Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The size of the queue was a sign of the financial struggles facing many of his constituents

Sign of the times: 200 join queue in Salford precinct - for the opening of a charity shop

Many shoppers told us they can no longer afford new household items because of job cuts, the rising cost of living and spiralling debt. Instead they are forced to buy used goods – £30 for a fridge, £15 for a TV or £40 for a bed.

Posted by mark @ 11:52 AM (1983 views)
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15 thoughts on “The size of the queue was a sign of the financial struggles facing many of his constituents

  • Quote article “Hundreds of bargain-hunters queued for hours for the opening of a new charity shop in a stark message to the chancellor that Greater Manchester cannot cope with the government cuts.”

    Talking about twisting a story for there own ends .

    Next they will be complaining that the council is expected to spend the public money it gets responsibly .

    I have never seen any evidence of cost even being a consideration for my local authority .

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  • general congreve says:

    There is a silver lining, as long as you aren’t one of these people. Rampant consumption is bad for the environment, keeping people in relative poverty so they can only afford to recycle consumer goods rather than buy them new (which causes more pollution) is a win for humanity, a win for the planet and a win for future generations.

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  • the number cruncher says:

    GC I applaud your environmentally aware attitude

    We can achieve the same effect of getting people to reuse things and help the environment but also stimulate enterprise, create jobs and stimulate the economy (and lower house prices) by abolishing all income and sales taxes and replacing them with resource and land rents as form of public revenue. I am sure their is a chap who tells us this all the time, perhaps he could remind me of his name, the many other benefits and how best to implement this policy.

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  • I think his name is smart wordsworth or something like that. He seems to think that “just cos he’s right” means he can keep banging on about it all the time!!

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  • Don’t mention Land Value Tax – Mark Wadsworth mentioned it once, but I think he got away with it

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  • Gettinglikemymother says:

    If this means cheap prices for perfectly good appliances that would otherwise end up at the tip, what’s not to like?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    @ Inbreda, UKIP are getting increasingly hard core NIMBYish, maybe it’s time to set up a “Young People’s Party” who don’t give a toss about the already-wealthy?

    @ Everybody else: My new hobby is recommmending replacing as many taxes as possible with Land Value Tax over at the Daily Mail, it’s amazing how that gets you to the top of the “Worst rated” comments 🙂

    As to second hand, big deal, until about ten years ago, most of the furniture, fridges, TVs etc I bought were second hand, never bothered me. It was her Indoors who made me chuck it all out and buy new stuff. I’d draw the line at a second hand mattress though.

    PS, as I remember, even ten or fifteen years ago, a second hand colour TV cost between £60 and £100. What can you get for £15?

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  • Queues are a sign of economic inefficiency. The charity could have sold those goods at a higher price; that would have kept the queue down, and left fewer disappointed customers (those at the back of the queue).

    Back to the story though… yes, it’s a sign of the times. We can also expect to see more “proper” jobs repairing old cars, and fewer smarmy jobs selling new cars. If Britain continues to get poorer, we’ll soon be importing second-hand iPhone 3s from richer countries rather than buying new ones.

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  • MW,

    Have a look on eBay – you’ll be surprised what you can find. Second-hand cathode-ray tube TVs are cheap as chips, even though they were good enough barely five years ago.

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  • the number cruncher says:

    Drewster @ 6 quite right – perhaps the ‘Drewster Charity shop consultancy’ service’s time has come, its about time.

    One of my hobbies is to repair old computers – I do it all the time and have set up over 300 in the last 10 years for charities to use. Even put together 3 whole networks for different charities. If you know what you are doing you can give far more functionality to the users than IT companies charging a fortune in many businesses.

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  • stillthinking says:

    I read an excellent comment about the UK on some article today (forget where it wasn’t the article), but basically it was that the UK (under Labour) has legislated a standard of living that is above its productive capacity. This really resonated with me, so true on many levels e.g. social housing, no more homes but more money piled into housing benefit etc etc. And that it is inevitable that standards of living revert.
    I looked at a bog standard car in some magazine at lunch, it was 16 thousand. I wondered who on earth could buy it. But somebody is otherwise they wouldn’t advertise.

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  • I don’t think govts can legislate standards of living, but they can collect taxes and spend them as they see fit. And the argument about govt debt doesn’t wash because there is nearly always some govt debt, and until the banking crisis it was nothing exceptional under the last govt. But it may be true that productivity could be raised a great deal by raising overall standards of education and employment. This is not to be done merely by the “business friendly” mantras and tax changes, but also by distributing wealth more fairly and for the nation to be prepared to spend money on dealing with the endemic problems in society.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    LTF: “I don’t think govts can legislate standards of living”

    Well, ultimately no, but for a start they could allow half a million new houses to be built every year and get prices down by half. Seeing as people’s largest item of expenditure is housing, that increases disposable incomes by a quarter at no cost to the taxpayer.

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  • @1 GC, don’t forget the fractional reserve fiat money system itself. ‘Money’ appears out of fresh air to fund mass consumption (not to mention wars) It’s no surprise natural resources are dwindling, and we now have 5x more people in Asia trying to emulate our past folly, something’s got to give. On a less general note, take away North Sea oil and the make do and mend culture would never have left much of the UK. It has only been ten years of borrowing from the future that has kept up appearances.

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  • @11
    Where are these 1/2 million new houses, per year, going to be built?
    On precious farmland and other greenbelt land, because excessive immigration is bloating our population even while the native population declines; so that when we do need to do more local farming due to higher transport costs, we can’t because we built on the land!

    No! There is probably amply housing in the UK, we just need to make better use of it, by causing the market to price housing sensibly for productive people e.g. by capping how much councils can pay to house unproductive people in private housing.

    Of course, it would help a lot, if the BoE charged a market interest rate, stopped QE, and the state phased out fractional banking in the UK, to cut-off the ridiculously subsidised funding to banksters and rich speculators, which pushes up the price of everything, including housing!

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