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I don't require tradespeople anymore. I have yet to come across a job that I can't do cheaper and as good as myself. Just plastered my first wall (50kg plaster) and it it straighter/smoother than the original. Floorining/painting plumbing is all done better than the people who are on the end of yellow pages. My dad used to do all his own sh*t and luckily taught me how to do it. Almost every tradesperson will try on some cr*ap or alternatively just be sh*it. I'm an engineer and when you ask thes jokers a simple question you get a load of horsesh*it back.

Bathroom just retiled for half the cost and looks better than the previous jokers attempt.

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Changing car tyres and engine diagnostics I can't manage to d o and to be fair I can't be arsed to even think about doing it myself. Wiring in my place is just outragously dangerous so I can't make it worse, most swithes are packed out with old newspaper and a lot of bare cable on show.

amen to that brother, exactly my philosophy, i can always buy the tool for a fraction of the labour cost if not in one job then over a lifetime. I've even gone as far as some engine diagnostics, not sure why people are scared of computers in cars when they interact with them in every other walk of life. Just need a cable and a laptop. Otherwise it's pay someone £100 every time a light comes on the dash. But these days we're a minority, i know multiple 30+ year olds who don't know what an angle grinder is (not sure how that became the example) and the only tools in their houses are the little spanners and allen keys that come with flat pack furniture :(

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Imo, the best and only way of getting rid of NMW, is to erase any actual requirement for it.

Low House/Rent prices and a £10k tax threshold would be a good start, or a dose of deflation of course.

Until the wages around the world are largely similar (at least in regard to the education needed to complete the job) then there will be jobs going abroad to take advantage of this. For me, any attempts to price fix would seem pretty futile; the market is trying to eat the difference in yield between the developed and the developing world... this is what the market always does (on the local, national and international scale). Once we have that point clear in our minds, we can then consider what will improve our situation.

So, we ask ourselves - if the labour intensive jobs are going, how can we improve the lot of those feeling the full brunt of this?

Will NMW help? No, it will drive out jobs which are uneconomical at NMW and above.

Do we want to see the poor suffering? No, most people will help where they can, as long as they aren't making too many sacrifices themselves.

Making the UK a cheaper place to live will certainly help and removing the legal/tax advantages to those who want to live off the rent of others will certainly help. This is especially true when much of the benefits given to the poor, finds its way into the pockets of the rentiers, foiling the help they are supposed to offer.

For me, this is why I like the idea of a land value tax and a citizens income. The former is only needed to stop the rentiers moving in and the latter only need to large enough to maintain a basic (read: breadline) existence. It would be reasonable to expect the income from the former to decrease over time, giving less to the latter, but that is exactly as it should be - shelter costs would come down, reducing the need for support. In time, this would mean less money sapped from the poor, helping us to work for less, thus becoming more economical in the global market place, without sacrificing the basic standard of living.

Who would lose? Those who live off the toil of others - the rentier class. Those who offer nothing productive, but just take from the majority. We can do without those sorts and if both the rentier class are encouraged to be productive and the poor aren't constantly struggling to scratch an existence, the UK would be a far better place.

(EDIT: I disagree with needing deflation though, but I've shared my thoughts elsewhere on this forum about this many times)

Edited by Traktion
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Sorry I thought that Dave was the UK PM and that he was trying to say that Britain was 'open for business' and companies should set up and do stuff here so that we can export things and make money. Clearly the only exports he is creating consists of jobs. Still increased profits and bonuses for the execs ... and that is all that really matters.

When Cameroon said the UK would be 'Open for Business' it makes it sound as if the UK was previously closed for business.It just seemed like a strange thing to say.

The man has the same idiotic policies as Brown but is a better public speaker , like comparing Obama and Dubya Bush.

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It isn't just a leveller. It is a race to the bottom in standards. If country A is willing to pollute, let people work 80 hour weeks, discard people who are injured in the work place without decent state support, destroy people's homes without fair compensation etc. then they will, all other things being equal, be able to out compete country B which does not do those things. It is a drive to a lower quality of life for most.

the notion of separate countries is what is being erased. With the much of the developed world at zirp there is precious little difference between their currencies besides the name, and as long as EMs use the $US as reserve currency they can't prevent themselves suffering from inflation and debt growth.

it is impossible to prevent capital, people, work and culture crossing borders with impunity, which means that the borders are increasingly an anachronism.

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The left in wealthy nations are completely incapable of accepting that globalisation makes the local few worse off while making the global many better off.

Neoliberal lies.

There’s much excited talk these days about a great global shift of power, with speculation about whether, or when, China might displace the US as the dominant global power, along with India, which, if it happened, would mean that the global system would be returning to something like what it was before the European conquests. And indeed their recent GDP growth has been spectacular. But there’s a lot more to say about it. So if you take a look at the UN human development index, basic measure of the health of the society, it turns out that India retains its place near the bottom. It’s now 134th, slightly above Cambodia, below Laos and Tajikistan. Actually, it’s dropped since the reforms began. China ranks ninety-second, a bit above Jordan, below the Dominican Republic and Iran. By comparison, Cuba, been under harsh US attack for fifty years, is ranked fifty-second.It’s the highest in Central America and the Caribbean, barely below the richest societies in South America. India and China also suffer from extremely high inequality, so well over a billion of their inhabitants fall far lower in the scale. Furthermore, an accurate accounting would go beyond conventional measures to include serious costs that China and India can’t ignore for long: ecological, resource depletion, many others.

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It isn't so much dictating standards, as altering trade rules so that advantage cannot be taken.

In any case, the problems are intractable. 7 billion of us cannot live in first world standards. Malthus warned us about this in the early part of the 19th century. Technology which he did not foresee allowed us to dodge the bullet for the past couple of centuries, but I think he is going to be proven correct over the next 200 years. There will be a nasty reckoning unless the energy problem is resolved (e.g. fusion power would be a game changer). There is no reaons for we lucky few to throw ourselves on the pyre as well out of a misplaced feeling of guilt.

The simple fact of the matter is that I care more about my relatives and friends, community and country (in that order) than I do about complete strangers. I don't want my community/country destroyed in a futile attempt to fix the world's problems that will probably only be resolved by a mass die off. Selfish I know, but then selfishness is what go the world into this problem in the first place.

(I'd be more than happy to accept a lower standard of living for the benefit of others if I felt everyone would do so...but that isn't how the world works.)

+1

We need to just look after our own families. Nothing wrong with that. Histoically that is why we are living the quality of life we have now compared to the other 90%. The consumers should not deal with outsourcing companies.

We are basically just monkies trying to get "fruit" off one another for ourselves and our own families...

The planet can't handle the people in it already, 25,000 die a day from hunger. If you raise the poor's standard of living there will be more people needing

food the world can't support and even more suffering.

Greed (self interest) is good, greed creates progress. Without greed we will all be dying before our 30s or still single celled organisms.

Hopefully one day will come when we can all be happy and live like in Star Trek but I am not sure it is in our greedy monkey nature to do so, or natural order itself.

You will go mad thinking about it all and in the end realise we are all secretly nazis. Nothing matters anyway though.

Have a nice weekend everyone! :rolleyes:

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the notion of separate countries is what is being erased. With the much of the developed world at zirp there is precious little difference between their currencies besides the name, and as long as EMs use the $US as reserve currency they can't prevent themselves suffering from inflation and debt growth.

This is certainly true. The problem is that the physical and cultural world is not homogeneous, and just as a single currency/interest rate policy is not appropriate across wide territories, neither is completely free movement of capital. Ricardo's advantages of trade due to comparative advantage collapse when capital can move as freely and as quickly as it does now. All you are left with is absolute advantage and a race to the lowest conditions for workers possible.

it is impossible to prevent capital, people, work and culture crossing borders with impunity, which means that the borders are increasingly an anachronism.

Utter rubbish. However, as globalism has become the norm, I will grant it has become more difficult. If the west had any sense they would retreat into some form of protectionism and accept the costs to our standard of living rather than the annihilation that is going to happen at the hand of global capital.

Edited by Tiger Woods?
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+1

We need to just look after our own families. Nothing wrong with that. Histoically that is why we are living the quality of life we have now compared to the other 90%. The consumers should not deal with outsourcing companies.

We are basically just monkies trying to get "fruit" off one another for ourselves and our own families...

The planet can't handle the people in it already, 25,000 die a day from hunger. If you raise the poor's standard of living there will be more people needing

food the world can't support and even more suffering.

Greed (self interest) is good, greed creates progress. Without greed we will all be dying before our 30s or still single celled organisms.

Hopefully one day will come when we can all be happy and live like in Star Trek but I am not sure it is in our greedy monkey nature to do so, or natural order itself.

You will go mad thinking about it all and in the end realise we are all secretly nazis. Nothing matters anyway though.

Have a nice weekend everyone! :rolleyes:

It doesn't matter either way - your standard of living will be eroded relative to those in the developing world, whether we like it or not. The imbalance feeds yield in the global market place until the imbalance has been removed. It is going through this process and has been for several decades. The only reason that many have not cared or noticed until now is because credit growth masked the process; now we are being forced to face it and deal with it.

[bTW, I watched a Comic Relief film the other night. Lenny Henry was staying in a shack next door to another shack with a family living in it. They were incredibly poor, yet they had 8 kids. Is it any wonder that so many die, when they are born into staggeringly poor odds of survival? Surely, the very act of them reproducing is child cruelty. Of course, I had great sympathy for the children and even the struggle of the family. However, the parents really should have been more responsible and had fewer children, abstaining if required; they made a bad situation even worse.]

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This is certainly true. The problem is that the physical and cultural world is not homogeneous, and just as a single currency/interest rate policy is not appropriate across wide territories, neither is completely free movement of capital. Ricardo's advantages of trade due to comparative advantage collapse when capital can move as freely and as quickly as it does now. All you are left with is absolute advantage and a race to the lowest conditions for workers possible.

We were always in a race for the lowest condition for workers possible. That's what the market does. It seeks yield, by exploiting the difference between one option and another; you can't stop this.

What you can do, is assume that technology will ultimately lift people out of poverty. Cheap energy* would be primary to this, as it affects the cost of living in a huge number of ways. This spans from heating, through feeding, to mechanisation.

Unconvinced? Ask yourself this - If you have heat, shelter, clothing and enough food, why would you work unless it is worth your while?

While globalisation is often seen as the developed world exploiting the developing world, we are in fact trading wealth - a decrease** in ours, in exchange for an increase in theirs. The difference which is taken from the difference as profit, is the yield which the people/businesses in the market place extract.

* I believe that new technologies are about to erupt, which will make squabbling over oil history. I expect the world to change for the better as a result.

** Don't confuse this with 'standard of living'. As things get cheaper, you need comparatively less wealth, to maintain the same standard of living. In short, we are spending our surplus on luxuries.

Utter rubbish. However, as globalism has become the norm, I will grant it has become more difficult. If the west had any sense they would retreat into some form of protectionism and accept the costs to our standard of living rather than the annihilation that is going to happen at the hand of global capital.

If you stopped all fiat currencies moving, an Internet based currency would flourish and replace them. It is impossible to stop the transfer of (financial - the one which is important here) capital.

You can stop people, I suppose, but how would that stop global trade? We have so many ways to communicate and exchange wealth and ideas, that preventing the movement of people is pretty pointless anyway in this respect.

EDIT: added a couple of points.

Of course, you could stop the physical movement of goods too and go all protectionist, but then you are limiting the size of the market place. This would make us all worse off in the long run, even if stasis may initially be the outcome.

Edited by Traktion
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I work for al large electrical generation (+gas supplies and networks) company in u,k and seems to me that we are being really hammered by Health & Safety. Our business plan is all about HS & Environment with generation almost appearing as an afterthought. Upper management seem to have no real care for output and their bonus is based mainly around achiving the H&S targets as opposed to availability, start reliability & efficiency. This has got to stop because it costs power stations a fortune with very little gain. People would probably be amazed at how some power plants are managed.

Sound like what happened the US Air Force after Korea. Good kill ratio in Korea, emphasis on safety rather than learning to do the job in training after Korea, lousy kill ratio in Viet Nam.

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In your industry, you have two types of customer :

- A relatively large captive customer base (residential and necessity retailing / manufacturing) which has to eat the compliance costs imposed upon you until they go bankrupt

- A relatively small discretionary customer base which can move to a lower cost environment over time where self imposed costs aren't as large

Many other industries do not have such a large proportion of captive customers and are collapsing.

As a matter of interest, do you think that the 80/20 rule applies to your business? In this case, could you provide 80% of the H&S protection at 20% of the cost?

I would suspect that with the way H&S legislation and litigation is today 95% for 5% would probably be nearer the mark.

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Neoliberal lies.

Is it possible that you are confusing relative with absolute positions? If everyone in the first world were 9% worse off and everyone in the third world were 1% better off, people in the third world's relative position won't have changed much while they are better off in absolute terms.

Whether we like it or not, this is the trend that will probably continue for a long time to come.

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Both ends of the political spectrum are guilty of local rather than global interests.

Guilty of what? Representing the interests of the nation states that elected them to do just that very thing?

I would argue the opposite to be true- so keen are our political class to gain entry into the global elites that they are mostly selling their own populations down the river in order to burnish their 'globalist' credentials.

The problem is that the winners want the losers to continue to play by the old rules while the entire game changes around them- because it suits the winners to perpetuate the now defunct morality of the 'work ethic' while at the same time following policies that ensure that the work involved pays less and less to those who do it.

Thus we get the grotesque spectacle of the poorest people in our society being admonished for their lack of ethics in relation to work while their social 'betters' demand millions of pounds in 'bonus' pay just to do their own f*cking jobs.

A complete and utter joke.

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It doesn't matter either way - your standard of living will be eroded relative to those in the developing world, whether we like it or not. The imbalance feeds yield in the global market place until the imbalance has been removed. It is going through this process and has been for several decades. The only reason that many have not cared or noticed until now is because credit growth masked the process; now we are being forced to face it and deal with it.

[bTW, I watched a Comic Relief film the other night. Lenny Henry was staying in a shack next door to another shack with a family living in it. They were incredibly poor, yet they had 8 kids. Is it any wonder that so many die, when they are born into staggeringly poor odds of survival? Surely, the very act of them reproducing is child cruelty. Of course, I had great sympathy for the children and even the struggle of the family. However, the parents really should have been more responsible and had fewer children, abstaining if required; they made a bad situation even worse.]

I was thinking my own personal standard of living wouldn't be eroded because I have plenty of money to live the rest of my life in luxury, but then I realised you are correct.

We live in a community and if others around me have their standard of living eroded they will be rude to me, rob me or worse, be violent to me, so yes it effects my standard of living too.

Even someone like myself who thinks there is no real point to anything and our lives are so statistically irrelevant that it will be debatetable if they actually occured, does not want to see human suffering in the 3rd world.

So what do we do? If we feed them we create more of them to deal with. If we educate them they compete against us and our standard of living reduces.

People could always have just 1 kid and then bring the population of earth to a manageable state mind you.

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Is it possible that you are confusing relative with absolute positions? If everyone in the first world were 9% worse off and everyone in the third world were 1% better off, people in the third world's relative position won't have changed much while they are better off in absolute terms.

Whether we like it or not, this is the trend that will probably continue for a long time to come.

Except thats not the way its going. To be correct your example would be everyone in the first world 9% worse off, the top 0.001 in the third world 10000% better off, and the other 99.999 in the third world 0.01% better off.

All you need to do is look is look at people such as Mukesh Ambani and his billion dollar home for your proof.

Edited by alexw
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We were always in a race for the lowest condition for workers possible. That's what the market does. It seeks yield, by exploiting the difference between one option and another; you can't stop this.

What you can do, is assume that technology will ultimately lift people out of poverty. Cheap energy* would be primary to this, as it affects the cost of living in a huge number of ways. This spans from heating, through feeding, to mechanisation.

Unconvinced? Ask yourself this - If you have heat, shelter, clothing and enough food, why would you work unless it is worth your while?

While globalisation is often seen as the developed world exploiting the developing world, we are in fact trading wealth - a decrease** in ours, in exchange for an increase in theirs. The difference which is taken from the difference as profit, is the yield which the people/businesses in the market place extract.

* I believe that new technologies are about to erupt, which will make squabbling over oil history. I expect the world to change for the better as a result.

** Don't confuse this with 'standard of living'. As things get cheaper, you need comparatively less wealth, to maintain the same standard of living. In short, we are spending our surplus on luxuries.

If you stopped all fiat currencies moving, an Internet based currency would flourish and replace them. It is impossible to stop the transfer of (financial - the one which is important here) capital.

You can stop people, I suppose, but how would that stop global trade? We have so many ways to communicate and exchange wealth and ideas, that preventing the movement of people is pretty pointless anyway in this respect.

EDIT: added a couple of points.

Of course, you could stop the physical movement of goods too and go all protectionist, but then you are limiting the size of the market place. This would make us all worse off in the long run, even if stasis may initially be the outcome.

Very good post.

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I was thinking my own personal standard of living wouldn't be eroded because I have plenty of money to live the rest of my life in luxury, but then I realised you are correct.

We live in a community and if others around me have their standard of living eroded they will be rude to me, rob me or worse, be violent to me, so yes it effects my standard of living too.

Even someone like myself who thinks there is no real point to anything and our lives are so statistically irrelevant that it will be debatetable if they actually occured, does not want to see human suffering in the 3rd world.

So what do we do? If we feed them we create more of them to deal with. If we educate them they compete against us and our standard of living reduces.

People could always have just 1 kid and then bring the population of earth to a manageable state mind you.

there will always be competition in nature, we just fall over ourselves to feed our guilt complex, that doesn't mean that in reality we wouldn't rather see them all starve than run out of oil.

We are just animals, look to nature for how we will react.

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This is certainly true. The problem is that the physical and cultural world is not homogeneous,

The current events are a result of the world trying to become homogeneous.

If you connect every man and woman worldwide together via telecommunications links, that (homogeneity) is what one would expect.

It can only be stopped by cutting the fiber optic cables under the sea, as Alan B'Stard suggested in another thread. Of course that only works if everyone else cuts their links too, which of course they won't.

and just as a single currency/interest rate policy is not appropriate across wide territories, neither is completely free movement of capital.

it may not be appropriate now, but the world is moving to a situation in which it is appropriate. I reckon the BRICS have max 20 years and more likely 10 years before they are at zirp too as a result of debt growth.

Ricardo's advantages of trade due to comparative advantage collapse when capital can move as freely and as quickly as it does now. All you are left with is absolute advantage and a race to the lowest conditions for workers possible.

its not a race to the bottom, its a race to equilibrium, which of course is the same thing as the lowest common denominator. When that equilibrium is reached the process will stop, as will the permanent inflation, and then an entirely new age we can barely comprehend will begin in which the old rules and assumptions will be irrelevant.

there is no way of stopping it now.

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It can only be stopped by cutting the fiber optic cables under the sea, as Alan B'Stard suggested in another thread. Of course that only works if everyone else cuts their links too, which of course they won't.

What if they do? And what about the growing chance of global trade wars and trade collapse? Neo-Liberal Globalization has essentially failed.

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The current events are a result of the world trying to become homogeneous.

If you connect every man and woman worldwide together via telecommunications links, that (homogeneity) is what one would expect.

It can only be stopped by cutting the fiber optic cables under the sea, as Alan B'Stard suggested in another thread. Of course that only works if everyone else cuts their links too, which of course they won't.

It may not be appropriate now, but the world is moving to a situation in which it is appropriate. I reckon the BRICS have max 20 years and more likely 10 years before they are at zirp too as a result of debt growth.

Its not a race to the bottom, its a race to equilibrium, which of course is the same thing as the lowest common denominator. When that equilibrium is reached the process will stop, as will the permanent inflation, and then an entirely new age we can barely comprehend will begin in which the old rules and assumptions will be irrelevant.

There is no way of stopping it now.

You are 100% right.

The short term end game is that a large proportion of accumulated capital that was assumed to be permanent will prove to be transitory.

It is the destruction of temporary capital that was assumed to be permanent that will allow us to find new but continually unstable equilibria in the future.

As I think that I have said before, "Entropy and the Laws of Economics" is one of my favourite texts. No matter how much we wish that systems were stable, the simple fact is that they are all inherently unstable.

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