Hilarious!: ‘Too rich’ Brits lack desire, says Heseltine

(137 Posts)
ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 13:01:44

By EMMA CLARK
Published on Monday 25 March 2013 07:20

BRITAIN lacks a “national will” to improve its economy because people are too rich, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has suggested.

The Conservative grandee questioned whether people who live comfortably in advanced economies are motivated to strive for better.

However in economies like China and India, which are growing at a much faster rate than Britain, people are driven to overcome “real problems”.

In an interview with the Independent, Lord Heseltine warned that the economy could keep drifting down.

He told the newspaper: “There is no God-given rule saying you’ve got to have a well-performing economy. It could be an indifferent economy.

“It’s a question of whether the national will is there; whether we want it. And the richer you get the less imperative there is.

“Maybe one of the problems of advanced economies is that people are sufficiently well off that they don’t need to drive themselves any more.”

He later added that it in the nature of most people to “desire to do something and to do it better”.

He also questioned official GDP statistics and instead pointed to rising employment and house prices as indicators that the economy was recovering.

Lord Heseltine is a senior adviser to the coalition Government on growth, focussing especially on the regeneration of cities.

www.scotsman.com/news/uk/too-rich-brits-lack-desire-says-heseltine-1-2855791

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You got that? Brits are 'too rich' -- that would explain the huge rise in homelessness and use of foodbanks in the past few years.

So presumably he'd supporting huge confiscatory taxes on wealth so that all the richest people become more so that they can work harder for the sake of the economy?

Or is it just more of the same: the rich need to be paid well to be motivated to work but the poor need to be paid poorly in order to be motivated to work?

Un. Fucking. Believable.

ttosca Sat 30-Mar-13 14:27:17

ElBurro-

> You may find it hard to believe but the piece of fine art that you have shown us will have been produced by the artist for money. It was, is, and always will be a commodity. That does not mean that there is no artistic merit in it. This is very similar to the examples of art in popular culture that you give (except that now items can be replicated with ease). If there was no anticipation of payment by the artist then the fine art would, in all likelihood, not exist. That is capitalism at work - economic activity that meets a demand of some sort and is mutually beneficial to both producer and consumer.

lol! Another case of a conservative thinking that everyone is a selfish and greedy and him or herself.

This is historically inaccurate. In fact, much (most?) fine art was produced for the church. In fact, for much of history fine art was limited to religious art, as other art was forbidden.

In the modern era, most artists are not paid very well at all. Hence the stereotype of the 'starving artists'. Van Gogh died poor and penniless, and is not considered one of the greatest artists of all time.

https://mentalfloss.com/article/28010/10-cultural-giants-who-died-coinless

Countless artists of all kinds have produced their works because of the love of what they do, not for an expectation of monetary reward.

This spirit continues today when, not just artists, but programmers write the very software you are using to connect to the internet for absolutely free - with expectation of monetary rewards.

That's life, ElBurro, not everyone is a selfish conservative dickhead.

MiniTheMinx Sat 30-Mar-13 14:52:31

There was a reason I used Cappelle in my example. He produced very few paintings, perhaps only 500 (estimated number) he was a businessman in Amsterdam, he inherited the business from his father and he was actually fairly wealthy from the merchant class (ie pre-capitalist class) and he was a collector of fine art. He didn't though produce his own paintings for exhibition or sale, he painted for the love of painting and what he produced is widely regarded as very good.

In short his paintings were not produced to be exchanged and therefore they were not produced to be a commodity.

ElBurroSinNombre Sat 30-Mar-13 15:14:00

Thanks Mini,
It makes sense why you chose that particular painting. But he was only able to paint for pleasure because he was successful in other areas of his life. Are you saying that Capelles work has more artistic merit than something that was comissioned?

ttosca Sat 30-Mar-13 16:59:56

> This spirit continues today when, not just artists, but programmers write the very software you are using to connect to the internet for absolutely free - with expectation of monetary rewards.

I should really stop posting without ingesting sufficient amounts of coffee. I meant:

"This spirit continues today when, not just artists, but programmers write the very software you are using to connect to the internet for absolutely free - without expectation of monetary rewards."

MiniTheMinx Sat 30-Mar-13 17:17:12

ElBurroSinNombre, without realising you have hit the nail on the head, some people are sufficiently successful or lucky enough to be able to pursue their talents because they have enough money and time.

In the states we now see the rise of not just huge inequality and unemployment but the three income family, where some families have two adults working the equivalent hrs as three full time jobs. Does this leave time and resources to pursue interests? NO, and in that way capitalism means a huge waste of human potentiality.

If you consider some of the naturalists of the victorian era, mainly male, almost without exception upper/middle class with income from family businesses, inherited or shares capital etc, or working full time but only being able to pursue what they were clearly very talented at on a part time basis.

I suggest that there are huge numbers of people who never reach their full potential and as a result the human race is all the worse for it.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:20:58

'Maybe one of the problems of advanced economies is that people are sufficiently well off that they don’t need to drive themselves any more.”

Hilarious! Of course - if we are too rich to exert ourselves in order to improve our standard of living - then surely that means we have enough. Doesn't it? So why should we want more, Mr senior adviser to the coalition Government on growth?

If it's not broken, don't fix it. So put the NHS back together, give us back our benefits and we'll all think it was just a bad dream.

MTSgroupie Sat 06-Apr-13 17:14:47

'Too rich' is a bad choice of words but his.assertion is backed up by various studies over the years.

Basically, we reach a certain point where we feel that the extra money earned isn't enough to compensate for the effort. So if you are on £40k pa and your boss offered you OT on weekends many would decline it since family time is more important than the extra income. However, if you was on £15k you would probably welcome the OT.

Looking at it as a country, many Easter Europeans come to the UK to find work. Yet many 'locals' won't travel down the M1 to find work or to take up a better paid job.

MTSgroupie Sat 06-Apr-13 17:22:42

We see this lack of desire in education as well. My SIL is Chinese. Her parents worked two jobs each in order to earn enough to get her an British education and from there escape the cycle of poverty in their village. Contrast that with some of the attitudes here. I mean, my SIL's parents would have killed to have access to a GS education. They would have gone WTF! at some of children shouldn't be pressured opinions expressed her.

The national salary is £26k. For many of us that is 'rich' enough. Hence the lack of motivation to study/work harder.

ttosca Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:44

> The national salary is £26k. For many of us that is 'rich' enough. Hence the lack of motivation to study/work harder.

So, hang on... you're saying that we should be motived to study/work harder even though we're satisfied with how rich we are?

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 21:29:43

He makes a good point. The Chinese work hard to drive themselves out of poverty and have created a new middle class. They have the work ethic which a few in Britain have (I probably have it) which most do not have. I often feel I have more in common with the Chinese and their equivalents than many British mothers. Those people "get me" right away.

If you watch series on youtube about the change from hunter gatherer to the neolithic period from about 10,000 years ago it was when suddenly people had crops and ready sources of food that they had time for some people to sit around, write, paint, sculpt. One reason most successful artists and musicians have always been male is because men exploit women to serve them as so many housewives no musmnet know only too well whilst the men have all the free time to do other better things. Feminism and a man scrubbing your loo can be the key to having the time not only to follow your own stellar career but to have time for your creative hobbies too.

ipadquietly Fri 26-Apr-13 23:04:29

Do you have data to support your claim that 'few' people in Britain have a work ethic?

ttosca Sat 27-Apr-13 17:36:01

> Do you have data to support your claim that 'few' people in Britain have a work ethic?

It's more reactionary nonsense. In fact, Britain has a Protestant work ethic, coming from it's Church of England and Capitalist roots.

In fact, if you look at the number of Working hours and Productivity/hour:

www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/dec/08/europe-working-hours

You see that:

a) The UK is near the very top in terms of working hours

b) Productivity is above the EU average

So, no. Not only is there no evidence that there is 'no work ethic' in the UK, there is evidence that people work harder and longer here than in most of europe.

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