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okaycuckoo

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Another middle class lament in the Telegraph - this bit seems nasty AND delusional:

To me, this is a situation set to breed nothing but fury and a desire for change. Most revolutions are hampered by the “what you’ve never had, you’ll never miss” principle. You can get away with clobbering the poor for generations, because it’s hard to persuade people that a little bit less than the less they had before is the point at which outrage should set in – assuming, of course, that the daily scrabble for individual survival left them time and energy for collective political engagement in the first place.

You are poor AND you were content to let it happen to others.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/recession/10633708/Downward-mobility-Lucy-Mangan-on-the-fall-of-the-middle-class.html

I got the link from here:

http://flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/why-the-middle-classes-are-not-as-posh-as-they-used-to-be/

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Great post/link.

Quote of the day IMO

Once, Pimlico was proof of failure – now it's a delusional dream."

Probably accounts for the social housing envy that manifests itself from time to time

Edited by aSecureTenant

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Now the feeling is that you have to outwit the system in order to survive it. Win the lottery, have a brilliant business idea, marry money (no longer a dream confined to women, by the way) or inherit it from several forgotten aunts or a neighbour whose beloved cat you once rescued – something semi-miraculous that will provide the protection modest living, hard work and hard saving once did.

or become a banker.

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The article makes some very good points, but there is a slightly whingeing tone that implies "it just isn't fair" *stamps foot, lower lip protruding*, as though it was all fine and dandy when it was just the lower classes who were poor, but now it's us too*?! The horror!

(*but not really)

This angry post from the comments just about sums it up:

The middle class are in trouble? Oh, be still my beating heart... For the record, the last time I had a full time job with holiday pay and pension it all ended in October 1981. Since then I have had plenty of jobs, both here and abroad, but all crappy contract things that may have paid well, but gave nothing in the way of security. Now people like you are joining the rest of us and you have no idea how pleasant that is.

As a hackette you will remember when those of your breed voted to walk through he picket lines at Wapping to win Murdoch's strike and put 6,000 printers on the cobbles. Types like you thought that the working class had got above itself and needed putting in its place so you were quite happy to vote for the Maggot during the 1980s because, let's face it, the working class were pricing themselves out of work with their wage demands - I'm sure you remember the guff that people of your class came out with in those days.

Now, capitalism has turned its baleful gaze on you and you don't like it, do you? The 1980s was about increasing profits at our expense and now its at yours, so what's your plan? The middle class are people who haven't got the balls to be workers nor the brass to be gaffers, so you won't strike or riot as you need balls for that. Neither will you hire goons to do your dirty work since you can't afford it.

Gimme one good reason why I should give a stuff about you or your breed?

More class-based squabbling which obfuscates the real picture :rolleyes:

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What is she complaining about? She is 39 and lying:

" House prices started to rocket before I left school and in most middle-class areas have hardly been dented since. "

As someone born in 1974, she would have left school in 1992. Prices started rising 1996/7. She bought a flat in her 20s for £80k, and I wouldn't be surprised if she owns a couple of BTLs by now (no telling)

If she was 10 years younger she would genuinely be f***ed.

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The article makes some very good points, but there is a slightly whingeing tone that implies "it just isn't fair" *stamps foot, lower lip protruding*, as though it was all fine and dandy when it was just the lower classes who were poor, but now it's us too*?! The horror!

(*but not really)

This angry post from the comments just about sums it up:

More class-based squabbling which obfuscates the real picture :rolleyes:

Bullseye!

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and another one, again from the telegraph this week:

Article Quote

" You need to get out of the house more,” said my husband, noting that it was three months, one week and four days since I last went out after dark, and even that was only to buy nappies.

“Whose house?” I said.

“Our house,” he snapped.

“But we don’t have a house,” I protested. “We have a small, one-and-a-half bedroom flat within a house.”

“You know what I mean,” he huffed.

“I do, but do you know that one of the main reasons I don’t go out after dark any more is because of the really huge mortgage on our one-and-a-half bedroom flat within a house?”

“Look, Bryony. Just please go on a night out so that you let off some steam and stop being a pedantic little…”

So last week, I got out of the flat, to a party in a bar (not a house). I went there eagerly anticipating chat about that ludicrous Beyoncé/Obama rumour; or, even better, some meditations on how fatherhood might change Simon Cowell. I did not go there to talk about houses, and the ever-increasing value of them. “Our home,” announced a beaming woman whom I had only met once, “is now worth £1.5 million. And we bought it 10 years ago for practically LESS THAN THE COST OF A BAG OF PEANUTS!”

Hmm, I thought. Clearly it is only rude to talk about money if you don’t actually have any.

“Well I’m so glad I’m not buying now,” said someone else, in a boast barely concealed as pity for the young. “I mean, we wouldn’t be able to afford a cardboard box, let alone the semi-detached house we got for a little under £300,000 six years ago, which, incidentally, is now worth over double that!”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/houseprices/10649197/Buying-a-house-is-like-a-game-of-Monopoly-where-the-young-always-lose.html

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What is she complaining about? She is 39 and lying:

" House prices started to rocket before I left school and in most middle-class areas have hardly been dented since. "

As someone born in 1974, she would have left school in 1992. Prices started rising 1996/7. She bought a flat in her 20s for £80k, and I wouldn't be surprised if she owns a couple of BTLs by now (no telling)

If she was 10 years younger she would genuinely be f***ed.

From her perspective, she might be right (but wrong). I had no interest in buying in the '90s and was completely unaware that prices had carried on falling after the crash at the end of the '80s, which I assumed had just been a bump in the upward trend.

When I became aware of the HPI of the 00s, I thought it was a continuation of the '80s boom.

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"According to Cowen, there will be a small elite – perhaps 10 to 15 per cent of the population – who will still be able to add value to the increasingly sophisticated work computers can do. People who can do the few remaining skilled jobs that can’t be outsourced to distant, cheaper foreign competitors among a globalised workforce. The rest will be subject to stagnant and falling wages thanks to the advent of driverless cars, online medical diagnoses, schoolwork-marking and other highly intelligent software making inroads into human output and income."

The way it's going automation is going remove a massive amount of jobs at all levels.

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They write as though the destruction of the middle class is some inevitable, uncontrollable event, like a drought or a pandemic. It isn't. It was and is a choice. When you spend tomorrow's money today you will not be so rich tomorrow as you are today. On the other hand if you invest money today instead of spending it then tomorrow you will have the fruits of that investment. When I say investment I do not use the Gordon Brown meaning of the word, i.e. spending money on stuff you want. I mean deferred consumption. Putting your money to productive use.

Investment increases production and producing more is good for the economy. There is more stuff, you see. Consuming more means there is less stuff. This might seem obvious, but it is the exact opposite of what is taught in British schools and universities. A guy called Keynes produced a balmy theory that spending money on crap makes everyone rich and used it to justify a massive increase in the size of the state. Hence the answer to the recession, which was created by overconsumption, was to stimulate consumption by forcing down interest rates and printing money.

Not surprisingly a decade or so of these incredibly stupid policies have made us much poorer. What's worse is nobody is yet willing to admit their incredibly stupid mistake. The likes of Carney and Yellen are still calling for more of the same. So we will be impoverished more and for longer. This can go on for a long times and people can be made very poor indeed by state stupidity.

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Now, capitalism has turned its baleful gaze on you and you don't like it, do you?

This is really what it's all about- stripped of the self justification and sense of entitlement. All that is happening to the middle class now is what has already happened to the working class - market forces combined with a particularly nasty strain of virulent capitalist ideology.

Yes- it's ironic that the middle class were-in the main- highly supportive of the political agendas that are now destroying them- and you can't really blame the working class for indulging in a degree of schadenfreud at their sudden awakening to the danger those agenda's represent to the future living standards of most western workers.

You know the middle class are doomed when you see them become enraged by the fact that some people who live in social housing might have a spare bedroom- a concern that they themselves would once have found as bizzare as worrying about the size of the accommodation at the local zoo's monkey house.

When the middle class start casting an envious eye on the living quarters of the benefits class the game is up I think. :D

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<br />Great post/link.<br /><br />Quote of the day IMO<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Probably accounts for the <i>social housing envy</i> that manifests itself from time to time<br />
<br /><br /><br />

^ This ..... and as an aside, I like the avatar change AST. ;)

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Investment increases production and producing more is good for the economy. There is more stuff, you see. Consuming more means there is less stuff. This might seem obvious, but it is the exact opposite of what is taught in British schools and universities. A guy called Keynes produced a balmy theory that spending money on crap makes everyone rich and used it to justify a massive increase in the size of the state. Hence the answer to the recession, which was created by overconsumption, was to stimulate consumption by forcing down interest rates and printing money.

You might at least want to study Keynes before making statements like that. Its not what he said at all.

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When the middle class start casting an envious eye on the living quarters of the benefits class the game is up I think. :D

This is very true.

Btw, the working classes have reserves of cunning that the middle and upper classes have no conception of. Most of them will do OK.

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You might at least want to study Keynes before making statements like that. Its not what he said at all.

"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with bank-notes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal-mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is."

Keynes

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"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with bank-notes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal-mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is."

Keynes

Yup.... you don't understand what keynes said at all..... we clearly have a lack of demand in the economy (not just ours but globally) thus all those unemployed and underemployed literally dying to be in productive employment....

We could of course do as you believe and cut down consumption. How well is that working out for europe by the way?

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What is she complaining about? She is 39 and lying:

" House prices started to rocket before I left school and in most middle-class areas have hardly been dented since. "

As someone born in 1974, she would have left school in 1992. Prices started rising 1996/7. She bought a flat in her 20s for £80k, and I wouldn't be surprised if she owns a couple of BTLs by now (no telling)

If she was 10 years younger she would genuinely be f***ed.

How did she raise a deposit when she had a sizeable student loan to pay off, plus paying rent in London?

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We could of course do as you believe and cut down consumption. How well is that working out for europe by the way?

But that is a good question - or rather, How well will that work out for europe? The answer is not clear.

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You might at least want to study Keynes before making statements like that. Its not what he said at all.

There is a very great deal to commend Keynes, supporting demand the one of them. Digging and refilling holes NOT being one of them :-)

All great thinkers were sometimes wrong

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This is very true.

Btw, the working classes have reserves of cunning that the middle and upper classes have no conception of. Most of them will do OK.

+1

Many in the middle classes will simply swap places with those on lower rungs

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But that is a good question - or rather, How well will that work out for europe? The answer is not clear.

Umm the answer is pretty clear. The eurozone is sinking into deflation with many economies either contracting or on the verge of doing so. German real wages fell last year with all that means for internal consumption and thus production despite it's massive trade surplus.

The contraction of european demand is also harming our economy as it means we need to stimulate internally and thus increase our deficit, otherwise we'd have 10% plus unemployment since we can't now "protect" our economy from european merchantalism due to treaties we have signed.

Edited by alexw

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There is a very great deal to commend Keynes, supporting demand the one of them. Digging and refilling holes NOT being one of them :-)

All great thinkers were sometimes wrong

I'm pretty sure he didn't mean that we should actually do that, it was just used as an illustrative example. Keynes put in practice is the US highway system and the hoover dam among other things.

Of course for our cretinous treasonous government stimulating demand means help to buy as opposed to the gov taking on the unemployed to build more houses....

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Investment increases production and producing more is good for the economy. There is more stuff, you see. Consuming more means there is less stuff

Surely the point of producing is consumption? But to consume people need the means to pay.

The problem with 'supply side' thinking is that it somehow assumes that production will magically conjure up the demand required to validate itself.

If that were really true- and I wish it was- then starting a successful business would be easy- just start producing something- it does not matter what- and the demand for that something will just....happen.

I have started a few (very) small business's in my time and the truth is that the production part was the easy part- the hard part was getting somebody to actually buy something.

I think the point Keynes was trying to make is that the process is a circular one- supply implies demand which in turn implies supply- so it's just as true (or false) to suggest that boosting demand can fix the problem as it is true (or false) to suggest that boosting supply can fix the problem- in a sense these are not opposing views at all- they are merely the same process viewed at different time frames.

So which comes first in the lifecycle of a product- demand or supply? Like the chicken and the egg, each can claim the pole position- but in reality both are a process that is indivisible.

We could claim, for example, that in the case of the Ipad- a new innovation- supply must come first since it was a completely novel product- but it's equally true to say that before such a thing existed the desire for such a thing existed- a need or want was there to be filled.

How do we know this? Simple- Apple have sold millions of the things. So did the Ipad create a new need? Or did it tap a latent need for a portable computer that already existed? Was the Ipad the chicken, or was it the egg?

So the debate as to wether it's the supply side chicken or the demand side egg that drives the economic process is as pointless and futile as that. The answer is both.

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+1

Many in the middle classes will simply swap places with those on lower rungs

There's no such thing as "middle-class", or "those on lower rungs". if you need to work to earn your corn, then you are working-class..

This whole "middle-class" thing is just a social pretension. The only difference between operating a photocopier and operating a fork-lift truck is that the photocopier operator will earn a third of the wages of the fork-lift truck operator.

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Yup.... you don't understand what keynes said at all..... we clearly have a lack of demand in the economy (not just ours but globally) thus all those unemployed and underemployed literally dying to be in productive employment....

We could of course do as you believe and cut down consumption. How well is that working out for europe by the way?

I just quoted from his General Theory and you tell me I don't understand Keynes! Perhaps you would like to explain why Keynes was wrong in his understanding of Keynes?

Reducing consumption is necessary when less is being produced than consumed. Unless you have a way to magic stuff up?

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