthless surplus population and that's a crime, I'm a main street American Citizen born and raised in the USA and that's now a crime, and I'm euthanizing myself as I write this note -- so arrest my corpse. This isn't a call for help, the deed is done, it's not what I wanted. Death is my best available option. It's not just that my bank account is $4, that I've not eaten in a week, not because hunger pangs are agonizing (I'm a wimp), not because I live in physical and mental anguish, not because the landlady is banging on the door non-stop and I face eviction, not that Congress and President have sent a strong message they no longer help the unemployed. It's because I'm a law abiding though worthless, long-term unemployed older man who is surplus population. Had I used my college education to rip people off and steal from the elderly, poor, disabled and main street Americans I would be wearing different shoes now -- a petty king. Hard work, honesty, loving kindness, charity and mercy, and becoming unemployed and destitute unable to pay your bills are all considered foolishness and high crimes in America now. Whereas stealing and lying and cheating and being greedy to excess and destroying the fabric of America is rewarded and protected -- even making such people petty king and petty queens among us.

Since the end of 2008, when corporate America began enjoying the resumption of growth, profits have swelled from an annualized pace of $995 billion to the current $1.66 trillion as of the end of September 2010. Over the same period, the number of non-farm jobs counted by the Labor Department has slipped from 13.4 million to 13 million -- there is no recovery for the unemployed and main street. We taxpayers have handed trillions of dollars to the same bank and insurance industry that started our economic disaster with its reckless gambling. We bailed out General Motors. We distributed tax cuts to businesses that were supposed to use this lubrication to expand and hire. For our dollars, we have been rewarded with starvation, homelessness and a plague of fear -- a testament to post-national capitalism.

Twelve years ago, I lost the last of my family. Ten years ago, I lost the love of my life, couldn't even visit him in the hospital because gays have no rights. I fought through and grieved and went on as best I could. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Stage 2 high blood pressure with various complications including kidney problems, mild heart failure, Diabetic Retinopathy. These conditions are debilitating and painful. I am on over eight prescribed medications, which is very difficult without insurance and income. But I struggled on and my primary caregiver was very pleased with my effort overtime with my A1C at seven. Still these physical disabilities have progressively worsened, and I have had a harder and harder time functioning in basic ways. All the while, I give thanks to God because I know there are many more worse off than me -- and I tried to help by giving money to charities and smiling at people who looked down and sharing what little I had.

I am college educated and worked 35 years in management, receiving written references and praise from every boss for whom I worked. Yet, after thousands of resumes, applications, e-mails, phone calls, and drop ins, I've failed to get a job even at McDonalds. I've discovered there are three strikes against me -- most 99ers will understand. Strike one -- businesses are not hiring long-term unemployed -- in fact many job ads now underline "the unemployed need not apply." Strike two -- I am almost 60 years old. Employers prefer hiring younger workers who demand less and are better pack mules. Strike three -- for every job opening I've applied, there are over 300 applicants according to each business who allow a follow up call. With the U3 unemployment holding steady at 9.6percent and U6 at 17 percent for the past 18 months, the chances of me or any 99er landing a job is less than winning the Mega Million Jackpot. On top of that, even the most conservative economists admit unemployment will not start to fall before 2012 and most predict up to seven years of this crap.

I believe the Congress and President have no intention of really aiding the unemployed -- due to various political reasons and their total removal from the suffering of most Americans, their cold-hearted, self-serving natures. Had they really wanted to help us, they could have used unspent stimulus monies or cut foolish costs like the failed wars or foreign aid, and farm subsidies. The unspent stimulus money alone cold have taken care of ALL unemployed persons for five years or until the unemployment rate reached 7 percent if Congress and the President really wanted to help us -- and not string us all along with a meager safety net that fails every few months. In any case, if I were to survive homelessness (would be like winning the mega-millions) and with those three strikes against me, in seven more years, I'll be near 70 with the new retirement age at 70 -- now who will hire an old homeless guy out of work for nine years with just a few years until retirement?

So, here I am. Long term unemployed, older man, with chronic health problems, now totally broke, hungry, facing eviction. My landlady should really be an advocate for the unemployed -- she bangs on my door demanding I take action. A phone call and a "please" are not enough for her -- she is angry. She is right to be angry with me, I am unemployed -- as apparently everyone is now angry with us unemployed.

Two hundred and eleven and social services cannot help single men. Food banks and other charities are unable to help any more folks -- they are overwhelmed with the poor in this nation. So I have the "freedom" to be homeless and destitute and "pursue happiness" in garbage cans and then die -- yay for America huh? It's the end of November and cold. A diabetic homeless older person will experience amputations in the winter months. So I will be raiding garbage cans for food, as my body literally falls apart, a foot here, a finger there. I have experienced and even worked with pain from my diseases -- hardship I can face. I just cannot muster the courage to slowly die in agony and humiliation in the gutter.

I have no family, I have no friends. For the past two years, I've had nobody to talk with as people who knew me react to the "unemployed" label as if it were leprosy and contagious. I am not a bad person, in fact people really like me. But everyone seems to be on a tight budget these days and living in incredible fear. It is hopeless since we all are hearing more and more that we unemployed are to blame for unemployment, that we are just lazy, that we are no good, that we are sinners, that we are druggies, yet we are the victims who suffer and are punished while the robber baron banksters and tycoons become senators, congress, presidents and petty kings. So the only option left for me is merciful self euthanasia.

It is with a heavy heart that I have set my death in motion, but what I am facing is not living. So off I go, I have made peace with God and placed my burden on Jesus and He forgives me. This nation has become evil to the core, with cold-hearted politicians and tycoons squeezing what little Main Street Americans have left. It is not the America into which I was born -- the land of the free and the home of the brave with kind folks who help neighbors -- it is now land of the Tycoon-haves and the rest of us have-nots who march into hopelessness and despair.

Every unemployed person I have met over these past two years have been saintly. Sharing what little they have, and being charitable -- being kind and patient and supportive. Isn't it amazing that we Americans who suffer so much, have not taken to the streets in violence, riots or gotten out the guillotines and marched on tycoons and Washington in revolt as would happen in most other nations? But rather we plead with deaf politicians to please help us. We don't demand huge sums -- just 300 bucks a week, barely enough to cover housing for most. Most of all we say, please help us get a job, please allow us dignity.

I can't help but juxtapose our plight to the tycoons and politicians. They are never satisfied with their enormous wealth, and always want more millions no matter whom it hurts. They STEAL from pension funds, banks, the people and government, and little Wall Street investors. Then rather than face punishment, they become petty kings in this world. They are disloyal to America, unpatriotic, and serve their own foreign UN-American greedy causes and demand more and more and more. I feel that this is not the nation into which I was born. I was born in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. America, where people give as much as they receive. America, where all people work for the common good, and try to leave a better and more prosperous nation for the next generation. America, where people help their neighbors and show charity and mercy. This new America is alien to me -- it is an America of greed and corruption and avarice and mean spirited selfishness and hatred of the common good -- it is an America of savage beasts roaring and tearing at the weak, and bullying the humble and peacemakers and poor and those without means to defend themselves. I am not welcome here anymore. I don't belong here anymore. It's as if some evil beast controls government, the economy, and our lives now.

I must go now, my home is someplace else. Goodbye and God bless you all. God bless the unemployed and poor and elderly and disabled. God bless America and the American people except the tycoons and politicians -- may God retain the sins of tycoons and politicians and phony preachers and send them to the Devil.

Mark

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/disillusioned-99er-shares-his-disappointment-american-dream

All this and more awaits us in the brave new future envisaged by laughing boy Dave and his merry band.

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If we restrict people's access to their land, we should expect to compensate them. Free access to land, or compensation for lack of access, allows people to fend for themselves and a life on benefits isn't possible.

Unfortunately we have chosen to protect the elite and maintain the artificial scarcity that funds them and so the benefits issue will always be with us.

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Vid 1: He is correct in what he says.

But why would anyone work a morally repugnant job for financial loss. Marginal deduction rates of 100%+ exist for the youth. The system is at fault.

I'd like to see him in the position of a 22 year old, graduated onto the dole, offered part time work at his own expense, denied a salary sacrifice scheme to make his transport costs tax deductible to give him a chance of NET gain from work, and contributing to a pension on a income less than the dole!

Vid 2: Perhaps, but the forced work should not be objectionable, there should be an element of choice based upon peoples' morality. i.e. you could refuse to work in cash converters on moral grounds, but be forced to clean a bus in the interest of the public.

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If we restrict people's access to their land, we should expect to compensate them. Free access to land, or compensation for lack of access, allows people to fend for themselves and a life on benefits isn't possible.

Unfortunately we have chosen to protect the elite and maintain the artificial scarcity that funds them and so the benefits issue will always be with us.

Eh.. I thought there was a right to roam?

Or are you just saying that anybody should be able to build anywhere they like irrespective of ownership?

If there was a right to build anywhere at will, why would nobody require benefits? Are you just going to eat turnips and watch sheep mating? What about the disabled?

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Guest sillybear2

I love these regular "Newsnight goes off to some poor place up north and interviews the plebs we find" features, the smug journos treat it with all the same curiosity as a report from some violent far flung third world country where everyone speaks a strange language, which isn't far from the truth I suppose. :P

Edited by sillybear2

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Eh.. I thought there was a right to roam?

Or are you just saying that anybody should be able to build anywhere they like irrespective of ownership?

No he said, if land is owned, compensation should be paid by the owners for the the restriction it places upon others

Edited by Stars

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Eh.. I thought there was a right to roam?

Or are you just saying that anybody should be able to build anywhere they like irrespective of ownership?

If there was a right to build anywhere at will, why would nobody require benefits? Are you just going to eat turnips and watch sheep mating? What about the disabled?

Just getting back to first principles - our ultimate source of life is land and natural resources. Private ownership of land means that people cannot live independently anymore, so their ability to give their labour freely disappears - they must work for others or starve - what happens if there aren't enough jobs? As you say we can't go back to all having smallholdings, so a system of compensation from the resource 'owners' to the rest of us, such as a land tax and citizen's income, is required. People can again live independently and with responsibility, the need for benefits disappears.

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No he said, if land is owned, compensation should be paid by the owners for the the restriction it places upon others

He said..

If we restrict people's access to their land, we should expect to compensate them. Free access to land, or compensation for lack of access, allows people to fend for themselves and a life on benefits isn't possible.

So not quite the same.

I know your views on land tax.. It doesn't mean (nor have I heard you argue) that it would eradicate the need for benefits.

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What about the last lot, any blame there?

Of course. But why look to America for a model, as the conservatives always seem to do. There are other places where welfare to work operates and works well- but these tend to be places where social inequality is lower, taxes on wealth higher- not at all something the tories wish to incorporate.

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Just getting back to first principles - our ultimate source of life is land and natural resources. Private ownership of land means that people cannot live independently anymore, so their ability to give their labour freely disappears - they must work for others or starve - what happens if there aren't enough jobs? As you say we can't go back to all having smallholdings, so a system of compensation from the resource 'owners' to the rest of us, such as a land tax and citizen's income, is required. People can again live independently and with responsibility, the need for benefits disappears.

I'm not sure private ownership is the problem.. there are many places in the UK where you can buy large amounts of land relatively cheaply.

Planning permissions (controlled by the government) are what create limited housing supply.. not the private ownership of land.

I am yet to be convinced by the argument that providing unrestricted access to land would eliminate the need for people to claim benefits.

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So not quite the same.

If we restrict people's access to their land, we should expect to compensate them

Are you reading?

I know your views on land tax.. It doesn't mean (nor have I heard you argue) that it would eradicate the need for benefits.

Well, you weren't always paying much attention to my points

Welfare benefits are a kind of cynical and wholly inadequate form of the compensation, granted only because the alternative is to be fvcked up the backside with a pitchfork by the landless. Of course, land makes labour pay this cost so the compensation can never really be afforded and those with labour end up pushing against the compensation because it comes from their meagre wages. Paying the compensation to the landless means you don't have to pay benefits.

Edited by Stars

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Why should they deign to sacrifice 40 hours a week to work when by comparison with working british people even 40 years ago and most of the current world population, they are living in the lap of luxury with every need provided for by the hard work of others?

Forget the rest of the world as we are here not there.

Forget forty years ago as this is 2011 and not 1971 and then turn what you said around and look at it from a different angle .

Why should they work forty hours a week and more ( lots of people expected to do unpaid OT right now which impacts on jobs ) then pay and spend time to travel to and from work , to find at the end of the week they cannot afford a basic standard of living . The problem is the wages in this country are to low compared to the basic living costs.

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Forget the rest of the world as we are here not there.

Forget forty years ago as this is 2011 and not 1971 and then turn what you said around and look at it from a different angle .

Why should they work forty hours a week and more ( lots of people expected to do unpaid OT right now which impacts on jobs ) then pay and spend time to travel to and from work , to find at the end of the week they cannot afford a basic standard of living . The problem is the wages in this country are to low compared to the basic living costs.

Then living costs need to come down then dont they?

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Then living costs need to come down then dont they?

Trouble is that 'living costs' is how the extremely influential collect payments for doing nothing

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Then living costs need to come down then dont they?

Or wages up how about that one ? Since they have been falling in real terms for years.

Until either does happen the people he talks about will carry on as they are now won't they .

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Or wages up how about that one ? Since they have been falling in real terms for years.

Until either does happen the people he talks about will carry on as they are now won't they .

Wages can't go up until there is some production. Unfortunately, production is being destroyed by high living costs

Edited by Stars

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Wages can't go up until there is some production. Unfortunately, production is being destroyed by high living costs

I know it is a catch 22 that has been created by govenment policys and companie greed for the last 30+ years . Problem is the hens are now coming home to roost and the people who have either opted out or been forced out of the work force now get the blame , but they were not the people who cased the problems.

The other thing that no minister will accept is that in this day and age there is not enough work for every adult to work 40 hours a week.

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Are you reading?

The difference is subtle, but important.

In your case land owners should compensate non-land owners. In Shipbuilder's example non-land owners are compensated by everyone.

Welfare benefits are a kind of cynical and wholly inadequate form of the compensation, granted only because the alternative is to be fvcked up the backside with a pitchfork by the landless. Of course, land makes labour pay this cost so the compensation can never really be afforded and those with labour end up pushing against the compensation because it comes from their meagre wages. Paying the compensation to the landless means you don't have to pay benefits.

This is effectively what we do presently.. except we tax in proportion to earnings, not land/property ownership.

You assume if housing was free (ie, no requirement to compensate people for lack of access) people wouldn't need benefits, however, people will always require food, clean water, entertainment, clothes etc. I maintain there is still a requirement for benefits.

There is a good argument for taxing in proportion to land ownership instead of wealth/income, however (as you know), I only support that so far because ultimately it negatively effects income-poor land owners most, and positively benefits high income non-land owners most.

Great for bankers, not so great for people with no money or low incomes..

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Wages can't go up until there is some production. Unfortunately, production is being destroyed by high living costs

Productivity has skyrocketed, in large part thanks to labour saving devices. However, labour hasn't seen the benefit of this, in part due to usurious interest and land speculation. But even in an ideal situation, there will still be a lot of people without a job due to technology advancement (and full employment isn't realistic anyway). Hence per-capita citizens dividends. Mass purchasing power has to exist or mass production is unviable. Unless of course you're one of those malthusian types...

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The difference is subtle, but important.

In your case land owners should compensate non-land owners. In Shipbuilder's example non-land owners are compensated by everyone.

Shipbuilder wrote:

If we restrict people's access to their land, we should expect to compensate them

But non-landowners aren't restricting access or they already pay the compensation in their rent to landlord who then pays the landless (depending on how you want to view it)

You assume if housing was free (ie, no requirement to compensate people for lack of access) people wouldn't need benefits, however, people will always require food, clean water, entertainment, clothes etc. I maintain there is still a requirement for benefits.

That's not what i am saying, i don't suggest housing should be free. Houses take work to construct, they can't be free.

The land however is not constructed and it embeds our liberty to work for our own benefit. If the land is taken, people then have to pay a landowner to gain back their right to look after themselves

LVT unties that knot by making the landowner compensate the landless for the restriction, so allowing the landless to pay for their fair share of land access without working. They can now work without really paying the landlord to do so. The cause of unemployment is the inability of people to pay this price of being allowed to work to the landowner. Take that price away and unemployment falls away to a rump of those physically unable to work. Politicians pretend that unemployment and benefit system issue is a desperately complex and insoluable economic problem...they would have no job without it

There is a good argument for taxing in proportion to land ownership instead of wealth/income, however (as you know), I only support that so far because ultimately it negatively effects income-poor land owners most, and positively benefits high income non-land owners most.

.

The low costs and low taxes would make working for a living, far far easier

Libs, I do in fact owe you an appology. I did a while back consider you to be a dishonest person.

Edited by Stars

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Productivity has skyrocketed, in large part thanks to labour saving devices. However, labour hasn't seen the benefit of this, in part due to usurious interest and land speculation. But even in an ideal situation, there will still be a lot of people without a job due to technology advancement (and full employment isn't realistic anyway). Hence per-capita citizens dividends. Mass purchasing power has to exist or mass production is unviable. Unless of course you're one of those malthusian types..

Just seen a computer called 'Watson' on channel four news that was holding it's own in an american quiz show.

The interesting thing being that the answers were not simple fact regurgitation, but involved reverse engineering words and phrases to deduce the question that might have spawned them- so quite sophisticated stuff (for a computer anyway.)

This is basicly an expert system and the guy that created it was talking about applications in Law, medicine ect. Once these things get going they will not replace the high end aspects of the professions, but could impact on the more routine dimensions and eat a lot of jobs that were once considered safe from automation.

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Productivity has skyrocketed, in large part thanks to labour saving devices.

In recent history, yes, but not right now in the uk. The costs are presently destroying our productivity

However, labour hasn't seen the benefit of this, in part due to usurious interest and land speculation.

Agreed (near enough)

Land price and the activities of land speculators have taken the lions share of the extra production, but there comes a point when the cost feeds back into failing / falling production (crash)

But even in an ideal situation, there will still be a lot of people without a job due to technology advancement (and full employment isn't realistic anyway).

But where is this historical link between technology and unemployment? Unemployment has been a fixed feature of our situation despite technology, since we enlcosed land. IMO It is a fixed historical feature because it has fixed causes that have nothing to do with technology

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  • 284 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% +
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      • up 5%



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