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Good article on our credit-addicted economy

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It’ll take more than shopping to save our debt-addled economy

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/20/shopping-debt-economy-britain-growth-model-consumption-production-inequality

This article neatly summarises many arguments people on here have made. The most eyebrowing-raising statistic of all - which you might have seen before - is " figures last month showing that households had become net borrowers for the first time since records began in 1987."

We're running out of metaphors to describe this craziness: house of cards, smoke and mirrors, keep the plates spinning, kick the can down the road...

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13 hours ago, Voice of Doom said:

It’ll take more than shopping to save our debt-addled economy

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/20/shopping-debt-economy-britain-growth-model-consumption-production-inequality

This article neatly summarises many arguments people on here have made. The most eyebrowing-raising statistic of all - which you might have seen before - is " figures last month showing that households had become net borrowers for the first time since records began in 1987."

We're running out of metaphors to describe this craziness: house of cards, smoke and mirrors, keep the plates spinning, kick the can down the road...

Yup --- This country is well and truly F*CKED.  F*CKED.

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10 hours ago, hurlerontheditch said:

Selling lattes to each other doesn’t add value 

Why not?

You'd prefer we supper on widgets and relaxed on wooden crates?

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20 minutes ago, Si1 said:

Why not?

You'd prefer we supper on widgets and relaxed on wooden crates?

What generates the initial value? An economy can’t be fully based on services. Sooner or later you need to actually produce something 

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19 minutes ago, hurlerontheditch said:

What generates the initial value? An economy can’t be fully based on services. Sooner or later you need to actually produce something 

Lattes are something produced, just as much as widgets are. The widget manufacturer might be making widgets for the coffee machines.

A bigger problem than producing things is being tied to an economic system which relies on producing things for the sake of producing things and thus falls apart if people are satisfied with the things they've already got.

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12 hours ago, eric pebble said:

Yup --- This country is well and truly F*CKED.  F*CKED.

So are most 'advanced' western economies... especially Canada.

The bigger problem is the demographic profiles for the same nations.

Nobody is going to be ready for the real crisis starting in about seven years: funding geriatric health care.

I have a few older relatives, mostly females, who've got wallets fat with store cards.

Granny always said... "don't buys things on tick".

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1 hour ago, hurlerontheditch said:

What generates the initial value? An economy can’t be fully based on services. Sooner or later you need to actually produce something 

Well yeah. Or you can exchange services for goods. And besides we do both.

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1 hour ago, hurlerontheditch said:

What generates the initial value? An economy can’t be fully based on services. Sooner or later you need to actually produce something 

That's what wealth is isn't it? The ability to drink a cup of coffee every day made from beans that only grow 5000 miles away in a different climate. The path from growing the bean to drinking it as a cappuccino involves a lot of services that all add a little bit of value.

Real wealth is limited because resources are limited, but money supply is infinite and so the wealth effect is infinite. I doubt a UK house is worth 120,000 cappuccinos or Apple Inc is worth 500,000,000,000.

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20 minutes ago, Captain Kirk said:

That's what wealth is isn't it? The ability to drink a cup of coffee every day made from beans that only grow 5000 miles away in a different climate. The path from growing the bean to drinking it as a cappuccino involves a lot of services that all add a little bit of value.

Real wealth is limited because resources are limited, but money supply is infinite and so the wealth effect is infinite. I doubt a UK house is worth 120,000 cappuccinos or Apple Inc is worth 500,000,000,000.

what does selling coffee(just an example) do to the productivity figures for the country

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4 minutes ago, hurlerontheditch said:

what does selling coffee(just an example) do to the productivity figures for the country

I believe it's just added to the GDP figure. So you buy a coffee for £2.60 the GDP goes up by £2.60. Each of the service costs involved shouldn't get added because GDP is the value of the final goods and services produced within a country and costs are already accounted for in the £2.60 end price.

Oddly, I believe also, if you own a house outright with no mortgage, a rent figure is added to the GDP. The assumption is that you are renting your house from yourself. So UK GDP is quite dependent on the housing bubble.

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Good article. Thank you for posting.

5 hours ago, Queasing said:

The article is based on a longer (96 page) essay available here: 

https://policyexchange.org.uk/publication/brexit-and-the-british-growth-model/

For an article to be based on a publication called "Brexit and the British Growth Model" - yet not mention the word "Brexit" once, the Guardian editor must really not like any positive Brexit references.

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53 minutes ago, Captain Kirk said:

I believe it's just added to the GDP figure. So you buy a coffee for £2.60 the GDP goes up by £2.60. Each of the service costs involved shouldn't get added because GDP is the value of the final goods and services produced within a country and costs are already accounted for in the £2.60 end price.

Oddly, I believe also, if you own a house outright with no mortgage, a rent figure is added to the GDP. The assumption is that you are renting your house from yourself. So UK GDP is quite dependent on the housing bubble.

AFAIK imputed rent is a factor only in the income measure of GDP not in the expenditure or output measures. Obviously all three figures should be identical. Imputed rent has become the primary means of squaring the income measure of GDP with the other two. On a year by year basis these adjustment are modest but in 2013 the ONS recalculated the index from 1997 resulting in a whopping overnight increase in UK GDP of £158bn! All of which makes a mockery of Tory pretensions re. deficit reduction.

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6 hours ago, zugzwang said:

AFAIK imputed rent is a factor only in the income measure of GDP not in the expenditure or output measures. Obviously all three figures should be identical. Imputed rent has become the primary means of squaring the income measure of GDP with the other two. On a year by year basis these adjustment are modest but in 2013 the ONS recalculated the index from 1997 resulting in a whopping overnight increase in UK GDP of £158bn! All of which makes a mockery of Tory pretensions re. deficit reduction.

Ah yes, I did read about that. I've always been a bit skeptical of GDP, but I guess it is what it is and possibly does represent the wealth of a nation. Some wealth is just temporary I guess since it is simply consumed.

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9 hours ago, Si1 said:

Well yeah. Or you can exchange services for goods. And besides we do both.

What matters is the rate of "wealth" creation per person per unit of time.  Latte makers make very little of it.   The person making Airbus aircraft wings makes a lot of it.   So sure we can have lots of people making Lattes but don't expect us to be a prosperous country with high living standards as a result.   This is why wages have gone nowhere since 2008.   Too many makers of "lattes".

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12 minutes ago, Lurkerbelow said:

What matters is the rate of "wealth" creation per person per unit of time.  Latte makers make very little of it.   The person making Airbus aircraft wings makes a lot of it.   So sure we can have lots of people making Lattes but don't expect us to be a prosperous country with high living standards as a result.   This is why wages have gone nowhere since 2008.   Too many makers of "lattes".

I remember years ago a shoe company that made shoes in the UK had to move production to Asia because they couldn't compete with others that had already moved. Does it change the wealth generated in the UK because the shoes are now made/constructed in Asia? I guess you could argue that they are produced in the UK from a design point of view.

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31 minutes ago, Captain Kirk said:

I remember years ago a shoe company that made shoes in the UK had to move production to Asia because they couldn't compete with others that had already moved. Does it change the wealth generated in the UK because the shoes are now made/constructed in Asia? I guess you could argue that they are produced in the UK from a design point of view.

They are producing that wealth not us.   If we want to have access to that wealth then we have to give them something of value in return.   To a significant extent that has involved giving them other wealth creating assets, but what happens when we run out of wealth creating assets to give them in return?   It looks to me like we are scraping the bottom of the barrel already.

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2 hours ago, Lurkerbelow said:

They are producing that wealth not us.   If we want to have access to that wealth then we have to give them something of value in return.   To a significant extent that has involved giving them other wealth creating assets, but what happens when we run out of wealth creating assets to give them in return?   It looks to me like we are scraping the bottom of the barrel already.

I'm not saying you are wrong but according to mainstream economics (Alan Greenspan, for example) that is not the case since the sales of shoes still gets added to UK GDP. Labour is just another cost that should be minimised, and what matters is the value added, i.e. sale price - all costs.

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6 hours ago, Lurkerbelow said:

What matters is the rate of "wealth" creation per person per unit of time.  Latte makers make very little of it.   The person making Airbus aircraft wings makes a lot of it.   So sure we can have lots of people making Lattes but don't expect us to be a prosperous country with high living standards as a result.   This is why wages have gone nowhere since 2008.   Too many makers of "lattes".

Eh? Lattes are just answering a demand that comes from wealth in the first place. It's not like they're made according to govt dictat.

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  • 261 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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