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We're All Scr3W3D Infers The Philosopher John Gray On Radio4


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Philosopher John Gray on Radio4 "A point of view" pretty much says no point saving or thinking about a pension.

All this on Radio4

Are the MSM beginning to wake up to reality. What he says is pretty much repeating many peoples views on here. Radical thoughts.

Bear with it and listen through. It's well worth it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01l8rc1/A_Point_of_View_Price_of_a_Postage_Stamp/

Edited by Redcellar
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Philosopher John Gray on Radio4 "A point of view" pretty much says no point saving or thinking about a pension.

All this on Radio4

Are the MSM beginning to wake up to reality. What he says is pretty much repeating many peoples views on here. Radical thoughts.

Bear with it and listen through. It's well worth it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01l8rc1/A_Point_of_View_Price_of_a_Postage_Stamp/

Pretty much how I see it.

I wonder whether the oligarchy will enjoy their time however, as they may become prisoners of their wealth, although they won't realise this fact.

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Only 5 months behind Paul Mason but good to see more of the media thinking about this.

If pensions are a pipe dream how come so many people are on a well paid 30 year holiday right now?

The present world is hardly similar to Dickens - I don't recall state spending at 50% of GDP in any Dicken's novels. It's worse than that now, with an age apartheid voting in a corporatist state for a cut of the spoils.

Democracy is being used to buy part of the population to look the other way. I don't know about you but that's an infinitely more depressing world than having a minority maintain their wealth through goons with jackboots.

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Only 5 months behind Paul Mason but good to see more of the media thinking about this.

If pensions are a pipe dream how come so many people are on a well paid 30 year holiday right now?

The present world is hardly similar to Dickens - I don't recall state spending at 50% of GDP in any Dicken's novels. It's worse than that now, with an age apartheid voting in a corporatist state for a cut of the spoils.

Democracy is being used to buy part of the population to look the other way. I don't know about you but that's an infinitely more depressing world than having a minority maintain their wealth through goons with jackboots.

Houses are cheap in Syria + no boomers on final salary pensions. I think you would be happy there.

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The impetuosity of youth. I bow to your wisdom:

moses460.jpg

Back to topic. I might get a 30 year holiday, I might finish up with 10 but whatever it is more likely to be a holiday in a B+B than a 5*hotel. My living standards will fall, my living standards are falling, I know and expect this. My living standards falling may help your prospects for a better life at the margins. What would help your prospects for a better life in a meaningfull way is a return to an economics that didn't result in the majority of wealth that is created being 'owned' by a very small number of people. AFAIK not too many boomers with fsp's have much of a stake in the £13tn that is stashed away in offshore accounts.

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Back to topic. I might get a 30 year holiday, I might finish up with 10 but whatever it is more likely to be a holiday in a B+B than a 5*hotel. My living standards will fall, my living standards are falling, I know and expect this. My living standards falling may help your prospects for a better life at the margins. What would help your prospects for a better life in a meaningfull way is a return to an economics that didn't result in the majority of wealth that is created being 'owned' by a very small number of people. AFAIK not too many boomers with fsp's have much of a stake in the £13tn that is stashed away in offshore accounts.

I agree corporations are capturing productivity improvements that could be shared out to enrich the masses.

I also believe that the benefits on offer to pensioners are a big drain on young people. Housing is a major cost to us, forcing us to pledge a lifetime of debt. The main beneficiary of this is those who already own. Yes much of this will never be monetised but the greedy stupid fookers don't know that. Council tax is a major cost and lots of that is going to unfunded final salary pension schemes in local govt. Tax is a major cost and loads of that is going into pension freebies and public sector pensions.

Both are a big problem, however the latter is not some kind of rounding error.

We can't get rid of the corporations enjoying fake competition at the behest of the state because people keep voting in Labour and the Tories who know that if you provide sweeteners like free transport then they will win.

I don't agree with the author of the podcast originally posted in that this is not domination by an elite at gunpoint. It's domination by an elite using democracy by buying off the king-makers. Who pretend they have no idea what all the fuss is about.

At least if I had a boot in my face I'd have to give them points for honesty.

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Only 5 months behind Paul Mason but good to see more of the media thinking about this.

If pensions are a pipe dream how come so many people are on a well paid 30 year holiday right now?

The present world is hardly similar to Dickens - I don't recall state spending at 50% of GDP in any Dicken's novels. It's worse than that now, with an age apartheid voting in a corporatist state for a cut of the spoils.

Democracy is being used to buy part of the population to look the other way. I don't know about you but that's an infinitely more depressing world than having a minority maintain their wealth through goons with jackboots.

Yes, it's over the top to suggest that we will regress back to Victorian levels of hardship.

It would have been nice if Gray had pointed out that pensions were affordable when they were introduced because the retirement date was calculated to be not long before death for most of us.

We have a household and national debt problem our government would like to inflate away but it's proving to be difficult to really get inflation going so far - today's inflation is very tame compared to the 70s.

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Yes, it's over the top to suggest that we will regress back to Victorian levels of hardship.

It would have been nice if Gray had pointed out that pensions were affordable when they were introduced because the retirement date was calculated to be not long before death for most of us.

We have a household and national debt problem our government would like to inflate away but it's proving to be difficult to really get inflation going so far - today's inflation is very tame compared to the 70s.

Again they act as if it's crept up on us that demographics are a problem. We have known about this for +decades+.

They will not do inflation. It will hurt pensions. If a party does inflation they will be instantly out of office. Government know this.

Witness over a decade of being frozen out of the housing market. Press attention: near zero.

A year of QE effects pensions. Endless moaning. Imagine what serious inflation would do. It's the same for house prices.

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Again they act as if it's crept up on us that demographics are a problem. We have known about this for +decades+.

They will not do inflation. It will hurt pensions. If a party does inflation they will be instantly out of office. Government know this.

Witness over a decade of being frozen out of the housing market. Press attention: near zero.

A year of QE effects pensions. Endless moaning. Imagine what serious inflation would do. It's the same for house prices.

We can't afford to invest in inflation today, simply because we can't afford the pay rises nor the benefits bill. ;)

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Back to topic. I might get a 30 year holiday, I might finish up with 10 but whatever it is more likely to be a holiday in a B+B than a 5*hotel. My living standards will fall, my living standards are falling, I know and expect this. My living standards falling may help your prospects for a better life at the margins. What would help your prospects for a better life in a meaningfull way is a return to an economics that didn't result in the majority of wealth that is created being 'owned' by a very small number of people. AFAIK not too many boomers with fsp's have much of a stake in the £13tn that is stashed away in offshore accounts.

The thing is, it's not possible for everyone to be screvved, it's not even likely for the majority to. In terms of the basics - food and shelter - there is just as much farm production and just as many standing buildings as there were. The same number of people will be able to live in nice Victorian houses in Bournemouth and have fresh cloted cream on their homebaked scones.

The thing that is changing is the working out of what people get to use what resources. There is no longer a direct link between the amount of cash you put into your pension now and the size and location of your retirement house and the regularity of your clotted cream scone consumption.

There is a wider point about consumption of manufactured goods, since their production can shrink so they become more expensive and more scarce, but this is offset by the wonderful world of Wonderpup's automation. Anyway, who cares about manufactured crap if you can sit in the front window of a nice seaside house and have cream teas?

Remember peeps, the world oligarchy can own all the money and all the luxuries but they cant eat all the food or live in all the houses.

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This is why I packed in working aged 43 - 8 years ago.

Didn't see why I should work my balls off so the state could take most of what I earned and give it to people to do nothing

so I decided to get my fair share of the free money, before the wheels came off - which was inevitable.

There is also no point working your nuts off paying into a pension scheme either

because the state will have every penny you manage to accumulate anyway

so you might as well not bother.

:blink:

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Today I was taking a very long walk and I was thinking that there must be millions of young (<50) people with children to who the logical sense is just to give up.

Well it is the logical conclusion for any sane educated person.

This lead me to thinking about the UK housing situation. Soon there must be a corner that will be turned with social housing as there will be so many people demanding it. Perhaps up to 25% of the population.

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Today I was taking a very long walk and I was thinking that there must be millions of young (<50) people with children to who the logical sense is just to give up.

Well it is the logical conclusion for any sane educated person.

This lead me to thinking about the UK housing situation. Soon there must be a corner that will be turned with social housing as there will be so many people demanding it. Perhaps up to 25% of the population.

That's what I did, but I had paid the mortgage off my home before doing so.

Personally I think most 'boomers' have large homes and very few children

people could easily start sharing homes again

which would destroy the housing market

and there would be no need for social housing

:blink:

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That's what I did, but I had paid the mortgage off my home before doing so.

Personally I think most 'boomers' have large homes and very few children

people could easily start sharing homes again

which would destroy the housing market

and there would be no need for social housing

:blink:

People will have to learn how to live together again before multi-family house sharing will work. Too many self absorbed, know my rights, wasters out there at the moment.

Pensions will pay a fraction of their current worth, however, short of speculating on precious metals, there's naff all methods of effectively saving out there at the moment. At least with the pension if I assume I'll lose the tax advantage, and my employers' contribution , I may salvage my own contribution. It's a punt, but so is everything else....

Edited by John The Pessimist
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Today I was taking a very long walk and I was thinking that there must be millions of young (<50) people with children to who the logical sense is just to give up.

Well it is the logical conclusion for any sane educated person.

+100

I never understood this at a visceral level until I found myself in the position.

(This is the Australian circumstances; from what I recall of the UK the sums there are likely ot be very similar.)

Presently, Mrs Woods and I have paid for housing. Once we had a child, the benefits kicked in. As I'm concentrating on a project that should turn into a profitable business within a few years, I have been bringing in (circa) $21,000p.a. doing some consulting and through investments. Mrs Woods gets over $18,000 per year for a single child. It's not a fortune, but with a little frugality one can live well and last year we saved about $10,000.

The interesting bit follows: if either of us earn more than an extra $1500 p.a. from where we are now, the family as a whole (taxes plus loss of benefits) has a marginal tax rate of 82%, rising to 94.5% if I were to earn an extra $16000. If I was to double the amount of consulting I did (bringing in say $42k instead of $21k) I would get to see less than $3000...and this does not include the opportunity cost or the expenses of working or the need to run a second car. Mrs Woods has some time on her hands, and could easily earn a fair bit of money by working from home...but what is the point when she keeps no more than 18% of what she earns for the next $20k. The huge stretch of earnings where one has to pay 82% to 94.5% effective tax that one has to cross before you get to keep 60 cents in the dollar is hugely demotivating. The only reason the whole country isn't doing what we are doing is because they are struggling with a mortgage/the rent, have some victim like work ethic, or are too innumerate to do the sums.

So, in summary, we are now scrounging on the state (i.e. other taxpayers), not working when we could, because it would cost us (and the well being of our children) to do otherwise. I hate that the system is set up like this; when we had no children and were earning £100,000 p.a. we paid tax through the nose and all we got from the government for it was a ramping of house prices and rampant inflation. F*** them, I don't care anymore, especially when I see the cushy deal my friends in the public service get.

My understanding from what others have posted on HPC is that family tax credits in the UK lead to a similar scenario for household incomes between £14k and £40k.

I was offered a job in Melbourne not so long ago, paying over $100k. We did the sums; after we took into consideration rent, and the cost of working we would be no better off than sitting where we are on benefits (except I would have to go to commute and work all day) unless my wife also went out to work and dumped the little'un in child care (which we don't want to do.)

Of course things would be different if we didn't own our own housing.

The whole system is completely and utterly f***ed. It cannot go on like this. What cannot go on forever must eventually stop.

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+100

I never understood this at a visceral level until I found myself in the position.

(This is the Australian circumstances; from what I recall of the UK the sums there are likely ot be very similar.)

Presently, Mrs Woods and I have paid for housing. Once we had a child, the benefits kicked in. As I'm concentrating on a project that should turn into a profitable business within a few years, I have been bringing in (circa) $21,000p.a. doing some consulting and through investments. Mrs Woods gets over $18,000 per year for a single child. It's not a fortune, but with a little frugality one can live well and last year we saved about $10,000.

The interesting bit follows: if either of us earn more than an extra $1500 p.a. from where we are now, the family as a whole (taxes plus loss of benefits) has a marginal tax rate of 82%, rising to 94.5% if I were to earn an extra $16000. If I was to double the amount of consulting I did (bringing in say $42k instead of $21k) I would get to see less than $3000...and this does not include the opportunity cost or the expenses of working or the need to run a second car. Mrs Woods has some time on her hands, and could easily earn a fair bit of money by working from home...but what is the point when she keeps no more than 18% of what she earns for the next $20k. The huge stretch of earnings where one has to pay 82% to 94.5% effective tax that one has to cross before you get to keep 60 cents in the dollar is hugely demotivating. The only reason the whole country isn't doing what we are doing is because they are struggling with a mortgage/the rent, have some victim like work ethic, or are too innumerate to do the sums.

So, in summary, we are now scrounging on the state (i.e. other taxpayers), not working when we could, because it would cost us (and the well being of our children) to do otherwise. I hate that the system is set up like this; when we had no children and were earning £100,000 p.a. we paid tax through the nose and all we got from the government for it was a ramping of house prices and rampant inflation. F*** them, I don't care anymore, especially when I see the cushy deal my friends in the public service get.

My understanding from what others have posted on HPC is that family tax credits in the UK lead to a similar scenario for household incomes between £14k and £40k.

I was offered a job in Melbourne not so long ago, paying over $100k. We did the sums; after we took into consideration rent, and the cost of working we would be no better off than sitting where we are on benefits (except I would have to go to commute and work all day) unless my wife also went out to work and dumped the little'un in child care (which we don't want to do.)

Of course things would be different if we didn't own our own housing.

The whole system is completely and utterly f***ed. It cannot go on like this. What cannot go on forever must eventually stop.

Are you both Australian?

Are the benefits means tested like some in the UK? Housing benefit being the big one.

I'm in the awkward position in the UK of supporting a family on one wage, just over that £40k figure and often it does feel like why do I bother.

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Are you both Australian?

Are the benefits means tested like some in the UK? Housing benefit being the big one.

I'm in the awkward position in the UK of supporting a family on one wage, just over that £40k figure and often it does feel like why do I bother.

Ms Woods is English, but as she is married to me and has been in country for 2 years, so is effectively Australia as far as benefits go.

They are means tested, which is why the marginal tax rate gets so high. Once she earns more than $1500 per annum, or I earn more than about $22k we lose 60 cents in the dollar. Combine this with other taxes, medicare levy etc., and we hit a marginal rate of up to 94.5% as stated above.

Housing benefit isn't so generous here, so if we didn't own a home we would be struggling (but surviving).

At one point work was looking pretty thin on the ground and social security suggested I shut up shop and go on the dole. My jaw nearly hit the floor! (I haven't stooped that low yet, but there are some advantages. You can get social security here for starting a business provided you are already in receipt of social security in some form or another...so I could close up shop, go on the dole, earning more or less what I do now, then apply for the new business scheme and get a decent qualification as well as financial support.)

On a positive note, asset testing in Australia is reasonable. You are allowed $273,000 in assets if you own a home or circa $420,000 if you don't own a home before your benefits are affected...certainly better than the £6000 in the UK. Having said that for some benefits (unemployment) you may be expected to keep yourself with your assets for a period of time (up to 13 week iirc, depending on how much you have). This doesn't apply to parenting payment which my wife is in receipt of.

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