Refunds to consumers of bank fraud doing more to stimulate economy than govt. initiatives - says Commie Financial Times

(72 Posts)
ttosca Wed 08-Aug-12 14:52:04

As I've said over and over... the problem with the economy is on the demand side, not the supply side.

Further deregulating businesses will not stimulate the economy, it will make the situation worse, as consumers will be even more insecure about their financial future.

Put real spending money in to people's hands and invest in infrastructure projects instead.

---
Refunds of mis-sold payment protection insurance are doing more to boost Britain’s stuttering economy than government initiatives to stimulate growth, official and bank data show.

The UK’s five biggest banks have set aside almost £9bn to cover claims for selling their customers loan insurance that was either not needed or could not be used, in one of the most costly consumer scandals on record.

www.ft.com/cms/s/0/47b6a6a2-df0f-11e1-97ea-00144feab49a.html#axzz22lrxyjbn

flatpackhamster Wed 08-Aug-12 15:43:31

And as you've been told over and over, borrowing to spend is what got us in this mess. That's all you're advocating, borrow-and-spend. At some point the pretend money merry-go-round will stop, and what happens then?

ttosca Wed 08-Aug-12 16:11:12

Flatpack

And as you've been told over and over, borrowing to spend is what got us in this mess. That's all you're advocating, borrow-and-spend. At some point the pretend money merry-go-round will stop, and what happens then?

And as I've explained over and over, borrowing is not what got in to this mess. It was not public spending which caused the financial crisis. It was the casino gambling of bankers.

No matter how much you try to propagate this fantasy narrative, it will not change the facts that prior to the financial crisis, public spending was not unprecedented and historically low. The deficit increased from 3% to over 11% after the financial crisis and subsequent recession.

The recession caused a loss of tax receipts and increase in welfare spending due to larger unemployment.

You will also find that 'this mess' is a global crisis, hitting almost every developed Western country, whether they ran their budgets in surplus or with a larger deficit than the UK.

So you can stop spreading this nonsense that spending too much on schools and hospitals is what caused a global financial meltdown and the worst recession since the 1920s, because it's absurd and not credible in the least bit.

Furthermore, drastically cutting public spending is counter-Keynesian and has been shown not to work in the past. So long as the UK keeps sucking the economy dry, we will remain in a recession.

flatpackhamster Wed 08-Aug-12 16:48:49

ttosca

And as I've explained over and over, borrowing is not what got in to this mess. It was not public spending which caused the financial crisis. It was the casino gambling of bankers.

Who's talking about the financial crisis? I'm talking about the moribund economy.

No matter how much you try to propagate this fantasy narrative, it will not change the facts that prior to the financial crisis, public spending was not unprecedented and historically low. The deficit increased from 3% to over 11% after the financial crisis and subsequent recession.

No it wasn't. Firstly, it was low compared to 1944, when we were engaged in a global war. At no other point in history has our spending been as high.

Secondly, there was heaps of spending off-balance sheet, such as PFI, which is still money we owe but doesn't appear on the books.

Finally, there was also structural deficit, being paid for by borrowing.

The recession caused a loss of tax receipts and increase in welfare spending due to larger unemployment.

Which is manageable within the constraints of a normal, healthy economy not burdened by immense debts, which our economy isn't and hasn't been for decades.

You will also find that 'this mess' is a global crisis, hitting almost every developed Western country, whether they ran their budgets in surplus or with a larger deficit than the UK.

And those nations who haven't overspent are in a better position to recover. The lower your debts, the easier it is to get going again and the higher your growth rate.

Relentless overspending has caused the low growth rates.

So you can stop spreading this nonsense that spending too much on schools and hospitals is what caused a global financial meltdown and the worst recession since the 1920s, because it's absurd and not credible in the least bit.

Furthermore, drastically cutting public spending is counter-Keynesian and has been shown not to work in the past. So long as the UK keeps sucking the economy dry, we will remain in a recession.

Keynesianism doesn't work. It doesn't work because politicians like the bit about spending, but when they're told to stop spending they can't. It's a failed creed, like socialism, and it's long past the time both of them were consigned to the scrapheap where they belong.

CogitoErgOlympics Thu 09-Aug-12 07:20:13

"the problem with the economy is on the demand side"

That's correct, but demand in this context is not simply local consumption. Exports constitute a large part of our GDP and, with a 'global crisis hitting almost every developed Western country' and a drop in growth in a few Eastern countries besides, this revenue stream is badly affected.

Even if you leave public spending out of the equation completely, much of the last boom was credit-funded. The consumer base has spent the last 4 or 5 years therefore either paying down debts run up during the previous decade or building up their savings. A large proportion of any 'real money put into people's hands' is likely to go the same way.

Have no problem with more cash going into infrastructure projects. It is how the last government should have spent more of the cash rather than plumping up the public sector.

edam Thu 09-Aug-12 20:34:19

The government's poured billions into the banks, to very little effect. It's got to be worth trying to put some money straight into the hands of actual people and actual businesses. We might actually do something useful with it.

niceguy2 Sat 11-Aug-12 09:16:17

much of the last boom was credit-funded

Exactly. And most people understand that the simple concept that you cannot continue to borrow forever. And now we realise that not even western governments can continue to borrow forever.

People need to start accepting that as a nation we've spent far more money than we should have and now it's time to pay some of this money back. And that's always painful as inevitably debt repayments cuts into money we could be spending on other things.

@Edam. The problem is not putting money straight into the hands of actual people. That would be pretty easy. All the government would need to do is pop a cheque in the post to each citizen. Or perhaps a bonus via say Child Benefit recipients. The problem is the money being spent needs to be sustainable. Giving everyone a one off bonus will help for well....one time. Once that money is spent, the economy goes back to where it was.

ttosca Sun 12-Aug-12 18:28:40

flatpack-

And as I've explained over and over, borrowing is not what got in to this mess. It was not public spending which caused the financial crisis. It was the casino gambling of bankers.

Who's talking about the financial crisis? I'm talking about the moribund economy.

The 'moribund economy' is the result of the financial crisis.

No matter how much you try to propagate this fantasy narrative, it will not change the facts that prior to the financial crisis, public spending was not unprecedented and historically low. The deficit increased from 3% to over 11% after the financial crisis and subsequent recession.

No it wasn't. Firstly, it was low compared to 1944, when we were engaged in a global war. At no other point in history has our spending been as high.

These statements are factually incorrect:

First of all, public spending has been higher for decades in the past. The period between 1960-1985 shows higher public spending as a percentage of GDP than 2008, when it was at 40%.

www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downchart_ukgs.php?chart=F0-total&year=1900_2011&units=p&state=UK

Secondly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with public spending per se, or even an increasing share of spending as percentage of GDP, so long as money isn't wasted and we can afford the spend it.

Thirdly, the public net debt is at a historical low-point, despite the financial crisis and subsequent hundred billion pound bailouts. Prior to the crisis, it remained at a level which was very roughly the same since about 1990:

www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downchart_ukgs.php?chart=G0-total&year=1900_2011&units=p&state=UK

Secondly, there was heaps of spending off-balance sheet, such as PFI, which is still money we owe but doesn't appear on the books.

Perhaps. Care to hazard how much this is - and back it up with figures and facts, seeing as you've already got so much so wrong?

Finally, there was also structural deficit, being paid for by borrowing.

The real risk from government debt is the burden of interest payments. Experts say that when interest payments reach about 12% of GDP then a government will likely default on its debt. Chart 5 shows that the UK is a long way from that risk. The peak period for government interest payments, including central government and local authorities, was in the 1920s and 1930s right after World War I.

Interest payments are at a historical low point now. There is no danger of the UK interest paryments getting out of hand:

www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downchart_ukgs.php?chart=90-total&year=1900_2011&units=p&state=UK

The recession caused a loss of tax receipts and increase in welfare spending due to larger unemployment.

Which is manageable within the constraints of a normal, healthy economy not burdened by immense debts, which our economy isn't and hasn't been for decades.

Based on what information? All the wrong assertions you've made so far? We aren't burdened by immense debts.

You will also find that 'this mess' is a global crisis, hitting almost every developed Western country, whether they ran their budgets in surplus or with a larger deficit than the UK.

And those nations who haven't overspent are in a better position to recover. The lower your debts, the easier it is to get going again and the higher your growth rate.

Better position to recover how? By spending money, you mean? Like a Keynesian stimulus, you mean?

Relentless overspending has caused the low growth rates.

Utterly nonsense.

So you can stop spreading this nonsense that spending too much on schools and hospitals is what caused a global financial meltdown and the worst recession since the 1920s, because it's absurd and not credible in the least bit.

Keynesianism doesn't work. It doesn't work because politicians like the bit about spending, but when they're told to stop spending they can't. It's a failed creed, like socialism, and it's long past the time both of them were consigned to the scrapheap where they belong.

Keynesianism certainly does. The fact that you hate government spending and government per se doesn't change that fact. WWII is an excellent example of the fact that it works very well.

Counter-Keynesianism, where you cut spending during a recession, is counter-productive, as we seen in the UK, where we've experienced the longest double-dip recession on record.

flatpackhamster Mon 13-Aug-12 09:16:25

Hilarious. Our debts are low, our spending was low under labour, World War 2 shows how government spending boost the economy.

Comical Ali, I salute you in your new career.

ttosca Mon 13-Aug-12 10:51:45

flatpack-

Historically speaking, yes. Our debts are low. They shot up after 2008 because of the financial crisis and bank bailouts to their highest point since 1970. That's not a great situation, but historically it's quite low. Debt has been considerably higher for most of the 20th Century.

The financial difficulties we're having relates to the deficit, not the debt. This is the result of the financial crisis and recession, which resulted in a loss of tax receipts.

So the problems we're experiencing are basically a revenue crisis.

Here is your chart of Public Spending / GDP from 1970-2012:

www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/spending_chart_1970_2011UKp_12c1li011mcn_F0t

Public spending did indeed rise during the labour years (from 2000), but you can see that, at their peak, this was equivalent to spending during 1982 and less than 1975.

So yes, it was high, but hardly unprecedented.

And finally, yes, spending on the war is widely acknowledged to have brought the world out of the economic crisis of the pre-war period.

ttosca Mon 13-Aug-12 10:58:32

niceguy-

Exactly. And most people understand that the simple concept that you cannot continue to borrow forever. And now we realise that not even western governments can continue to borrow forever.

You don't know what you're talking about.

People need to start accepting that as a nation we've spent far more money than we should have and now it's time to pay some of this money back. And that's always painful as inevitably debt repayments cuts into money we could be spending on other things.

UK borrowing costs fall below Germany's

The UK government's implied cost of borrowing has dropped below Germany's for the first time in 2.5 years.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15869094

---------

Can we afford to pay back the debt?

Of course it would be better to be able to spend the money we use to repay debts on something more desirable. But it does not mean that debt repayments are out of control. This graph shows the proportion of the wealth produced by the country each year that has been used to pay back debts during the last six decades.

UK annual debt repayments as percentage of GDP, 1948-2009

We can see that debt repayments have gone up in line with the debt since the recession hit, but they are still lower than in many years in the past.

Here's another way of looking at debt repayments. This shows what proportion of government spending goes on debt repayment. It's gone up in the last few years – but has been much higher in the past.

UK annual debt repayments as percentage of government spending, 1948-2009

Compare where we are today with what happened between the 1992 and 1997 elections.

Yes, our debt is going up and is higher than it was before the election.

But it's still lower than it's been for many years this century, and is lower than in many other similar countries.

Yes, it's costing more to pay back our debt and it's going up.

But it's lower than most years since the second world war. Just 6p in every pound of spending went on paying off debt last year, compared to 8p in 1996.

falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/how-big-is-the-problem

niceguy2 Mon 13-Aug-12 11:15:46

Ahh Ttosca how I've missed your long and rambling replies.

Your argument is basically "look, I know we've got a deficit but I don't owe THAT much....not compared to my mates and not compared to what I used to owe (after WW2). So where's the problem? We should keep borrowing!"

You sound like a couple I know who have multiple credit cards, remortgaged her house several times to pay for nice holidays etc as well as car loans and god knows what else. At the moment there's no problem at all. They can happily point to the fact they are meeting the minimum repayments and xyz is in more debt than they are.

But if they do not curtail their spending then sooner or later they will run out of credit card companies to borrow from and be forced to curtail her spending.

UK government is no different.

Attitudes thankfully have changed. Racking up debts to be paid in the the long & distant future is no longer a desirable thing.

ttosca Mon 13-Aug-12 11:37:12

They're really not 'long and rambling replies'.

I'm actually trying to inject some facts and figures in to the conversation. The way you keep talking, it seems like you live in a fantasy world with entirely different economic circumstances and history.

What has changed is the economic crisis, and this is seen by the ruling class as an opportunity to turn a financial crisis in to a sovereign debt/public spending crisis, and you happily go along with this.

It is entirely misleading to suggest the state was 'spending too much' on schools and hospitals because now, post crisis, in the middle of a recession, we have a much higher deficit.

No, the problem isn't that we spend too much money on schools. The problem is that we're in the worst recession since the 1930s, spent hundreds of billions bailing out banks, and refuse to go after tax avoidance/evasion which costs the country tens of billions of pounds annually.

Meanwhile, people like you, instead of targeting the people who are actually responsible for the crisis and recession, and instead of targeting those people (millionaires and billionaires) who can afford to pay more to help us out of the crisis, you complain about public spending on the most vulnerable and on essential public services.

It's really just nasty and reactionary. If your concern was really about economics and 'balancing the budget', you would go after tax avoiders, not pensioners and the millions who now find themselves unemployed thanks to gambling capitalists.

flatpackhamster Mon 13-Aug-12 13:19:13

You keep 'injecting facts and figures', but then you ignore anybody else's facts and figures which don't chime with yours. What exactly are we learning here, except that you're a Deficit Denier?

You keep pretending our debts are low, but there's PFI, there's the public sector pension deficit, the state pension deficit - £3 Trillion which is off the balance sheet but still needs to be found. And when you're told about this, you just ignore it as though covering your ears will make the big scary numbers go away.

ttosca Mon 13-Aug-12 15:37:40

You keep 'injecting facts and figures', but then you ignore anybody else's facts and figures which don't chime with yours.

No I don't, I'm still waiting for them.

What exactly are we learning here, except that you're a Deficit Denier?

I'm not that either, as I've already said that the problem with the UK economy is the deficit, and not the debt.

You keep pretending our debts are low, but there's PFI, there's the public sector pension deficit, the state pension deficit - £3 Trillion which is off the balance sheet but still needs to be found. And when you're told about this, you just ignore it as though covering your ears will make the big scary numbers go away.

You assert that this is a problem, but you haven't shown any evidence or figures to back it up.

Furthermore, even if the future debt or deficit is higher than at first apparent, this doesn't detract from the fact that the main cause of the deficit is the financial crisis and recession, and that we should be making the people who caused the crisis pay first, with tax avoiders/evaders contributing tens of billions second, before cutting essential public services to the vulnerable.

ElBurroSinNombre Tue 14-Aug-12 14:14:55

ttosca, We have been here before, many times.

I think most on here accept that the problem is the deficit and not the debt as you state. The question is how this deficit should be reduced.

When I asked you on another thread how we could reduce the deficit without making cuts in public services you said that we should take it from the banks (presumably via taxation). When I responded by asking whether you thought that taking ~£100 billion from the banks per year would affect economic growth, unsurprisingly, you did not respond to the question. To me, caning the banks as you have suggested many times, would deepen the recession less money would be available for lending to business. Most of us would like the banks to be penalised for their part in this mess but it is a lot more complex than just saying we should tax them more and carry on spending.

Your other suggestion for reducing the deficit was that we should not pay back our PFI liabilities and (quite rightly) you were completely ridiculed and quickly changed your tack.

Incidentally, the reason why UK's borrowing rate is less than Germany's atm is because the markets perceive that the course we are taking is a sensible one. It does not mean that we should simply borrow more money.

flatpackhamster Tue 14-Aug-12 15:18:13

ttosca

You assert that this is a problem, but you haven't shown any evidence or figures to back it up.

Why should I bother again when you don't read them?

Furthermore, even if the future debt or deficit is higher than at first apparent, this doesn't detract from the fact that the main cause of the deficit is the financial crisis and recession, and that we should be making the people who caused the crisis pay first, with tax avoiders/evaders contributing tens of billions second, before cutting essential public services to the vulnerable.

biscuit

niceguy2 Tue 14-Aug-12 15:30:16

Plus banks have not caused a £160billion per annum structural deficit. Government's have caused that.

So if you want to banks to pay then strictly speaking they should be paying the difference between the structural deficit and the actual deficit.

It does not mean that we should simply borrow more money.

Agreed. I had an email today offering me 0% credit card for a period of time. It doesn't mean I should borrow just because it's 0%. I still have to pay the money back one day.

ElBurroSinNombre Tue 14-Aug-12 20:29:09

The rate that the UK can borrow at is a reflection of the perceived risk of lending the money to our government. The borrowing rate would be a lot higher if we took the path that ttosca recommends (by not implementing spending cuts) - this relationship seems to be lost on him/her as he/she thinks the fact that it is low is a sign that we should be borrowing more.
To me, the current borrowing rate is the figure that is really important in all of this and it is unrelated to the historic debt to GDP ratio that ttosca keeps banging on about.

edam Tue 14-Aug-12 20:47:24

I think we can see where preaching austerity while printing money to pour into the gaping maw of the banks has got us - and it's hardly a happy place to be. They aren't lending money to business and they aren't stimulating the economy. We can see where a refusal to consider Keynesian economics has got the EU - and it's the brink of disaster.

Insisting on more of the same really isn't going to help. We can see it hasn't been working, it's not going to start now. If we are going to continue printing money, let's put it into the real economy - into the hands of businesses and consumers. Let's not pursue policies that are scaring businesses off expanding, investing and employing and having a similar effect on private citizens.

A couple of government ministers have woken up and realised the G4S debacle over the Olympics and the army, police and public riding to the rescue has challenged their assumption that private sector = good, public sector = bad. Let's see a similar injection of fresh thinking on economic growth. It'd be about time.

claig Tue 14-Aug-12 21:51:06

Agree, edam. And the public now appear to have lost faith

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2187585/Coalition-crisis-Only-believes-Government-survive-2015.html

How did it get so bad, so fast. Where did it all go wrong?
How have the high hopes and elation at the election result vanished so quickly?

Can it be turned round or is this a one term government and a one trick pony?
Will the progressives be back in after only a 5 year gap?

claig Tue 14-Aug-12 22:04:02

Our athletes won a gold in the dressage, but the Coalition hasn't convinced the public with the message. It's almost as if policy is being run by the Sloane Ranger and Tonto. The stable door is open, the horse has bolted, the recovery has halted, the LIBOR rate appears to have been phony and some have described the policy as a load of old pony.

niceguy2 Tue 14-Aug-12 22:16:01

To be fair as Mervyn King famously predicted:

"....whoever wins this election will be out of power for a whole generation because of how tough the fiscal austerity will have to be"

This was my main concern going into the election that in effect Labour would avoid taking responsibility for the structural deficit they created and the painful austerity required to bring it under control. The Tories would get the blame.

I still fear MK may be right on this one although I hope he is not.

That said the coalition are doing themselves no favours either. Let's be honest, the majority of the public don't understand the ins/outs of LIBOR. Many won't even understand what a recession is other than it's a bad thing.

But what every voter does understand is public squabbling is wrong. The coalition are doing just that.

Going back on your word is wrong. The Tories have done that by reneging on the coalition agreement on the Lords.

And we all understand that two wrongs don't make a right. So the tit for tat of boundary changes is also wrong.

Whilst I feel the coalition will be a one term government (and Labour would be ousted in 2015 had they won a couple of years back), they obviously are doing themselves no favours at all.

claig Tue 14-Aug-12 22:18:07

The public likes a bit of comedy - a bit of Mr Bean, Mr Idle and Mr Trotter - they said that showed the world that we were eccentric, funny and a little bit bonkerz, but the public can't see the funny side in a deepening recession, blow that for a game of conkers.

Xenia Wed 15-Aug-12 08:04:04
ttosca Wed 15-Aug-12 19:43:59

Elburro-

The rate that the UK can borrow at is a reflection of the perceived risk of lending the money to our government.

This is short term thinking. The perceived risk will increase greatly when the economy continues to collapse.

The borrowing rate would be a lot higher if we took the path that ttosca recommends (by not implementing spending cuts) - this relationship seems to be lost on him/her as he/she thinks the fact that it is low is a sign that we should be borrowing more.

No, it's a sign that we can borrow more. We should borrow more because the relentless cuts are strangling the economy.

To me, the current borrowing rate is the figure that is really important in all of this and it is unrelated to the historic debt to GDP ratio that ttosca keeps banging on about.

Really? That's the really important figure? Borrowing costs? Didn't the ratings agency get a few things wrong in the past?

Maybe consider that borrowing costs in the short term isn't the be all and end all, especially considering when doing so in the short term by slashing spending is killing the economy and endangering it in the longt-term.

We'll see. Thanks to the Tory clowns and their ideological cuts, we'll continue to see the economy stagnate until there's a change of course. Damage will be done, but they won't be in power after the next election.

claig Wed 15-Aug-12 20:01:46

'Thanks to the Tory clowns'

Hold on, is there more than one?

ElBurroSinNombre Wed 15-Aug-12 20:29:52

ttosca, Borrowing costs are not set by a ratings agency as you imply, instead they are set by real organisations investing real money in ascending price bond auctions. This means that the cost of borrowing is a real reflection of the perceived risk rather than an artificial rating. I know how particular you are about statements that other posters make being backed up with facts, so I hope you don't mind me correcting the false impression that your post gives.

There is no easy way out of this deficit crisis - all three main parties would have implemented cuts in services if they had the chance. Blaming Tory 'scum', 'clowns' or whatever insult you are currently using is so lazy and denies the economic reality.

edam Wed 15-Aug-12 22:28:30

'real organisations investing real money' - yeah, like the libor rate... Turned out that was a tissue of lies.

All three parties would NOT have done exactly the same. The Tories insisted they could eliminate the deficit by the end of this parliament. Ho ho very ho. Even they have to admit this is now impossible. We would have been far better to go for a balanced approach aimed at achieving growth and financial stability - which is what Labour was calling for. The Tories - those idiots who gave us the budget omnishambles - cut too far and too fast and have driven us into a double dip recession where we are plagued by a toxic combination of rising inflation, unemployment, under-employment (people who can only find part-time work when they need full-time) and pay cuts or freezes - which are cuts in real terms given inflation.

niceguy2 Wed 15-Aug-12 23:05:28

The difference in reality of the cuts proposed between what the Tories said versus Labour at the last election were frankly small potatoes.

In fact it's become obvious to everyone that the coalition have been unable to cut as hard or as deep as they wanted. In fact they've pretty much only managed what Labour proposed.

My point is that best case you can argue is that the Tories have pretty much done what Labour have said. Maybe a few taxes would have been different but are you seriously suggesting a Labour budget would have been without flaws? They'd have just been different flaws.

With that in mind and the wider EU debacle I reckon the same double dip would have happened, the same financial scandals etc. In other words we'd be pretty much where we are now.

I agree the coalition have so far failed to deliver and failed to inspire. But I don't think Labour would have done any different. Do you?

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 16-Aug-12 07:41:38

edam,

'real organisations investing real money' - yeah, like the libor rate... Turned out that was a tissue of lies.

What are you saying - that government bonds are not really bought and sold in bond markets? Or that their price is fixed?
If you believe the former then you are nuts and would be better off on a site discussing 9/11 conspiricy theories or something like. The latter is not really possible because of the way that the bonds are sold.

As I stated, all three parties would have made cuts and the difference between the declared policy at the last election was very small. No political party would have been able to insulate us against a world wide slump as you seem to suggest. There is no easy way out of this mess.

we are plagued by a toxic combination of rising inflation, unemployment, under-employment (people who can only find part-time work when they need full-time) and pay cuts or freezes

Inflation is currently only slightly higher than is desirable, unemployment has just fallen by 46,000 and pay freezes are inevitable under the economic circumstances. But don't let the facts get in the way of your frothing.

amicissimma Thu 16-Aug-12 16:39:49

"We would have been far better to go for a balanced approach aimed at achieving growth and financial stability"

Sounds great. How are we going to do this? I hear lots about 'investment' but little detail on what we should invest in and where we will find the money to do it (apart from the tired old 'tax the rich b**ds' or 'prevent tax avidance', which, even if it were practical, would produce peanuts in terms of what we need).

The only person I can see consistently pushing for actual projects: a new airport, 'Crossrail 2, more [Thames] river crossings, a massive house building programme' - is Boris Johnson and, as far as I am aware, he is not a member of the Labour Party. (Yes, his ideas are London-centric, probably because he's the Mayor of London.)

edam Thu 16-Aug-12 21:19:45

[[http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/exclusive-osbornes-supporters-turn-him even the economists who originally backed Osborne have now realised we need to change course] Only ONE of the 20 who praised his plans is still willing to claim he's pursuing the right course.

edam Thu 16-Aug-12 21:20:01
edam Thu 16-Aug-12 21:21:25

As for Boris, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repenteth... or one member of the Tory party prepared to face the facts.

flatpackhamster Fri 17-Aug-12 08:06:47

Edam, there was an article on ConservativeHome which comprehensively demolished the New Statesman's fantasy claims. I'll see if I can find it for you.

ElBurroSinNombre Fri 17-Aug-12 09:35:20

It always amazes me when people on here post links to something like the New Statesman (or the Daily Telegraph for that matter), as if it proves their point. The very idea that these articles represent an objective test of the truth about a situation is frankly ridiculous - all of those publications have a political agenda and a lot of what they print is merely propaganda.

edam, I admire your tenacity in sticking to the party line - you must be one of a dwindling band. I don't know why you have so much confidence in what the Labour party says it would do if it had the chance. The last Labour government caused of a lot of the mess that we are now in.

ttosca Sat 18-Aug-12 11:00:00

amicissima-

Sounds great. How are we going to do this? I hear lots about 'investment' but little detail on what we should invest in and where we will find the money to do it (apart from the tired old 'tax the rich b**ds' or 'prevent tax avidance', which, even if it were practical, would produce peanuts in terms of what we need).

Taxing the rich and preventing tax avoidance are perfectly reasonable and practical. The problem is that there isn't the political will to do so. That's not surprising, given that 50% of Tory funding comes from the City of London corporation.

Conservative estimates of the amount of money recoverable from going after tax avoiders and evaders (either by closing loopholes or prosecuting evaders) is in the low tens of billions. This is a huge amount, given some of the disastrous and harmful ConDem policies put in to place in the name of saving tens or hundreds of millions.

The only person I can see consistently pushing for actual projects: a new airport, 'Crossrail 2, more [Thames] river crossings, a massive house building programme' - is Boris Johnson and, as far as I am aware, he is not a member of the Labour Party. (Yes, his ideas are London-centric, probably because he's the Mayor of London.)

This is not true at all. The unions have been calling for investment for quite some time now. Here is a list of leading Capitalist economist calling for a change from 'Plan B'

No, really, George Osborne - here's your plan B

More economists join the revolt against austerity.

"There is no plan B," declared George Osborne in October 2010, as he slashed public spending to reduce the deficit. He promised that the plan would create "a platform for economic stability".

But as time has worn on, and the UK has plunged into a double-dip recession, more and more experts are urging the Chancellor think again. (This week's New Statesman cover story has nine of 20 who signed a letter in support of Osborne rethinking their positions.)

Now, the Guardian has repeated an exercise done by the New Statesman in October last year and asked leading economists what their Plan B would look like. (They asked seven, including Robert Skidelsky. We asked nine, including Robert Skidelsky).

www.newstatesman.com/blogs/economics/2012/08/no-really-george-osborne-heres-your-plan-b

ttosca Sat 18-Aug-12 11:02:08

Ah. I didn't see edam's article.

The NS article I posted is not the same, although it is makes a similar point.

ttosca Sat 18-Aug-12 11:11:43

ElBurro-

ttosca, Borrowing costs are not set by a ratings agency as you imply, instead they are set by real organisations investing real money in ascending price bond auctions. This means that the cost of borrowing is a real reflection of the perceived risk rather than an artificial rating. I know how particular you are about statements that other posters make being backed up with facts, so I hope you don't mind me correcting the false impression that your post gives.

OK. Point taken, if true, and thank you.

There is no easy way out of this deficit crisis - all three main parties would have implemented cuts in services if they had the chance. Blaming Tory 'scum', 'clowns' or whatever insult you are currently using is so lazy and denies the economic reality.

The economic reality is that public spending is neither the cause of the crisis nor the cause of the deficit.

What is happening is that the Tories see the crisis and recession, which has caused a large deficit due to a loss of tax receipts, as a way of shrinking down the size of the state and enacting more neo-liberal policies of privitisation and cuts in public spending.

In fact, there is no conceivable way you can balance the budget 'structural deficit' by simply cutting spending. The UK would end up like Zimbabwe. The only way to 'fix' the budget is to

a) Bring back growth by stimulating the economy
b) Bring back demand by putting money in to people who will spend it and not hoard it
c) Regulate the economy and financial sector!

ElBurroSinNombre Mon 20-Aug-12 09:14:45

ttosca,

I think that most people, apart from a few of the right wing nutters on here and elsewhere, would favour a Keynsenist approach if it were possible. The major problem that we have with this approach is that the last government (Brown) ran up a structural defecit during an economic boom - when if it had followed Keynes it should have been running a small surplus (like Labour did in the late nineties).

If we start to borrow more to stimulate the economy the cost of borrowing will rise. As I pointed out, the borrowing cost is set using real money and therefore is a 'real' measure - it is quite different to the likes of me and you spouting off on message boards about what should happen. The borrowing cost represents confidence in our ability to pay money back at some point in the future - really confidence in the government's ability to manage the economy competantly.

I think that we agree that the deficit must be tackled because it is unsustainable. We have discussed ways in which we could reduce the deficit without affecting growth. So far we have had the following suggestions;

- Take more money from the banks via taxation but most realise that this would affect growth
- Stop paying PFI liabilities - too ridiculous to consider
- clamp down on tax evasion - small potatoes and some effort being made already
- raise taxes - already done (e.g. VAT) but has a negative effect on growth

Do we have any others?

MrJudgeyPants Wed 22-Aug-12 01:39:00

ElBurroSinNombre

- Cut taxation for all businesses (boosting international competitiveness), turn Britian into a tax haven and encourage as many overseas companies to open factories and offices here as possible.

niceguy2 Wed 22-Aug-12 08:49:32

Shock horror judgey at the notion of cutting taxes for companies. Tax them til the pips squeek I tell you. Capitalist barstewards! wink

flatpackhamster Wed 22-Aug-12 11:04:30

Love Ttosca's bizarre claim that public spending hasn't caused the deficit.

Deficit is what you get when your public spending is higher than your tax take. It is, by definition, caused by public spending! Labour spent more than they took in taxes every single year from 2001 onwards. The financial crisis didn't hit the books until 2007! By 2005 Labour were spending £25Bn a year more than they were taking in taxes!

Jesus wept. With this level of denial it's no wonder you cling to communism as a solution. And what's so lovely is you cite Zimbabwe as a reason not to cut spending, when Zimbabwe's problems have been caused by Marxist ignorance of fiscal probity.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 22-Aug-12 11:40:40

flatpack We can go further than that. Labour were fire hosing far more than you say around - just think of all that juicy PFI debt swilling around the system (Reckoned on being around £130 billion) - most of it accrued under the watchful eye of Gordon Brown. The figures you quote are only what is declared by the government - there is plenty of off-balance sheet activity augmenting that.

Anyone who thinks that communism is a recipe for anything other than repression, stagnation and the gulags is a fool.

rosajam Wed 22-Aug-12 22:29:45

Same argument I've seen here many times.

Interesting BBC interview yesterday to Lib.Dem politician. Something like:
" Our deficit has grown since April - due to no growth and you still think we should stick to austerity?"

Answer was a muffled - what else can we do?

Infrastructure, house building is suggested as a way of renewing employment and boosting economy. British Car industry is doing well.

Surely some investment in construction or manufacturing is needed - either state boosted or banks lending?

No growth surely answers those posters who insist we must cut back and not inject some cash to boost some industrious areas of the economy. Contrary to their belief - the books are not balancing that way!

niceguy2 Wed 22-Aug-12 23:21:58

I don't think anyone is arguing that we don't need investment. The problem is where do we make cuts to get the funds available and what do we invest in.

Whilst it's easy to say 'let's build houses!', the reality is that even if the government magic'ed a pot of money tomorrow, builders will need to find land to buy, planning permission must be sought. And without doubt objections will be made and local protests mounted. The likely result is that it will be 18 months maybe even 2 years before a brick is laid.

That's not to say we shouldn't invest in the right things. But just that we need to be realistic that investments are long term bets, not something which will kick start our economy tomorrow.

And the reality is that we need the cash from somewhere. So we either make cuts or borrow more. And we all know the latter isn't a great idea anymore.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 22-Aug-12 23:33:42

rosajam What's the difference between subsidising industry and cutting its taxes?

Also, the 'austerity' program has hardly started. We are still borrowing colossal amounts of cash each month and taxes on business and individuals in work have hardly altered. The cuts that have happened so far were little more than pruning some leaves off a tree when, in reality, a chainsaw needs to be taken to the branches.

A house building program would be a very sensible idea but reform of the planning system would be more welcome allowing house builders to pick up land for private dwellings at a cost far below its current inflated prices. As I've said before, the most expensive bit of house construction isn't the bricks and mortar; it is the permit to build on that land in the first place. I'm going off on a tangent here, but it is this mechanism which is the driver behind the rampant house price inflation we've seen and which is partly responsible for holding back the economy.

Finally, governments tend to have an awful track record of picking winners. Look back at some of the nationalised industries that we've had. Barely a success amongst them. (Please no one mention railway and utility privatisation, these were botched and I could write whole essays on what the government did wrong when it sold them off!).

flatpackhamster Thu 23-Aug-12 07:40:57

niceguy2

I don't think anyone is arguing that we don't need investment.

I am. Government 'investment' - isn't. Government spending (on new rail lines, for example) can a tool to allow businesses to develop but it is not, by itself, a solution to a depression.

The solution to a depression is, in this case, about 15-20 years of low growth and high debt repayment. A generation of misery, to pay for three generations of tax-and-spend politicians (mostly, but not all, Labour).

The problem is where do we make cuts to get the funds available and what do we invest in.

That's a second problem, of course. Taking out loans to build stuff doesn't create anything except debt.

ttosca Thu 23-Aug-12 09:16:03

Hilarious lack of basic understanding of economics from flatpack.

Anyway, from today's Torygraph:

Kate Barker: Osborne's austerity could be 'self-defeating’

The Government’s austerity programme risks becoming “self-defeating”, the Chancellor has been warned by Kate Barker, the most senior economist yet to intervene in the debate over growth.

Ms Barker, a former Bank of England rate-setter who is spoken of as a potential Governor, said George Osborne had left himself no “room for manoeuvre” to combat the recession by insisting that he can not budge from his debt and deficit reduction targets.

“There is a risk that the fiscal mandate, rather than a useful discipline, will become a straitjacket,” she added.

In an explosive report for the think-tank CentreForum, Ms Barker also called for changes to the Bank’s inflation target, raised questions about the effectiveness of more quantitative easing (QE), and said the Treasury’s reforms to financial regulation were “flawed” and would overburden the Bank.

Mr Osborne is already under pressure from economists and business leaders to relax his spending cuts and tax rises to boost growth. Yesterday, Adam Posen, an outgoing member of the Bank’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), joined the Chancellor’s critics by calling on him to use Britain’s record low borrowing costs to increase targeted spending.

“As long as interest rates are as low as they are in the UK, it doesn’t make any sense to sit on the money,” he said.

Cont'd...

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9493022/Kate-Barker-Osbornes-austerity-could-be-self-defeating.html

niceguy2 Thu 23-Aug-12 11:50:51

It depends flatpack. Government's can make sensible investments which can benefit us in the future. So for example a high speed rail link would be great for creating jobs in the short term and provide long term benefits in terms of making trade easier.

But the issue is can we trust the government to pick the right things to invest in because politician's are usually influenced by short term electoral gains than long term economic gains.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 23-Aug-12 13:06:14

niceguy2 "Governments can make sensible investments which can benefit us in the future. So for example a high speed rail link would be great for creating jobs in the short term and provide long term benefits in terms of making trade easier."

It very much depends on the numbers though. In the case of High Speed 2, there is little chance that we will get back the long term economic benefit that the £30Bn capex will cost. Sure, it will employ many people in the short term, give them a decent wage and reduce our unemployed head count but so would repeating the Joseph Williamson strategy of paying one group of people to dig holes and another lot to fill them back in again! Williamson's motivation was to reduce unemployment too and he leaves to posterity the wonderfully politically incorrect quote that his workers "all received a weekly wage and were thus enabled to enjoy the blessing of charity without the attendant curse of stifled self-respect."

The trick is to find cheap ways to boost productivity. In this instance, GB PLC would benefit far greater by the provision of free Wi-Fi on existing trains rather than knocking ten minutes off the journey time of a rich man's toy.

In the same vein, we are in the hiatus between the Olympics and Paralympics. Tens of thousands of people have been employed delivering the games (at the declared cost of nearly £10 Bn, but rumoured to be running close to double that estimate) yet in a few days’ time the stadiums will shut and there is not a chance in hell that the legacy will pay back the cost of the build.

It's similar with renewable energy. We are constantly told that the economic benefit of lots of new windmills is lots of jobs. I disagree that this is a benefit, employing lots of people means lots of wages to be paid from our household bills. Ignoring the global warming argument for a minute, why would we want to pay lots more money to employ thousands more people to give us something exactly the same as what we already get by employing a mere handful of people?

Just employing lots of people isn't a benefit in itself if the end product is of little or no value to the country and its subsequent economic performance.

flatpackhamster Thu 23-Aug-12 14:28:29

ttosca

Hilarious lack of basic understanding of economics from flatpack.

This from the person who doesn't understand that If Spending > Tax Then Deficit.

Lord above, Ttosca, you're pretty quick with the abuse but seriously pignorant when it comes to the real world and actual numbers. But it was always the way with the far left - deal with the world not as it is but as you'd like it to be.

And that article doesn't say what you think it says.

ttosca Thu 23-Aug-12 14:45:20

flatpack-

This from the person who doesn't understand that If Spending > Tax Then Deficit.

I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about. That's a very nice simple equation you have there, but I'm afraid you can't compare the economy to a personal budget.

The economy is a much more complicated machine. Tax receipts will go up and down depending on a variety of factors. It's not as simple as reduce spending in order to reduce the gap between revenue and expenditure. This is simplistic and naive.

If you actually cut spending so drastically that you harm the economy, then this results in a 'false economy'. You reduce spending in the short term, but your deficit will increase because you've fucked the economy and thereby also reduced your tax revenue. Making tens of thousands of people unemployed by cutting spending which results in a loss of jobs means that the government welfare bill will also increase, and income tax revenue and VAT will also fall.

So please spare me these naive lectures about how we can fix the deficit by simply drastically cutting spending. Not only is it wrong, but it's evidently not working.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 23-Aug-12 15:20:39

ttosca "Making tens of thousands of people unemployed by cutting spending which results in a loss of jobs means that the government welfare bill will also increase"

It's a bit more complicated than that though isn't it.

If you are employing tens of thousands of people on an average wage of whatever it is these days (£26k springs to mind) and you give them all the sack they will indeed all rush to sign on. The treasury will lose around £6k per year in payroll taxes and each person will push up the benefit bill by £3692 in jobseekers allowance (£71 p/w x 52 weeks). This is a total cost to the treasury of approximately £9.5k per year per unemployed person.

When they were in work they would have taken home a net salary of around £20k meaning that the overall saving to the treasury is around £16.5k per year. Even if every pound of their take home pay attracted VAT (highly unlikely) you would still see that the treasury is 'quid’s in' by around £12.5k. I haven't even mentioned pension liabilities yet.

One thing is mathematically clear; firing public sector employees is indeed a great way of reducing the burden on the treasury. The question we need to ask is whether the work that we get out of a public sector employee is worth more or less to the country than their net wage. Would that this question be asked to the wider populace, I suspect that the nurses and teachers jobs would be OK, whereas Diversity Outreach Officers, Communication Facilitations Co-ordinators and other non-jobs would be handed their P45's moments before the door hit their arses on the way out. Pretty much what we libertarians / neo-cons / right wing wankers have been saying since Brown started flashing our cash.

"you can't compare the economy to a personal budget."

You most certainly can compare the economy to a personal budget and I'd be very curious to hear why you think that you can't.

ttosca Thu 23-Aug-12 16:08:04

MrJudgeyPants-

It's a bit more complicated than that though isn't it.

Yes it is, which is why the economy is not like a personal budget. It's strange that you finish your paragraph asking how it is not, after showing that there are other cumulative and knock-on effects in an economy which are not present in a personal budget.

Again, the net money being paid out on welfare may be cheaper than paying to employ them directly, but then you still have other knock-on effects such as a lack of money being spent on consumer goods, reducing tax revenue from VAT, and a depression of businesses, which results in a loss of corporate tax.

There are other factors to consider, such as the damaging effect long-term unemployment has on society and the unemployed - who will find it harder to find employment, publicly or privately, the longer they remain unemployed.

Long-term unemployment is also socially damaging in other ways, in that it can lead to an increase of crime and drug use.

Another example is that personal households cannot simply print more money like the government can, and household borrowing costs many times more what it costs the government to borrow.

It's just silly to compare the two.

ttosca Thu 23-Aug-12 16:17:56

Also, although you may prescribe to right-wing ideology which says that public-sector work is unproductive, this is nonsense.

Firing public sectors workers doesn't just reduce costs in the very short term (though potentially damaging the economy and increasing costs in the long term), but results in a loss of production of wealth: i.e. goods and services.

Public sector workers don't just dig holes in the ground to fill them back up. Try firing the police, fire, and, NHS doctors and nurses, and the ambulance service and see what happens to services and the economy.

niceguy2 Thu 23-Aug-12 17:01:21

You can draw comparisons with the economy to a personal budget but of course there will be differences. But the principles remain the same and the analogies enough for most people to understand.

Public sector workers do an absolutely vital supporting role in our economy. But the simple fact is that they must be supported by the private sector. Yes we can't do without our police/ambulances and nurses but neither can they do without the private sector worker whom ultimately pay their taxes. The relationship is symbiotic.

So it only makes sense that when the private sector is in the shit, the public sector must take it's share of pain too. So when we're in the middle of a huge economic crisis, it only makes inevitable sense that the public sector must shrink since the private sector has shrunk too.

What is illogical is asking the private sector to pay more taxes in the face of declining income so the public sector can carry on regardless.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 23-Aug-12 17:27:41

ttosca "...you still have other knock-on effects such as a lack of money being spent on consumer goods, reducing tax revenue from VAT, and a depression of businesses, which results in a loss of corporate tax."

Do the maths on my post again and you'll see that I added a pretty huge safety margin to my figures of how much tax the average individual pays. I still get to the figure of a saving of at least £12.5k and in reality it may well be (i.e. probably will be) more than that.

The lack of money being spent on consumer goods is far more problematic for the wider economy and its one of the reasons I favour tax cuts for businesses so much. Under your reasoning, private sector businesses who supply goods to public sector employees are, in effect, giving away their produce for free. Here's why; the state confiscates their wealth, the company then earns that confiscated wealth back by providing services or goods to public sector employees. It is, if you like, the flip side of the Working Tax Credit system whereby the state, acknowledging it takes too much tax from poor families, gives some of it back via a hideously complicated bureaucracy. Now, obviously, public sector employees have to consume stuff so some transfer of wealth between private and public is necessary; minimising that wealth transfer, through capping the employee head count, is essential. When Brown stuck another million or so on the governments’ books (at a time of privatisation) he tipped the system towards being unsustainable.

"There are other factors to consider, such as the damaging effect long-term unemployment has on society and the unemployed"

This is absolutely correct but this is the social argument, not the economic one, which isn't the point you were making up thread.

"Another example is that personal households cannot simply print more money like the government can,"

This is the only difference between a household and a country with an independent money supply and a printing press. Even so, printing cash is not without cost and nor is it a solution to our current woes - not without causing rampant inflation.

"household borrowing costs many times more what it costs the government to borrow."

This doesn't make it a good idea for the government to borrow as much as it can for exactly the same reason as it wasn't a good idea for families to max out half a dozen interest free credit cards before the recession hit. Sooner or later circumstances change. Would you bet against this crisis dragging on for another five or even ten years? Who knows what the BoE will be paying on gilts in five years’ time? I'd say it would be best to move forward hoping for the best but planning for the worst.

flatpackhamster Thu 23-Aug-12 17:31:10

ttosca

That's a very nice simple equation you have there, but I'm afraid you can't compare the economy to a personal budget.

Yes you can. That's exactly what you compare it to, because if you pretend that national budgets are different to personal budgets, that's an excuse to run up debts.

So please spare me these naive lectures about how we can fix the deficit by simply drastically cutting spending. Not only is it wrong, but it's evidently not working.

But we aren't cutting spending! As I've told you at least eight times spending is still rising. When will you accept this simple fact? Spending is still going up.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 23-Aug-12 17:36:34

ttosca "Try firing the police, fire, and, NHS doctors and nurses, and the ambulance service and see what happens to services and the economy."

Blimey, you read my post carefully didn't you? Especially the bit where I expressly said "The question we need to ask is whether the work that we get out of a public sector employee is worth more or less to the country than their net wage. Would that this question be asked to the wider populace, I suspect that the nurses and teachers jobs would be OK, whereas Diversity Outreach Officers, Communication Facilitations Co-ordinators and other non-jobs would be handed their P45's moments before the door hit their arses on the way out."

So I say to you, try firing some cheerleading development officers, some street football co-ordinators or toothbrush advisors (part time) and see if anyone even notices.

rosajam Thu 23-Aug-12 21:00:59

What I'm hearing is:

We are borrowing more money under coalition to pay our debts because the economy is stagnant. Growth does not happen without investment.

Cutting lots of jobs in public sector - not sure we have toothbrush advisors but all the town planners are going. Useless people are they ? - is not going to create growth. This extra money once redundancy is paid for is surely going to be ploughed into unemployment benefits.

Cutting where we can and investing to allow us to become a largely employed nation will make us be more productive. Depressed people do not make economies grow.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 23-Aug-12 22:29:39

rosajam "Growth does not happen without investment."

This is not necessarily true and even if were, why do you assume that the investment has to come from the state?

"all the town planners are going. Useless people are they ?"

Mostly yes. I've mentioned on other topics how it is the planning system in the UK which is to blame for runaway house price inflation through the artificial restriction of land to build on. It's also town planners who apply the stupid rules where residential districts have to be in a different part of town to commercial and industrial districts. It is generations of town planners who are inadvertently responsible for your commute to work in the morning. Sure, separating the zones worked well when most industry was heavy industry, but now that has largely disappeared from our economic landscape, it might be time to re-evaluate the planning rules.

As for the aesthetic element of their job, take a wander around most towns and cities and tell me that if this town was planned, how bad could it look like if it hadn't been? My work has, in recent times, taken me to places like Hinckley, Grimsby and Widnes and - with apologies to anyone from those towns - they are eyesores.

"This extra money once redundancy is paid for is surely going to be ploughed into unemployment benefits."

I explained in my post at 15:20 why this assumption is demonstrably false.

flatpackhamster Fri 24-Aug-12 08:54:15

rosajam

Cutting lots of jobs in public sector - not sure we have toothbrush advisors but all the town planners are going. Useless people are they ? - is not going to create growth.

I can give you an anecdote for the uselessness of town planners. I live in a town which had large estates built in the 1960s. The planners decided each estate would be provided with an area with six shops and a pub. Nothing outside that area could be classed as 'commercial'.

Fast forward to today. The pubs have closed down and are having houses built on them , except for one, which has been closed down and has a supermarket built on it. A full third of the town is now publess. Thanks to the zoning rules and the planners, it's a 45-minute walk to the nearest pub.

Don't get me started on all the other mistakes they've made.

Town planning is a pompous conceit. It's almost never done well, and the healthiest towns are the ones where businesses can spring up according to local need rather than because the council says so.

This extra money once redundancy is paid for is surely going to be ploughed into unemployment benefits.

It's still cheaper than the salaries and the immense unfunded pension.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 24-Aug-12 09:38:45

flatpackhamster "Town planning is a pompous conceit. It's almost never done well, and the healthiest towns are the ones where businesses can spring up according to local need rather than because the council says so."

I absolutely agree with this. I can see an argument for a service which ensures that buildings are built to a decent safe standard but that doesn't have to be a service provided by the local council, nor does it have to be so active in the minutiae of the build.

rosajam Fri 24-Aug-12 10:44:56

Rubbishing all town-planners is ridiculous. Do you rubbish all social workers as well?

You seem to want the world led by business people ( which by de facto we are unfortunately) and these are not the kind of people you need when you are old and needy or if you are hungry in a drought ridden country.

MrJudgeyPants Fri 24-Aug-12 12:14:42

"Do you rubbish all social workers as well?"

Not necessarily. Here's how it works. I tend to rubbish anyone whose contribution to society (other than pensioners and the disabled) is counterproductive, a waste of resources, needlessly expensive or impinge on my wealth, rights and freedoms and that of my family and my business - this is especially the case when I am forced under threat of violence (taxation) to pay for this frippery.

Quite frankly, as long as whoever runs the world follows these guidelines I would be quite happy. In practice, this tends to be those on the libertarian 'right' but if someone somewhere could square these principles with Marxism and its various subsets I would be very interested to hear about it.

flatpackhamster Fri 24-Aug-12 12:30:02

rosajam

Rubbishing all town-planners is ridiculous. Do you rubbish all social workers as well?

That was an extraordinary leap.

What part of my post did you disagree with? Did you think that the planning example I chose was somehow unrepresentative? It really isn't.

You seem to want the world led by business people ( which by de facto we are unfortunately) and these are not the kind of people you need when you are old and needy or if you are hungry in a drought ridden country.

I'm sick of mealy-mouthed socialists telling me they know better than me how to run my life. They can all fuck off. They don't know what they're doing.

The world isn't led by business people. The UK has so much boring, bullying, whining legislation generated by slope browed cretins in the EU and Whitehall it's a wonder anyone bothers to get out of bed in the morning, let alone runs a business.

ttosca Sat 25-Aug-12 17:06:19

The world is led by businesses, unfortunately. Never before have the held so much power and control over the state as they do today.

That's why we're seeing crises and social breakdown.

The public are becoming increasingly agitated at this. We'll see a revolution within 20 years, I'm sure.

Sparrowp Wed 29-Aug-12 11:07:25

I lived in a town where they clearly hadn't planned. There was a large estate built, all nice houses but no shops & no community services at all.

There was a big road around it.

Everyone had a 10 min drive to the nearest supermarket. They all got overweight.

flatpackhamster Wed 29-Aug-12 11:54:17

That was planned. Planning consent had to be given by the local council or it couldn't have been built.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 29-Aug-12 13:07:48

The planners go to great lengths to ensure that retail zones and residential zones are seperated as best as possible. What Sparrowp has pointed out are the implications of these decisions to people on the ground. In the same way, they are also responsible for the morning commute as everyone moves from one zone to another to go to work and then reverses their journey at home time.

I maintain that town planners really aren't all that useful to us.

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