Hilarious!: Too rich Brits lack desire, says Heseltine(137 Posts)
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 youve got to have a well-performing economy. It could be an indifferent economy.
Its 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 dont 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.
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.
> 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:
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.
Do you have data to support your claim that 'few' people in Britain have a work ethic?
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.
> 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?
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.
'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.
'Maybe one of the problems of advanced economies is that people are sufficiently well off that they dont 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.
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.
> 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."
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?
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
'How do you feel when faced with a picture of a starving third world child?'
I feel sad. But some people exploit those feelings in order to collect cash and sometimes only a small percentage of the cash goes to help people in need. Sometimes charity bosses are on huige salaries and quite a large proportion of the money collected goes on "administration".
Plastic is made from oil, so plastic can be converted back into oil, which is a great thing that helps people be productive and travel and keep warm. Most of teh plastic collected now just ends up in landfill. It is not converted back to oil. That is a waste.
What the purpose of life is, no one really knows, but helping people to prosper and progress is part of what we all should do and trickery and manipulation by elites who wish to reduce population, production and prosperity of people is not part of our purpose.
As is coronation street and cash inducing advertising pictures. All reduced to just commodities.
How do you feel when faced with a picture of a starving third world child? I want to pick them up, feed them and comfort them. What am I suppose to think? "I'll get my credit card"
global warming is a load of man-made hot air,
ahh but if you are looking for the spiritual you might miss it under capitalism. If there was meant to be a real purpose to life on earth it can't have been to fill it with discarded plastic widgets.
'I am distinguishing art from commodity, making art does not exploit people, making commodities does but they both inspire desire and elicit responses.'
Yes, but porn is not art, it is a commodity.
Real art elicits a spiritual response, a commodity is just material.
I hope we are in agreement that global warming is a load of man-made hot air.
'You do seem to be a more than a little prescriptive.'
That is socialist. The prescriptive, know-better, nanny state, control freak that knows what is best for other people.
Dennis Healey, a very distinguished politician, is an example of someone who thinks he knows best. His reported comment that "UKIP are bastards" shows, I think, his lofty out-of-touch condescension towards another political party that has different views to his, and it also possibly shows what he thinks of the millions of people who agree with UKIP. I think it shows a lack of understanding of others and even a disdain of someone who thinks they know best.
anyway, we may find something we agree on one day Claig
Have a good easter
So there is spirit in pop music, spirit in advertising pictures , music videos, coronation street and other brain rotting craparolla but not in pornography. Or are you now saying that there is no spirit in the culture and art favoured by the working person? or is that these commodified cultural forms are not infact art/culture at all but just commodities like bubble gum and cheeseburgers and cheap t-shirts?
Why would someone who appreciate art reduce it to a mere material thing? because I am not, I am distinguishing art from commodity, making art does not exploit people, making commodities does but they both inspire desire and elicit responses.
Religion has the same history as class society and came about because of mans desire to control womens reproductive capacities. It is made made just as all social constructs are.
Music is the language of the soul. It plucks heart strings. It moves in an inexplicable way because it speaks directly to the soul and not to the brain.
It is not a material, rational thing that is processed by a rational mind, it speaks to a spiritual soul. No Marxist or rational materialist can control the reaction that people feel when hearing it. Just like religion, it is the opium of the masses, beyond the control of the materialist, rational control freak.
But it doesn't touch the soul.
I think this is another reason that Marx has got it wrong. Marxism is about materialism, it sees the world in terms of material production and material and economic value. It wants to abolish religion. It sees no place for the spiritual or the soul. It believes those things are the opium of the masses. It fails to understand real value and possibly even fails to distinguish between true art and porn, seeing them both as material goods which have been produced and failing to see the spirit behind true art.
Pornography changes people, it changes the way in which men relate women.
Now you are getting into the philosophical question of what defines art. Not everything that is produced is art in my opinion. There is a large difference between a Truffaut film and its deep reflection of life and character and Dolly Dimple does Dallas.
I think art speaks to the soul and stirs and moves the soul in a spiritual way. Art touches and changes a person.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.