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Britain's Livelihood Crisis

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Here's the TUC report on the falling living standards of Britain's low to middle earners.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/28/Britains_Livelihood_Crisis.pdf

It makes sobering reading. And it emphasises the important point that this trend of flat or declining real incomes predates the 2008 recession. But as I went through it I couldn't help but think that what the TUC really want is to turn the clock back, to return to the post war era where industrialisation meant an abundance of unionised factory jobs that provided relatively high wages for relatively low skills.

That's not going to happen. Those jobs are gone for good. And Britain's deficit means that the relatively high wage/relatively low skill public sector jobs that replaced them are now under threat as well.

It seems to me that the second half of the 20th century was the real aberration, and what's happening now is a return to a harsher world where low to middle income households will have to progressively sacrifice many of the things they've become used to. Foreign holidays, cars, and home ownership, will all be slowly whittled away, leaving a disappointed, angry, resentful, divided nation.

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Here's the TUC report on the falling living standards of Britain's low to middle earners.

http://www.tuc.org.u...hood_Crisis.pdf

It makes sobering reading. And it emphasises the important point that this trend of flat or declining real incomes predates the 2008 recession. But as I went through it I couldn't help but think that what the TUC really want is to turn the clock back, to return to the post war era where industrialisation meant an abundance of unionised factory jobs that provided relatively high wages for relatively low skills.

That's not going to happen. Those jobs are gone for good. And Britain's deficit means that the relatively high wage/relatively low skill public sector jobs that replaced them are now under threat as well.

It seems to me that the second half of the 20th century was the real aberration, and what's happening now is a return to a harsher world where low to middle income households will have to progressively sacrifice many of the things they've become used to. Foreign holidays, cars, and home ownership, will all be slowly whittled away, leaving a disappointed, angry, resentful, divided nation.

Trying to find where I read it now (it was only yesterday) but share of total income in respect of wages, is headed towards 50%, whereas in excess of 60% is thought "desirable."

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Trying to find where I read it now (it was only yesterday) but share of total income in respect of wages, is headed towards 50%, whereas in excess of 60% is thought "desirable."

hourly_earnings_cpi_lies1964on.png

quite shocking people would rather be on the rock and roll, ive no doubt the UK tracks it, POW wages down, BOOM credit up and funnily enough it didnt start on Gordons watch, debt has been replacing income for a long time before that muppet came along, the wonders of inflation GATT and a banking boom, the jackboot of govt on the working class throat only difference is now the accumulated hidden inflation over the period is replacing the debt expansion thats been hiding it, atempting to turn credit inflation of the last few decades into monetary inflation to try to stop collapse

Edited by georgia o'keeffe

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It seems to me that the second half of the 20th century was the real aberration, and what's happening now is a return to a harsher world where low to middle income households will have to progressively sacrifice many of the things they've become used to. Foreign holidays, cars, and home ownership, will all be slowly whittled away, leaving a disappointed, angry, resentful, divided nation.

Yet productivity has never been higher..

Problem is, in order to create a society in which everyone has a decent lifestyle, there has to be redistribution from rich to poor, no other way around it. It also helps if the financial sector is kept on a tight leash... yet there has been a huge amount of propaganda over the last few decades on how low taxes (=less redistribution) and deregulation will make everything better. Only problem is that they haven't , for the majority.

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Yet productivity has never been higher..

Problem is, in order to create a society in which everyone has a decent lifestyle, there has to be redistribution from rich to poor, no other way around it. It also helps if the financial sector is kept on a tight leash... yet there has been a huge amount of propaganda over the last few decades on how low taxes (=less redistribution) and deregulation will make everything better. Only problem is that they haven't , for the majority.

50% top rate of income tax, 40% income tax on "middle earners", 20% VAT...I don't think there's much room for any tax increases. On the contrary, my guess is the next election will be all about tax cuts rather than increases.

By the time of the next election voters will be feeling their financial pips squeak and will be desperate for some relief, and they'll bite hard on the prospect of tax cuts.

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50% top rate of income tax, 40% income tax on "middle earners", 20% VAT...I don't think there's much room for any tax increases. On the contrary, my guess is the next election will be all about tax cuts rather than increases.

By the time of the next election voters will be feeling their financial pips squeak and will be desperate for some relief, and they'll bite hard on the prospect of tax cuts.

20% tax and 12% NI on very low earners , they also pay the 20% vat. The 40 and 50% group at least only pay a 1% NI surcharge when they hit the higher rates of tax. So adding in NI and vat we have a top rate of 51% middle rate 41% and bottom rate 32% they all pay the same 20% vat rate .

If there is no room for tax increases on the two top rates then there must be calls for any cuts in income tax to be directed for those earning peanuts and paying the 32% rate.

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Where there's muck there will always be brass, though

A very good report, lays bare the myths that the VI's have put forward to hide what has really been going on. A damning indictment of the elites as they have asset stripped the uk to enrich themselves at everyone elses expense.

Here's some of the better paragraphs. It left me fuming mad...

These trends have been accompanied by an ongoing wage squeeze, with the share of national output accruing to wage-earners falling from a peak of nearly 65 per cent in the mid-1970s to as little as 53 per cent by 2008. The livelihood crisis and economic instability are now locked together – via soaring inequality – in a dangerous economic vicious spiral. This is because the rising concentration of wealth, driven by the collapsing wage and rising profit share, has not only led to the declining opportunities that underlie the livelihood crisis, but has also contributed to economic fragility. As relative wages fell and purchasing power sank, personal debt soared: as the newly inflated fortunes were turned into giant speculative bets, asset prices boomed. Hence the twin triggers of the credit crisis set in motion by the market experiment.

Although service jobs have been created in large numbers since 1979, once-prosperous areas in the industrial heartlands have been shorn of decently paid, secure work where households could plan for the future. The best of the new jobs have been concentrated in a small number of prosperous areas – mainly London and parts of the south-east. In other parts of Britain, deindustrialisation has brought decaying communities with whole generations denied much economic purpose in life. In some former industrial areas factories have been replaced by little more than car parks, cut-price retail outlets and warehouses. In Stoke, Staffordshire Pottery is now a B&Q; in the Brierley Hill area of the West Midlands, the Marsh and Baxter’s meat processing plant, once the biggest in Europe, is now a shopping centre.

In 2009, there were 2.6 million people receiving incapacity benefits across Britain. The figures started to rise sharply in the recessions of the 1980s and the 1990s when many of those who lost work were encouraged to move from unemployment to invalidity benefit to keep the claimant count figures down and hide the full scale of rising unemployment. Most of these were middle-aged, male workers in badly hit declining industries like mining, textiles and steel. Many have never worked again, resulting in mounting debt and deteriorating health. Although the numbers on incapacity benefits have fallen slightly in recent years, they still stand at nearly three times the level of the early 1970s.

The share of national output going to wages has shrunk from close to 65 per cent in the mid-1970s to 53 per cent in 2008.4 Moreover, this decline was borne almost entirely by the bottom two-thirds of earners. Figure 3 shows the index for the rise in real earnings (for full-time males and adjusted for inflation ) at three different points in the income distribution from 1978 to 2008 (1978 = 100). While real earnings at the 90th percentile doubled over the three decades, real median earnings were 56 per cent higher and real earnings at the 10th percentile only 27 per cent higher.

The shrinking of the earnings pool taken by low- and middle-income workers has led to a sharp rise in the extent of low pay. Thus the proportion of employees whose hourly wages are below two-thirds of the median rose from 12 per cent in 1977 to 22 per cent in 2009.5 In that year, 5.3 million people earned less than £7.28 per hour.6 Those at the very top (roughly the top 0.1 per cent), a group encompassing financiers, bankers and company executives, have ended up in the fast lane of wage growth, enjoying runaway rises in remuneration. While median earnings have risen by 40 per cent over the last decade, for example, remuneration packages for the chief executives of FTSE100 companies have risen by 343 per cent.9

In the UK, 4.3 per cent of the workforce relies on an agency compared with 2.1 per cent in the USA and the Netherlands and 0.9 per cent in Germany.14 Of the estimated 1.5 million people working in temporary jobs, three-quarters take the jobs not out of choice but because they could not find permanent work.15 While the earnings of medics and of judges, solicitors and barristers have more than doubled in real terms since 1978, real earnings in some occupations – forklift truck driving, packing and bottling, and baking – have actually fallen.

Those most vulnerable to what have been described as ‘bad jobs’ are the low paid, poorly qualified and unskilled.16 Such work is strongly associated with multiple spells of unemployment in what the Treasury has called the “low-pay, no-pay cycle”, a situation when workers move between unemployment and low-paid, insecure jobs. “Low paid jobs are more likely to act as a blind alley than as a stepping stone to a position higher up the pay distribution.”17 A report from the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts found that 40 per cent of people moving off JSA into work make a repeat claim within six months.18 This cycle occurs because low-paid jobs are much more precarious than higher-paid ones. Men in the bottom of the earnings distribution are nearly three times as likely and women twice as likely to leave work within a year as those at the top.19

Research by the Institute of Education has found that up to one-third of graduates end up in permanent non-graduate jobs, a situation that worsened during the recession. Those most vulnerable to such downward mobility are those aged over 50 and include professionals as well as the skilled working class. Examples include former IT specialists working as airport baggage handlers, ex-miners and skilled joiners cleaning cars, and upholsterers turning to taxi driving.21

The more fragile working environment from the early 1980s – higher unemployment, deteriorating pay and greater earnings volatility – has brought growing vulnerability to financial insecurity, being in debt (‘indebtedness’) and hardship. The level of personal debt rose from 45 per cent of national income in 1981 to 160 per cent in 2007, a three and a half-fold increase. In 2009, the average UK household non-mortgage debt stood at £9,280, a mix of personal loans and credit card bills. A quarter of the population had unsecured debt of this kind.23 Soaring debt has led to more insolvency, even during the post-millennium boom years. The total number of insolvencies in England and Wales rose more than fourfold from 25,000 in 1991 to 30,500 in 2002 and 106,650 in 2007.24

This risk is exacerbated by the fact that the poorest sections of society have few savings or little in the way of tangible assets. In 2006–08, nearly 3 per cent of the population had zero or negative wealth (defined as all household goods and possessions including cars and owner-occupied houses after deducting financial liabilities), while 10 per cent had less than £7,390. The richest 10 per cent was more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10 per cent.26

These changes sought to bring a commercial culture into the provision of public services, aimed at improving Britain’s relatively poor record on productivity. But there was another goal, to “substitute individual rights for group rights and an individualistic employment culture for a collectivist one”.28 In this way, the process of outsourcing and privatisation contributed to a wider and highly significant new trend – a steady shift in the balance of power in society away from ordinary people and collective organisations to big corporations and those who run them.

the sale of public assets proved a remarkable bonanza for directors and senior managers in the newly privatised industries. A few thousand became very rich. This was only in part the product of the great hikes in top pay at the privatised utilities. Public assets were also mostly sold well below their market value. In the sell-off of British Rail in 1996, for example, the Major government

21 sold at a notoriously low price a lot of old BR rolling stock to one of the new train-leasing companies, Porterbrook, run by a management buy-out team. The directors of Porterbrook paid the Treasury £526 million and then, without spending a penny on improvements, sold it to Stagecoach six months later for £300 million more.

The top managers in the new private companies set up to run outsourced local government and health services also paid themselves a good deal more than former public sector managers, while keeping a firm lid on the pay and conditions of their employees. Profitability in the new service firms depended on “the ability to cut pay, worsen working conditions, reduce hours (for example, to avoid social security overheads and the need for meal breaks) and to intensify work.”30

Gradually, the leading firms in these outsourced sectors – such as Serco, Stagecoach and Capita – increased in size. A similar process was at work in other similar industries – such as hotels, catering and retailing – all of which became increasingly concentrated in the hands of large chains paying low wages and adjusting the size and/or hours of their labour force to fit the changing patterns of demand. While the executives of these firms enjoyed generous pay and fringe benefits along with secure employment and promotion prospects, their staff were often poorly paid and part-time, and dependent on insecure temporary or casual contracts with few employment rights. To remove potential obstacles to change, new measures were introduced to weaken unions, strengthen employers and erode collective bargaining.

Deteriorating job opportunities have been deeply embedded in the policy switches arising from the move from managed to market economies. It was later admitted by one of Mrs Thatcher’s key economic advisers that one of the intended consequences of the new government’s economic strategy was the taming of labour. “The nightmare I sometimes have about this whole experience runs as follows… there may have been people making the actual policy decisions… who never believed for a moment that this was the correct way to bring down inflation,” is how Sir Alan Budd, chief economic adviser at the Treasury in the 1980s summed up – in 1992 – the multi-layered assault on inflation and the unions. “They did, however, see that it would be a very, very good way to raise unemployment. And raising unemployment was an extremely desirable way of reducing the strength of the working classes… that what was engineered there, in Marxist terms, was a crisis of capitalism which created a reserve army of labour and has allowed the capitalists to make high profits ever since.”31

The rise of finance has kept the pound higher than would be justified by Britain’s economic strength. This over-valuation has been, in part, due to factors outside government control such as the discovery of North Sea Oil, which increased exports. But the high pound has also been an explicit government policy – followed by all governments of the last two decades – to give preference to financial services and their need to attract global footloose capital. Despite the protestations of industry, these huge capital inflows have had the effect of pushing up the sterling exchange rate.

Finance’s obsession with short-termism and shareholder value led to the drying up of the long-term ‘patient capital’ that doesn’t demand immediate returns and which is necessary to build the successful, sustainable companies of the future. Funding for training, R&D and innovation slowed as finance could find better returns by industrial restructuring. Between 1991 and 2008, while R&D spending in the USA, France and Germany rose, high-tech investment by British companies fell from 1.0 to 0.8 per cent of GDP.35

Although benefit levels today are roughly the same in real terms as they were in 1980, living standards have almost doubled on average. JSA – £67.50 for a single person over 25 – represents a tenth of average earnings compared with nearly a fifth in 1970.40 Even if allowance is made for the other benefits the unemployed can claim, Britain’s ‘replacement ratio’ – a family’s net out-of-work income as a percentage of in-work income – has fallen sharply over the last 30 years. Benefit levels are well below the OECD average, and among the lowest of any country in the developed world. Thus, for a married couple with two children with average earnings, benefit meets 53 per cent of former net earnings compared with an OECD average of 76 per cent.41

The erosion of the relative value of the basic pension and the abandonment of SERPS have had dramatic consequences for the livelihoods of pensioners. A key part of the then government’s strategy to shift responsibility from the state to individuals and the private sector, the shift has proved a bonanza for the weakly regulated financial services industry but a very poor deal for pensioners and society. Half the population has no pension other than the basic state pension, while those who have poured money into private schemes have mostly ended up with very poor returns.

Underpinning these trends has been a major shift in the structure of economic power in the UK. Power has been transferred upwards to corporate boardrooms and City offices. As alternative sources of power – from trade unions to town halls – have been weakened, a set of corporate executives, bankers and financiers have become the economic power-brokers of the post-millennium era. As one expert has put it, “…at no previous time in British history have the financial and business elites been as dominant as they are today”.42

Banking and finance should play a vital role in any economy, ensuring that savings get translated into productive investment and that there is sufficient liquidity to fund expanding world trade. Without this role, economies would quickly grind to a halt. Yet the volume of global financial transactions now greatly exceeds the amount necessary to facilitate economic trade. Around three-quarters of the $4 trillion worth of currency trades undertaken each day – three times the 2001 level – are unrelated to the buying of goods and services.43

Before the credit crunch, the UK’s finance industry made big claims for its expanded role. First, to have vastly increased the liquidity of financial markets – thereby enabling a higher level of national and world economic activity. Second, to have created new instruments that reduced the level of risk, thus improving the efficiency with which resources are allocated. So persuasive were these claims that Britain’s financial institutions achieved a remarkable level of political backing that came close to canonisation. As the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown told his City audience at the annual Mansion House lecture in 2007: “I congratulate you on these remarkable achievements, an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the City of London... I believe it will be said of this age, the first decades of the 21st century, that out of the greatest restructuring of the global economy, perhaps even greater than the industrial revolution, a new world order was created.”

One of the City’s main roles should be to provide medium- and long-term capital for business development, contributing to the patient organisation-building on which enduring companies and long-term wealth creation are founded. Yet finance has a poor record in encouraging productive investment, with a very small proportion going to new business start-ups or helping small and medium-sized firms expand and too much going to commercial property, shopping malls and financial speculation.

In 2007, while banks were investing some £50 billion in manufacturing, close to £800 billion went on a variety of financial transactions, mostly involving complex products such as derivatives which, as became clear, greatly increased the fragility of the financial system. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman observed in 2008, the derivates bubble was unlike previous bubbles in that it left no legacy of infrastructure like a railway network or the internet.50

The loss of jobs can be especially heavy in the case of the scores of British companies taken over by overseas buyers in recent years. When it comes to the crunch, head offices in France, Germany or China are more likely to put domestic factories first. When the American firm Kraft bought one of the UK’s iconic companies, Cadbury’s, in 2010, it borrowed close to £11 billion – much of it provided by British banks and hedge funds at a time when smaller, successful companies were being starved of credit. Despite a promise to keep open Cadbury’s plant at Somerdale in Bristol and save 400 jobs, days after the takeover was agreed Kraft reneged on its days’ old commitment. The merger was also to result in the loss of 150 jobs at Cadbury’s head office in Uxbridge.

While workers on the factory floor faced new uncertainties over their futures, Cadbury executives pocketed millions in cash and shares from the sale. Todd Stitzer, the Cadbury chief executive, received about £20million and Henry Udow, the chief legal officer, close to £8 million. In 1993, Kraft had swallowed up another iconic British chocolate company, Terry’s and, in a wide-ranging rationalisation of its European operations, cut over 2,500 jobs, nearly 10 per cent of the European workforce. Despite a promise not to move its York headquarters, by 2005 Kraft had closed Terry’s factory at York – where it made the chocolate orange – with the loss of 316 jobs, all moved to cheaper facilities abroad.

Far from adding to the size of the economic cake, an increasing proportion of financial activity has been geared to the transfer of existing rather than the creation of new wealth. All mergers and acquisitions, for example, involve a transfer of ownership and a re-arrangement of existing wealth, always upwards. Most forms of speculative activity do the same.

The second main way that this financial activity has contributed to the livelihood crisis is its organisation of deals in a way that squeezes the economy’s tax base. Not only does leveraging multiply the number and scale of deals, it brings big tax savings. As the interest on the debt acquired for restructuring can be offset

30

against profits for tax purposes, the high levels of borrowing in private equity have often reduced corporation tax payments to zero. Before Debenhams was taken over by a private equity consortium in 2003, it paid annual corporation tax of some £40 million. Because of the £1.37 billion the consortium borrowed to finance the deal, the department store chain stopped paying corporation tax altogether in the time it was under private ownership.

Before it was taken over in a massive private equity deal in 2007, Boots used to pay between £120 and £150 million a year in tax. Since the take over it has paid virtually no corporation tax, in part by offsetting the costs of financing the deal and in part because the new owners relocated the company’s ownership to Switzerland. It now seems that Cadbury’s new US owners are planning a similar move, to shift parts of the 186-year old company to Switzerland, less than a year after they concluded the takeover.

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A very good report, lays bare the myths that the VI's have put forward to hide what has really been going on. A damning indictment of the elites as they have asset stripped the uk to enrich themselves at everyone elses expense.

I share your concern, it paints a bleak picture. But it also sounds like...well old fashioned TUC speak.

We're not living in the 1950's anymore.

The west no longer has millions of relatively high pay/relatively low skill jobs (and even this report can't quite bring itself to advocate trade restrictions, which is the only way of bringing back big scale industry to these shores), we no longer have a generation in employment that fought two world wars (Land Fit For Heroes has a certain ring about it, Land Fit For Benefits Claimants not so much), and employers are global rather than local (which is why Ireland is causing such ructions in the EU as it realises to attract employers it'll have to cut corporation tax).

The reality is that western economies are growing more and more slowly, and because the big unionised employers have gone the more meagre returns are tending to accrue to fewer and fewer people.

This is just how the world is going to be for the foreseeable future. Living standards for most will decline, leaving the majority angry, bitter, and divided. But there's not much anyone can do about it.

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hourly_earnings_cpi_lies1964on.png

quite shocking people would rather be on the rock and roll, ive no doubt the UK tracks it, POW wages down, BOOM credit up and funnily enough it didnt start on Gordons watch, debt has been replacing income for a long time before that muppet came along, the wonders of inflation GATT and a banking boom, the jackboot of govt on the working class throat only difference is now the accumulated hidden inflation over the period is replacing the debt expansion thats been hiding it, atempting to turn credit inflation of the last few decades into monetary inflation to try to stop collapse

Now, what year did Nixon close the gold window?

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I share your concern, it paints a bleak picture. But it also sounds like...well old fashioned TUC speak.

We're not living in the 1950's anymore.

The west no longer has millions of relatively high pay/relatively low skill jobs (and even this report can't quite bring itself to advocate trade restrictions, which is the only way of bringing back big scale industry to these shores), we no longer have a generation in employment that fought two world wars (Land Fit For Heroes has a certain ring about it, Land Fit For Benefits Claimants not so much), and employers are global rather than local (which is why Ireland is causing such ructions in the EU as it realises to attract employers it'll have to cut corporation tax).

The reality is that western economies are growing more and more slowly, and because the big unionised employers have gone the more meagre returns are tending to accrue to fewer and fewer people.

This is just how the world is going to be for the foreseeable future. Living standards for most will decline, leaving the majority angry, bitter, and divided. But there's not much anyone can do about it.

...agree with many of your sentiments.....those that are on high pay low skill jobs are holding tight on to them, the next in line to take them will not be so highly paid collecting the same long term benefits....perhaps the scales of balance are leveling between the west and the east. ;)

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Yet productivity has never been higher..

Problem is, in order to create a society in which everyone has a decent lifestyle, there has to be redistribution from rich to poor, no other way around it. It also helps if the financial sector is kept on a tight leash... yet there has been a huge amount of propaganda over the last few decades on how low taxes (=less redistribution) and deregulation will make everything better. Only problem is that they haven't , for the majority.

You just don't get it.

The big government / welfare state model has failed utterly.

The only way forward now is lower taxes, smaller government and a minimal welfare 'safety net'

And this is what will happen eventually - because the only alternative is bankruptcy.

:blink:

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You just don't get it.

The big government / welfare state model has failed utterly.

The only way forward now is lower taxes, smaller government and a minimal welfare 'safety net'

And this is what will happen eventually - because the only alternative is bankruptcy.

:blink:

Whilst I agree the big government/ welfare model has failed, it was put in place to cover up the ongoing disaster that is outsourcing and globalisation.

The only way forward now is putting the financial/political elites on trial and an end to globalisation.

One question about the TUC report: why the hell has it taken them so long to realise what is going on ?? WHy was this report not written while Labour was in ?!

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I share your concern, it paints a bleak picture. But it also sounds like...well old fashioned TUC speak.

We're not living in the 1950's anymore.

The west no longer has millions of relatively high pay/relatively low skill jobs (and even this report can't quite bring itself to advocate trade restrictions, which is the only way of bringing back big scale industry to these shores), we no longer have a generation in employment that fought two world wars (Land Fit For Heroes has a certain ring about it, Land Fit For Benefits Claimants not so much), and employers are global rather than local (which is why Ireland is causing such ructions in the EU as it realises to attract employers it'll have to cut corporation tax).

The reality is that western economies are growing more and more slowly, and because the big unionised employers have gone the more meagre returns are tending to accrue to fewer and fewer people.

This is just how the world is going to be for the foreseeable future. Living standards for most will decline, leaving the majority angry, bitter, and divided. But there's not much anyone can do about it.

The simple fact of the matter is that the labour, capital and manufacturing markets have become global rather than local.

A high proportion of people in a small number of countries than benefited from fractured labour, capital and manufacturing markets in the past are going to suffer a lot.

A very large number of people in a large number of countries that suffered from fractured labour, capital and manufacturing markets in the past are going to benefit marginally.

Global inequality is reducing. Local inequality is increasing. Wealth is increasing everywhere.

I find the arguments of the left to be a little incoherent. It seems that they are happy to reduce local inequality at the expense of increasing global inequality while also reducing wealth.

Wealth buys food : equality doesn't.

Edited by LuckyOne

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Whilst I agree the big government/ welfare model has failed, it was put in place to cover up the ongoing disaster that is outsourcing and globalisation.

The only way forward now is putting the financial/political elites on trial and an end to globalisation.

One question about the TUC report: why the hell has it taken them so long to realise what is going on ?? WHy was this report not written while Labour was in ?!

Frank Field was asked by Tony Blair to look at welfare and 'think the unthinkable'

When he did so - he was ignored.

Nu Labour inherited the strongest economy we have ever had

If they had got people off welfare and into all the jobs that were created instead of importing millions of migrant workers we would not be in the position we are now.

Instead Labour used the money to buy votes from people on welfare and in the public sector

result - generations of economic stagnation and hardship.

I keep proposing 'right wing' solutions in preference to the 'left wing' solution which would be National Socialism.

:blink:

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You just don't get it.

The big government / welfare state model has failed utterly.

The only way forward now is lower taxes, smaller government and a minimal welfare 'safety net'

And this is what will happen eventually - because the only alternative is bankruptcy.

:blink:

For whom, specifically, and which ones?

You do know the Tories have just put up VAT?

Perhaps you mean lower taxes on Philip Green and all those private equity financed debt laden retailers that don't pay any? Or more tax havens for global corporates? Lower taxes on BTL?

Let's hear it Margaret............

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Frank Field was asked by Tony Blair to look at welfare and 'think the unthinkable'

When he did so - he was ignored.

Nu Labour inherited the strongest economy we have ever had

If they had got people off welfare and into all the jobs that were created instead of importing millions of migrant workers we would not be in the position we are now.

Instead Labour used the money to buy votes from people on welfare and in the public sector

result - generations of economic stagnation and hardship.

I keep proposing 'right wing' solutions in preference to the 'left wing' solution which would be National Socialism.

:blink:

It does seem that the 'left wing' solution is the one that we are going to get no matter how easy it is to see the inevitable consequences.

Is it just me or does Ed Balls' haircut remind anyone else of a horrible little Austrian man from the 1930s?

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How have the salaries of trades' unions leaders fared over the last 30 years?

A bit better than those of their members would be my guess ......

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How have the salaries of trades' unions leaders fared over the last 30 years?

Brendan Barber's position on the Court of the Bank of England was due to expire last week. Did he stay or did he go?

Brendan Paul Barber, Esq.

General Secretary, Trades Union Congress

Date of first appointment in current position 1 June 2003

Expiry date of appointment 31 May 2011

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/about/people/court.htm

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For whom, specifically, and which ones?

You do know the Tories have just put up VAT?

Perhaps you mean lower taxes on Philip Green and all those private equity financed debt laden retailers that don't pay any? Or more tax havens for global corporates? Lower taxes on BTL?

Let's hear it Margaret............

Yawn...its not the tax dodging Spivs that's the problem-if you nailed them all we wouldn't even cover one 6th of this years deficit. Though I know as the good Socialist you are, you want to keep banging that drum.

The main problem is and always will be the thick as sh¡t labour Charlatans who have no understanding of high finance and crash the economy every time they get in office.

Edited by Jack's Creation

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Yawn...its not the tax dodging Spivs that's the problem-if you nailed them all we wouldn't even cover one 6th of this years deficit. Though I know as the good Socialist you are, you want to keep banging that drum.

The main problem is and always will be the thick as sh¡t labour Charlatans who have no understanding of high finance and crash the economy every time they get in office.

wealth disparity is just as big a cause of whats happening as debt expansion, in fact most personal debt expansion is a direct result of wealth disparity, and with semi nationalised banks that personal debt is likely to end up as public debt just as in 08, cost of living in turn has adjusted to the upper quartile of the wealth via asset prices, the so called free market certainly has done nothing to address wealth disparity, itsimply increased since govt intervention, one way to tackle it is taxation if the captured free market wont, currently both the govt and supposed free market are working to increase it. Ultimately wealth disparity helps no one, it will take down the rich and the poor alike

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  • 311 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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