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Brainclamp Calls For Unionisation

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As the enigmatic :rolleyes: BC generally refuses to engage any of us in discussion, I thought it might be interesting to get your views on where he is coming from, and whether we can fathom his arguments.

He has made repeated calls recently for people to unionise, as this will lead to greater bargaining power and wage increases. His view seems to be that this would then make housing affordable.

It seems pretty clear to me that HPI is driven by the increased credit that has been made available to the public in the form of mortgages. There is a direct correlation between increases in debt and increases in house prices.

If people were to receive large wage increases, it would simply feed back into the debt machine. They would borrow more, and house prices would increase further.

If this is the case, why on earth would he call for it?

1. Given his belief in ever rising house prices, can we assume he is loaded up with mortgage debt? Wage increases would have the effect of eroding his debt, hence his calls for unionisation.

2. He is bullish on property. Is he a landlord?

3. Any other ideas?

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I'm sorry I can't speak for BC, but it sounds very Prescott to me. Old style labour with a big property portfolio, who is eager to support his comrades but only so far as it doesn't affect his own disproportiate cut of the wealth. Just IMHO!

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My take on brainclamp is that he (I assume it's a he) is not really concerned with the minutiae of the house price market, the little ups and downs and regional differences. I don't think he really comes to this site as a vested interest i.e. FTB, STR or BTLer.

He is really more interested in macroeconomic and macropolitical trends. I am not sure of his politics really; I imagine perhaps he would identify with Mussolini's early ideas, corporate state, nationalism, big unions looking after the workers, etc. He certainly takes a very committed anti-immigration stance. I once had a big row with him about how closely related British people were to other ethnic groups around the world. I argued that they were pretty closely related biologically, he quoted a lot of stuff by Pat Buchanan which marked out Northern Europeans as a very separate race. So perhaps he's an "ethno-nationalist"; on the other hand he has a somewhat different style from the numerous and very obvious BNP supporters on the forum.

Curiously, he seems both well-informed and deeply susceptible to the most bizarre political theories around on the Web (and that's saying something). A one-off poster indeed.

frugalista

PS brainclamp -- sorry if I have misrepresented you, it's just my impression.

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As the enigmatic :rolleyes: BC generally refuses to engage any of us in discussion, I thought it might be interesting to get your views on where he is coming from, and whether we can fathom his arguments.

He has made repeated calls recently for people to unionise, as this will lead to greater bargaining power and wage increases. His view seems to be that this would then make housing affordable.

It seems pretty clear to me that HPI is driven by the increased credit that has been made available to the public in the form of mortgages. There is a direct correlation between increases in debt and increases in house prices.

If people were to receive large wage increases, it would simply feed back into the debt machine. They would borrow more, and house prices would increase further.

If this is the case, why on earth would he call for it?

1. Given his belief in ever rising house prices, can we assume he is loaded up with mortgage debt? Wage increases would have the effect of eroding his debt, hence his calls for unionisation.

2. He is bullish on property. Is he a landlord?

3. Any other ideas?

When Brainclamp joined the forum, he was a bear. After a few months, he turned hard bull & has remained so ever since.

He IMO has a very strong argument that the average person has no chance at bettering the ability of wealthier investors at aquiring property, that investors will always be a step ahead & that the impact of this is a gradual change of property ownership towards investors & away from OO's.

He is right to call for Unionisation, inflation is the only way out for the average person.

Edited by Time to raise the rents.

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He is right to call for Unionisation, inflation is the only way out for the average person.

My impression is that BC (and evidently TTRTR too, given the above) has a pre-Thatcher understanding of industrial relations law in this country. Things have moved on a bit since then...

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My impression is that BC (and evidently TTRTR too, given the above) has a pre-Thatcher understanding of industrial relations law in this country. Things have moved on a bit since then...

Mags,

You have to ask yourself this - do you fully understand the potential disruptive nature of globalised supply of goods and services? We are being told that globalisation is the one true path - what will it actually mean for the majority or a large minority. Are the rules and regulations spinning out of the EU part of globalisation? Do those rules/regulations open up markets or do they actually present just another financial hurdle to be overcome if you actually want to go it alone. Often big companies can carry it, small ones can't or people simply don't even bother trying to enter particular markets becuase of it or fail almost immediately becuase they are swamped by every directive under the sun before they even have a chance to make some money and get cashflow going. There is also the matter of what happens when some areas have huge levels of such red tape and non-core burden and other areas in the world have next to none of it.

Average wage levels, now they look nice comforting don't they? Not when you scrape beneath the surface they don't. The disparity between high and low end wage earners have increased year on year. The figures themselves only measure the wage levels of full time employees and of all the jobs created during the debt boom around half are part-time. Moreover the full time jobs themselves are nothing like those of the past - rolling short term contracts, little or no pension provision for new entrants to schemes.

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Half the companies I have worked in have not given a pay rise for years. Perhaps unionisation for some would at least keep their pay in line with inflation (or perhaps just a law requiring companies to do so).

There certainly seems to be an ever widening gap between the 'owners' & the workers. And also such things as Scottish Power doubling their profits but still saying they will increase gas prices to the consumer by 15%.

This is another reason why I'm against mass immigration. People argue that Polish workers work harder and can be got for cheaper. How does this benefit the UK though all it does is put more money in the pockets of bosses and does nothing for the UK population as a whole.

For instance using a crap example of say Apples. What is the point of importing workers to do this. The owners of the Orchards may benefit but the population as a whole has to put up with clogged roads, lack of housing, (due to immigration for this sector) taxes going to subsidies the orchard owners, taxes to support the workers of the orchard. All in all it would be much better to let the orchard go bust.

I think there is probably a case for Unionization, people getting paid more and companies getting staying competitive. Some companies still have very high profit margins that can be squeezed.

Incidentally I’m all for freedom of movement (at least within Europe) and in the long term I think it will benefit Europe. I just think in the short term it will / has caused problems. I guess selfishly I would like to see less immigration now as it costs me money in my pay packet and causes a fall in quality of life due to the sheer number of people in the south-east. However I’m sure in 20 years time the spread of people will get more balanced across Europe as the Eastern European countries get richer.

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Mags,

You have to ask yourself this - do you fully understand the potential disruptive nature of globalised supply of goods and services? We are being told that globalisation is the one true path - what will it actually mean for the majority or a large minority. Are the rules and regulations spinning out of the EU part of globalisation? Do those rules/regulations open up markets or do they actually present just another financial hurdle to be overcome if you actually want to go it alone. Often big companies can carry it, small ones can't or people simply don't even bother trying to enter particular markets becuase of it or fail almost immediately becuase they are swamped by every directive under the sun before they even have a chance to make some money and get cashflow going. There is also the matter of what happens when some areas have huge levels of such red tape and non-core burden and other areas in the world have next to none of it.

Average wage levels, now they look nice comforting don't they? Not when you scrape beneath the surface they don't. The disparity between high and low end wage earners have increased year on year. The figures themselves only measure the wage levels of full time employees and of all the jobs created during the debt boom around half are part-time. Moreover the full time jobs themselves are nothing like those of the past - rolling short term contracts, little or no pension provision for new entrants to schemes.

Sorry Only Me, I didn't really explain myself. My point is that the power of unions has been eroded through legislation. Unionisation would be step two. Step one is to lobby to change existing industrial relations law. :)

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Sorry Only Me, I didn't really explain myself. My point is that the power of unions has been eroded through legislation. Unionisation would be step two. Step one is to lobby to change existing industrial relations law. :)

Oops I see. I'm not convinced whether unions are the right vehicle for what is needed though, there needs to be some means by which groups of people that are being directly affected by law changes, regs, working practices can effectively have a say, not just in large employers but throughout whole trades and market sectors. Frankly a lot of the legislation that has come out recently is a total mess and does nothing for those who want to work or for those who actually want to employ people.

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Oops I see. I'm not convinced whether unions are the right vehicle for what is needed though, there needs to be some means by which groups of people that are being directly affected by law changes, regs, working practices can effectively have a say, not just in large employers but throughout whole trades and market sectors. Frankly a lot of the legislation that has come out recently is a total mess and does nothing for those who want to work or for those who actually want to employ people.

I agree, unions aren't the right vehicle for this any more. :)

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Let me quote Warren Buffett. "Companies have never had it so good, ...Profits are at close to record levels. business ... is doing very well - better than its lower-paid workers - by some margin!"

Owning a piece of your own country is getting further and further out of a ordinary workers reach.

Massive labour changes and increases in productivity and labour force mobility flexibilty - insecure work, no jobs for life etc... are not delivering anything for ordinary workers - thier real income has not increased.

The share of each years increased fruits of the economy is going to the owners of business and land, while ordinary workers are seeing falling real incomes. Pensions are non existant. The age of reproduction is heading towards 40. The native birthrate is heading towards self-extinction. Thats not because we are poorer - the productive base of the economy is much greater than a decade ago.

If workers unionised and demanded higher compensation, thier share of the pie would increase, savings would increase, and interest rates would rise driving down capital values.

In the end its simple - if homes cost 7 times an ordinary workers income amisdst rising costs then you start striking!

Edited by brainclamp

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Guest Charlie The Tramp

In the end its simple - if homes cost 7 times an ordinary workers income amisdst rising costs then you start striking!

The Global Monetarists who have taken over the asylum administer the medication. When the patient becomes immune they will simply replace the present patients by importing new willing to take the medication. In thirty years time they will finally control the masses.

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For instance using a crap example of say Apples. What is the point of importing workers to do this. The owners of the Orchards may benefit but the population as a whole has to put up with clogged roads, lack of housing, (due to immigration for this sector) taxes going to subsidies the orchard owners, taxes to support the workers of the orchard. All in all it would be much better to let the orchard go bust.

The company I worked for put an advert out for a part-time cleaner, around 10 hours a week, minimum wage. How many people applied? 0. Why? Because any money they earn will get taken off their benefit. So they will literally end up working for nothing. Perhaps if low-paid work actually meant people would be better off then we wouldn't need to fly in workers from 1000 miles away for a three-day stint in a factory People on the dole half a mile way up the road would be willing, and able, to do it. A total farce.

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If workers unionised and demanded higher compensation, thier share of the pie would increase, savings would increase, and interest rates would rise driving down capital values.

In the end its simple - if homes cost 7 times an ordinary workers income amisdst rising costs then you start striking!

There are only two ways this could work in today's globalized economy.

(1) Unions would have to cooperate across international borders -- i.e. internationalized unions. Workers of the world unite! I think this could actually happen as global communication becomes ever easier.

(2) Unions and business would have to be strongly encouraged (presumably by government) to work together and not set themselves up in opposition. i.e. the German model rather than the British model of the 1970s and 80s. In Germany all companies larger than a certain size have to have a significant proportion of their board positions taken by elected union leaders.

A private sector union which is limited to one country and which takes an adverserial stance against business is doomed to fail in the long run.

frugalista

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(2) Unions and business would have to be strongly encouraged (presumably by government) to work together and not set themselves up in opposition. i.e. the German model rather than the British model of the 1970s and 80s. frugalista

I believe that's also the position in Japan as well.

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Brainclamp is right, even if the proposal is unlikely due to a "tradegy of the commons" like principle large scale action is the only choice. For example: council tax..dont pay it and get sent directly to jail - can't have people thinking they have any choice over the matter. However, iIf lots of people refuse to pay council tax simultaneously then the system cannot deal with it, for it is set up to crush the wayward individual not quell mass rebellion. The government then has to take notice.

In the workplace this mechanism is best served through unionisation. How else are you going to act as a co-ordinated movement?

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Unions have made themselves unpopular of recent, spending members cash on corporate luxuries (GMB) and running well in to the red.

As a result I've noticed some anti-union sentiment. Personally, I think the union I belong to has done a good job with regard to contract changes and pay rise negotiations, I wouldn't be without them. But then we're in a good position, they can't ever out-source us, too skilled and expensive to replace. So in that respect we're in a good position to bargain.

Most in the private sector don't have much leverage, they're easily replaced, especially if the job is office based and involves little contact with the general public.

Therefore I think encouraging unionisation would be talking people out of their jobs. Business wouldn't take it now, it's too competitive out there.

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Unions have made themselves unpopular of recent, spending members cash on corporate luxuries (GMB) and running well in to the red.

As a result I've noticed some anti-union sentiment. Personally, I think the union I belong to has done a good job with regard to contract changes and pay rise negotiations, I wouldn't be without them. But then we're in a good position, they can't ever out-source us, too skilled and expensive to replace. So in that respect we're in a good position to bargain.

Most in the private sector don't have much leverage, they're easily replaced, especially if the job is office based and involves little contact with the general public.

Therefore I think encouraging unionisation would be talking people out of their jobs. Business wouldn't take it now, it's too competitive out there.

You have described precisely the conditions which formed the union movement and the labour party - from the replaceable ever cheapening hotbedding labour and dire poverty, mass immigration, global economy of 1880 through to the formation of the party. Unlike then, you need not get arrested, bludgened to death, or shot. All it takes is a rise in union participation today in the overall workforce.

Edited by brainclamp

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You have described precisely the conditions which formed the union movement and the labour party - from the replaceable ever cheapening hotbedding labour and dire poverty, mass immigration, global economy of 1880 through to the formation of the party. Unlike then, you need not get arrested, bludgened to death, or shot. All it takes is a rise in union participation today in the overall workforce.

For sure, but you would need 100% global workforce participation and more regulation, which is the antitheses of the last 30 years so called 'progress' in globalisation and deregulation

Also, we're dealing with autocracies like China, so the bit about getting shot still applies.

Edited by dom

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Essentially our unions are too old-fashioned and we need new international unions. I'm a member of the GMB (and I'm an employer, not an employee!) and they do some great work, but they need to change. The wrong people are at the helm!

Edited by gruffydd

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Brainclamp is right, even if the proposal is unlikely due to a "tradegy of the commons" like principle large scale action is the only choice. For example: council tax..dont pay it and get sent directly to jail - can't have people thinking they have any choice over the matter. However, iIf lots of people refuse to pay council tax simultaneously then the system cannot deal with it, for it is set up to crush the wayward individual not quell mass rebellion. The government then has to take notice.

For example, boiling this argument down to 2 words, "Poll Tax".

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  • 302 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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