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Young Britons Have Turned Liberal, Both Socially And Economically

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British politics and the young

The strange rebirth of liberal England

Young Britons have turned liberal, both socially and economically. Politicians need to get on their side

FOR the past 170 years The Economist has consistently advocated free trade, punctured government bloat and argued for the protection of individual liberties. It has also been consistently disappointed. Irksomely, political parties tend to plump either for economic liberalism or for social liberalism. Sometimes a small party boldly tries to combine the two—and is rewarded by becoming even smaller. In the United States our creed is so misunderstood that people associate liberalism with big government, when it advocates the opposite.

Yet now Britain, The Economist’s home, the land of Adam Smith (on lead guitar), John Stuart Mill (bass) and William Gladstone (vocals), there is reason for hope. Young Britons have turned strikingly liberal, in a classical sense (see article).

(Article continues: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578660-young-britons-have-turned-liberal-both-socially-and-economically-politicians-need-get

Politics and the young

Generation Boris

Britain’s youth are not just more liberal than their elders. They are also more liberal than any previous generation. One politician seems to speak their language

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21578666-britains-youth-are-not-just-more-liberal-their-elders-they-are-also-more-liberal-any

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Most are completely apathetic. Probably rightly so, its not like either party offers any alternative.

Unfortunately we will collapse before anything changes.

Most are completely apathetic in all generations. Our parties don't offers any alternative because they all want to please the majority ( = older) voters.

IMHO it's very good that finally we have a generation that is coherently liberal, economically and socially.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Government can't create sustainable growth, don't we know this by now? Just employing people in call centres, billion pound propaganda publicity drives, giving out free computers, buying overpriced crap and such only produces debt. What is wrong with living within our means in a house for living in not for profit? The problem is the education system as well as being useless, is biased towards creating kids that want instant gratification.

Also politicians do not care about your future, their kids will be given jobs by banks and such so creating a huge unsustainable debt is of no consequence to them.

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The loans are on such generous terms that this is still a form of welfare, but it does not feel like it.

I'm afraid I couldn't read anymore after that, as I cracked a rib laughing.

Seriously. The Economist espouses this neo-liberal, free wheeling capitalism nonsense, but corporate/rentierism is what you will end up with (and fuedal rentierism we've always had). Nothing really changes.

The so called parties pander to mainly older home owners to give them a degree of legitimacy

These "voters" are a bit like the family pet, begging to get a bash at driving the family car. It just isn't going to happen.

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I'm afraid I couldn't read anymore after that, as I cracked a rib laughing.

Seriously. The Economist espouses this neo-liberal, free wheeling capitalism nonsense, but corporate/rentierism is what you will end up with (and fuedal rentierism we've always had). Nothing really changes.

The so called parties pander to mainly older home owners to give them a degree of legitimacy

These "voters" are a bit like the family pet, begging to get a bash at driving the family car. It just isn't going to happen.

Who said comedy was dead.

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I'm afraid I couldn't read anymore after that, as I cracked a rib laughing.

(...)

You should have:

The loans are on such generous terms that this is still a form of welfare, but it does not feel like it. In 2010 the coalition government abolished the Education Maintenance Allowance, which had been paid to English teenagers from poor families to persuade them to stay in school. The old, by contrast, have been granted more generous pensions, and will shortly be protected against having to sell their houses to pay for residential care. Small wonder they treasure the welfare state.

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Who said comedy was dead.

Not funny (from last week's editorial) :

Disempowering granny

The Tories are in a bind. Yet all the mainstream parties are to some extent beholden to Britain’s oldies: because they are most likely to vote. That is also why, at a time of austerity, Mr Cameron has found it impossible to cut benefits to pensioners—even a winter-fuel allowance wastefully dispensed to rich wrinklies. He has also promised legislation to guarantee state-funded geriatric care to anyone who has already spent £72,000 ($108,000) on it. The idea is that pensioners should not have to sell their homes to provide for their dotage, which strikes the young folk shut out of Britain’s inflated housing market as rather indulgent. Such tensions will not dissipate. Rather, as in other Western countries with greying populations, they will increase, forcing reluctant governments, in the end, to trim old-age benefits, boost retirement ages and, in Britain, enforce more house-building.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21578419-tory-partys-problems-its-base-are-part-broader-generational-struggle-grassroots

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Not funny (from last week's editorial) :

http://www.economist...ggle-grassroots

.

I know what you are getting at, but you cant really believe "granny" and the wrinkles are really to blame? Like Islamists, and so called welfare "scroungers" they are just the new fall guys.

"Look at over there, wrinklies are holding up the economy, and destroying yoof prospects!"

In the meantine 66 former hereditary peers who sit on a stolen land area equivalent to 4.5 English counties, whistle and pocket another billion in state "entitlements"

Edited by Secure Tenant

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I know what you are getting at, but you cant really believe "granny" and the wrinkles are really to blame? Like Islamists, and so called welfare "scroungers" they are just the new fall guys.

"Look at over there, wrinklies are holding up the economy, and destroying yoof prospects!"

In the meantine 66 former hereditary peers who sit on a stolen land area equivalent to 4.5 English counties, whistle and pocket another billion in state "entitlements"

I fully agree that we have many other problems, and from "the right", like tax evasion for instance, the big builders oligopoly on building land, etc. And problems on the "left", like the state too big and inefficient, welfare, etc. But our biggest problem by far are housing costs, and its root cause was not a right or left issue, but generational: The voting majority property owners blocking any planning liberalisation.

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I have always thought that if I were designing a voting system from first principles that once a cut-off point has been decided over which people are deemed responsible enough to vote, there really ought to be some age weighting to those votes. The most obvious would be to use the demographic statistics to determine the average life expectancy of anyone at a particular age and apply that as a weighting. So if you were lucky enough to live to a hundred and twenty and the average additional life expectancy of people of that age is only half a year more, your vote would count for one a-hundred-and-tenth of the vote of a twenty year-old who was predicted to live to seventy-five, say. After all, on the best available estimate you would be living with the consequences of that decision for a much, much smaller period of time than the twenty year-old.

Equally-weighted votes across the age spectrum, assuming a vaguely usual population distribution across the ages, will tend to favour short-termist thinking*. If you have an oldie population bulge (or indeed over-representation at the polling station), the effect will only be amplified.

* If in simplistic terms we split the populous into young, middle-aged and old and assume that the old only care about the short-term, the middle-aged about the middle term and the short term, and the young about the short, middle and long terms, then it's obvious that the average voter is going to be skewed towards short-termism. (And while this may accurately reflect the population at a snapshot in time it's in the country's interest, and that of every generation in turn, not to selfishly prioritise short-term thinking). And yes, there are arguments to be made about man's tendecy to short-termist thinking as a whole, but the equal weighting of votes must tend to push the average voting issues towards the short-term end of that inherent range!

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I have always thought that if I were designing a voting system from first principles that once a cut-off point has been decided over which people are deemed responsible enough to vote, there really ought to be some age weighting to those votes. The most obvious would be to use the demographic statistics to determine the average life expectancy of anyone at a particular age and apply that as a weighting. So if you were lucky enough to live to a hundred and twenty and the average additional life expectancy of people of that age is only half a year more, your vote would count for one a-hundred-and-tenth of the vote of a twenty year-old who was predicted to live to seventy-five, say. After all, on the best available estimate you would be living with the consequences of that decision for a much, much smaller period of time than the twenty year-old.

Equally-weighted votes across the age spectrum, assuming a vaguely usual population distribution across the ages, will tend to favour short-termist thinking*. If you have an oldie population bulge (or indeed over-representation at the polling station), the effect will only be amplified.

* If in simplistic terms we split the populous into young, middle-aged and old and assume that the old only care about the short-term, the middle-aged about the middle term and the short term, and the young about the short, middle and long terms, then it's obvious that the average voter is going to be skewed towards short-termism. (And while this may accurately reflect the population at a snapshot in time it's in the country's interest, and that of every generation in turn, not to selfishly prioritise short-term thinking). And yes, there are arguments to be made about man's tendecy to short-termist thinking as a whole, but the equal weighting of votes must tend to push the average voting issues towards the short-term end of that inherent range!

As if the people who run the UK actually give a running f*ck how you vote at whatever age.

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Why do you even bother reading this drivel? The Economist ceased to be a credible economic or political reference years ago, most investment banks have cancelled their subscriptions and now only state employees read it.

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FOR the past 170 years The Economist has consistently advocated free trade, punctured government bloat and argued for the protection of individual liberties.

Had the Economist Magazine been published back in the days when slavery was a legal business in the UK they would no doubt have supported it as an example of free trade and condemned as 'government bloat' any attempt to regulate or ban it.

To confuse the use of the term 'free' in free trade with the protection of individual liberties is the core error of the neo liberal cult- free trade has nothing to do with human liberty.

The interesting thing is that slavery was in fact free trade- if we take the neo liberal perspective. After all those slaves freely chose to work in those cotton fields.

How do we know they freely chose to do this?- because they could easily have refused to do so- but they didn't.

Take a more modern example- a woman who works in atrocious conditions in a third world sweatshop for a pittance making clothes that are sold for many many times the price she is paid to make them. She freely chose to work in that sweatshop.

How do we know she freely chose to do this?- because she could easily have refused but she didn't.

So in both cases a free choice is being made.

Of course it could be argued that in the case of the slave that he did not make a free choice because had he refused to work in the cotton fields there would have been a bad outcome for him- he would have been punished for it. So- we could argue- his choice was not free.

So what about the woman in the sweatshop- did she make a free choice? Well again if she did not work in that sweatshop her family might not eat- so for her the outcome of not working in that sweatshop was bad also. So- we could argue- her choice was not free either.

Of course- we could say- the woman did not have to work in that particular sweatshop- and that would be true- but it's also true that conditions are no better anywhere else. How do we know this?

Because if better choices were available those choices would be taken- the very fact that the woman works in such a place for such a wage means that she has no other choices.

And people who have no choices have no liberty. So in what way does free trade differ from slavery? If the outcome for so many is no choices?

Edited by wonderpup

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Had the Economist Magazine been published back in the days when slavery was a legal business in the UK they would no doubt have supported it as an example of free trade and condemned as 'government bloat' any attempt to regulate or ban it.

To confuse the use of the term 'free' in free trade with the protection of individual liberties is the core error of the neo liberal cult- free trade has nothing to do with human liberty.

The interesting thing is that slavery was in fact free trade- if we take the neo liberal perspective. After all those slaves freely chose to work in those cotton fields.

How do we know they freely chose to do this?- because they could easily have refused to do so- but they didn't.

Take a more modern example- a woman who works in atrocious conditions in a third world sweatshop for a pittance making clothes that are sold for many many times the price she is paid to make them. She freely chose to work in that sweatshop.

How do we know she freely chose to do this?- because she could easily have refused but she didn't.

So in both cases a free choice is being made.

Of course it could be argued that in the case of the slave that he did not make a free choice because had he refused to work in the cotton fields there would have been a bad outcome for him- he would have been punished for it. So- we could argue- his choice was not free.

So what about the woman in the sweatshop- did she make a free choice? Well again if she did not work in that sweatshop her family might not eat- so for her the outcome of not working in that sweatshop was bad also. So- we could argue- her choice was not free either.

Of course- we could say- the woman did not have to work in that particular sweatshop- and that would be true- but it's also true that conditions are no better anywhere else. How do we know this?

Because if better choices were available those choices would be taken- the very fact that the woman works in such a place for such a wage means that she has no other choices.

And people who have no choices have no liberty. So in what way does free trade differ from slavery? If the outcome for so many is no choices?

free trade is an economic system. individual liberty is a political/social issue. its perfectly possible to advocate both, but it doesnt mean it must be absolute. those that believe in free trade dont necessarily mean they want it in an unlimited manner. im sure banning citizens from owning nuclear weapons isnt an unacceptable principle from free trade advocates just because it goes against free trade.

also slavery is not a choice, its holding people against their will. someone working in a sweat shop has limited opportunity due to circumstance but they can choose to work there or not, theyre not being held against their will to work there.

and why do you suggest that because she has to work in a "sweat shop" to make money this makes her a slave. what if the factory closed down - does this make her free?

why do you also assume that if you work for someone else who is paying you, your a victim if you have limited choice, yet how many people do you employ and pay their wages.

does that make the employer a bad person for offering a poor wage or is he a good person if he shuts his factory down and offered nobody any wages at all and merely becomes an employee themselves?

Edited by mfp123

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Had the Economist Magazine been published back in the days when slavery was a legal business in the UK they would no doubt have supported it as an example of free trade and condemned as 'government bloat' any attempt to regulate or ban it.

That and loaded questions. Welfare has become something of a dirty word of late conjuring up a Jeremy Kyle sub class.

Actually turn up to teach an unemployment workshop and find the welfare scroungers are in fact like you and me. Clean tidy and presentable with degree's or degree level education, intelligent, articulate and employable.

Its just that many having reached a certain age, some or not that attractive to employers. Many are desperate to work. The system is also producing quite a lot of damaged individuals.

So ask anyone whether people should be less dependent on "welfare" and almost all will agree with that, including those on welfare.

Ask the youth if loosing your job should result in you being homeless, destitute, starve and beg off the streets, you might get a different response.

Then again criticism Free market liberalism, is a bit like attacking communism. A communist might say we have never had a truly communist system, and I doubt we've ever really had free wheeling capitalism. Just the illusion of one.

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free trade is an economic system. individual liberty is a political/social issue. its perfectly possible to advocate both, but it doesnt mean it must be absolute. those that believe in free trade dont necessarily mean they want it in an unlimited manner. im sure banning citizens from owning nuclear weapons isnt an unacceptable principle from free trade advocates just because it goes against free trade.

The Neo Liberals conflate free trade with liberty- or pretend to do so. This allows them to present any attempt to regulate trade as an attack on freedom.

also slavery is not a choice, its holding people against their will. someone working in a sweat shop has limited opportunity due to circumstance but they can choose to work there or not, theyre not being held against their will to work there.

Both the slave and the sweatshop worker have perfect freedom to refuse to work- but this freedom comes with a price- both will suffer negative outcomes if they refuse to comply.

My point then is that mere compliance alone cannot be our metric of free choice- yet this is precisely the metric on offer from the neo liberals- they would and do argue that the fact that our sweatshop worker 'freely chooses' to work there is proof of her liberty.

But then the slave 'freely chooses' to work also does he not? He could just say no-right?

and why do you suggest that because she has to work in a "sweat shop" to make money this makes her a slave. what if the factory closed down - does this make her free?

Your question answers itself- if she has to work in a sweatshop then she is not freely choosing to do so.

why do you also assume that if you work for someone else who is paying you, your a victim if you have limited choice, yet how many people do you employ and pay their wages.

To have limited choice is to have limited freedom- to have no choice is to have no freedom. So if our sweatshop worker has no choice but to take that job then she has no freedom. So how has the free market protected her liberty?

does that make the employer a bad person for offering a poor wage or is he a good person if he shuts his factory down and offered nobody any wages at all and merely becomes an employee themselves?

Am I a good person if I starve my dog but feed it just enough to keep it barely alive? Maybe, maybe not. If I starved my dog because I myself was desperately short of food then I am good- I kept my dog alive. If I starved it while I myself grew obese due to over eating then I am bad because I chose to inflict that suffering without cause on my dog.

The Economist cannot make this rather obvious intellectual distinction- and in any case would blame the dog.

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Had the Economist Magazine been published back in the days when slavery was a legal business in the UK they would no doubt have supported it as an example of free trade and condemned as 'government bloat' any attempt to regulate or ban it.

(...)

Aug 5th 1843 (slavery mentioned) : http://www.economist.com/node/1873493

Slaves are not free.

Poor workers in poor countries have much less freedom than we have. (BTW, their freedom is also limited by richer countries' restrictive immigration policies, ours included.) Within their countries poverty is their main constraint. The best ways to help them is with development. This means keeping or increasing our foreign aid budget, and reducing our/EU protectionism. And these are all liberal policies.

Liberalism/market economies is/are not perfect, of course, as they depend on competently regulated markets (please avoid the "laissez-faire" strawman), but it is by far the best system.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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The Neo Liberals conflate free trade with liberty- or pretend to do so. This allows them to present any attempt to regulate trade as an attack on freedom.

Both the slave and the sweatshop worker have perfect freedom to refuse to work- but this freedom comes with a price- both will suffer negative outcomes if they refuse to comply.

My point then is that mere compliance alone cannot be our metric of free choice- yet this is precisely the metric on offer from the neo liberals- they would and do argue that the fact that our sweatshop worker 'freely chooses' to work there is proof of her liberty.

But then the slave 'freely chooses' to work also does he not? He could just say no-right?

Your question answers itself- if she has to work in a sweatshop then she is not freely choosing to do so.

To have limited choice is to have limited freedom- to have no choice is to have no freedom. So if our sweatshop worker has no choice but to take that job then she has no freedom. So how has the free market protected her liberty?

Am I a good person if I starve my dog but feed it just enough to keep it barely alive? Maybe, maybe not. If I starved my dog because I myself was desperately short of food then I am good- I kept my dog alive. If I starved it while I myself grew obese due to over eating then I am bad because I chose to inflict that suffering without cause on my dog.

The Economist cannot make this rather obvious intellectual distinction- and in any case would blame the dog.

slavery is holding someone against their will. the woman working in the sweatshop doesnt have to work there.

there is a difference between free action and free will. free action is ingrained into everyone unless youve been brainwashed, free will is when youre not constrained, like the slave being beaten up or going to prison if he doesnt comply.

the slave chooses to work in his actions but not in his will.

the woman dosnt have to work at the place in she doesnt want to, the factory owner is offering a job for a certain wage, he doesnt have to offer her a job, she doesnt have to take it. there is no obligation.

saying that she must work though to feed her family well we all need to take a series of actions to feed ourselves. if i was stuck on a desert island i need to rummage for food to eat or i will die, that doesnt make me a slave.

people in the third world have fewer options and opportunities which is no one is denying, they are less free if they have fewer choices but that applies to everyone, that doesn't equate to being a slave.

the employer has no requirement to pay the woman anything or feed her. have you ever walked up to someone randomly and said give me something you owe me something to feed me.

how about i walked up to you at random and said give me £100 week to feed me, it needs to be sufficient to to give me more options if you dont give me enough money or pay millions of other people enough money youre exploiting me. by the way i dont know you, ive never met you, you dont even own a business.

why does the business owner have moral responsibility to pay a certain wage whilst you have no responsibility for others. if you dont employ anyone or pay anyone else money youre doing less for others than the factory owner.

Edited by mfp123

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slavery is holding someone against their will. the woman working in the sweatshop doesnt have to work there.

there is a difference between free action and free will. free action is ingrained into everyone unless youve been brainwashed, free will is when youre not constrained, like the slave being beaten up or going to prison if he doesnt comply.

the slave chooses to work in his actions but not in his will.

the woman dosnt have to work at the place in she doesnt want to, the factory owner is offering a job for a certain wage, he doesnt have to offer her a job, she doesnt have to take it. there is no obligation.

saying that she must work though to feed her family well we all need to take a series of actions to feed ourselves. if i was stuck on a desert island i need to rummage for food to eat or i will die, that doesnt make me a slave.

people in the third world have fewer options and opportunities which is no one is denying, they are less free if they have fewer choices but that applies to everyone, that doesn't equate to being a slave.

the employer has no requirement to pay the woman anything or feed her. have you ever walked up to someone randomly and said give me something you owe me something to feed me.

how about i walked up to you at random and said give me £100 week to feed me, it needs to be sufficient to to give me more options if you dont give me enough money or pay millions of other people enough money youre exploiting me. by the way i dont know you, ive never met you, you dont even own a business.

why does the business owner have moral responsibility to pay a certain wage whilst you have no responsibility for others. if you dont employ anyone or pay anyone else money youre doing less for others than the factory owner.

Your still ignoring the point that if you disempower one group of people (in this case 3rd world poor) to the point that they have no real choice to say no then they are not free. To argue otherwise is just semantics though the neo-libs love to ignore this.

If we are going to advocate for free trade and include liberty under its umbrella as the neo-libs do, then we should also as part of the free trade system promote policies that increase the ability of workers to say no. After all that would vastly increase their liberty and freedom - and thats what you want right? Those polices would naturally include using taxation on the wealthy elites that exist in third world nations to create a safety net and poverty relief. It would include strong pro-union policies. Etc. Etc.

Now, you must surely be for such polices as it increases their relative freedom and liberty to say no, yes?

Of course if we don't do this then we should define and talk about free trade as it truly is right now. Drop the nonsense that it's aim is improve living standards for the masses - it's not. It should be discussed solely and only in the context of increasing the power of global capital and allowing it to capture an ever increasing share of the worlds wealth.

As an example we should have articles in our main stream media, celebrating the fact that bangladesh factory owners were able to force workers to work in a building that later collapsed on them. On how wonderful that free trade has disempowered workers to this extent and how it's a triumph for the aims of free trade - which it certainly is for free trade in it's current incarnation. Of course I don't think the globalists would like any of this, but so what, lets tell the truth for once on what the architects of free trade have designed it to do.

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  • 244 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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