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Why the Tories are bastards

113 replies

breadandbutterfly · 02/10/2011 13:06

Came across this today whilst researching something else - may explain a lot why George Osborne just doesn't 'get' the problems with his ideas - may also explain some of the attitudes of some of our fellow posters. :)

www.economist.com/node/16690659

OP posts:
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aquashiv · 03/10/2011 18:09

@Claig thanks for the right wing media source hardly objective.

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/29/social-mobility-inequality-conservative-thatcher

The rot had already set in started by her.

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ttosca · 03/10/2011 18:13

pants-

I can't believe, in the 21st Century, that there are still people arguing against the minimum wage.

Not me guv'nor, that'll be the Low Pay Commission - y'know, the experts at this sort of thing (as you would know if you read the linky in my earlier post).

Numerous studies time and again have shown that the minimum wage has no statistical effects on overall employment figures, while it has shown to help alleviate poverty for those in work and low paid.

Next they'll be arguing against discrimination and sexual harassment laws in order to 'make the UK more competitive' against countries like China and India.

Nice Strawman succesfully demolished.

You haven't demolished anything. You refer to 'the market' as some sort of measure of what is right or what 'should be done'. The 'market' doesn't necessarily produce just or desirable outcomes. If it did, we'd have a private army and private police service.

So the argument that we need to pay shit wages 'to be competitive' is a shit argument. It's not a straw man at all to suggest that there are other employment laws we could abolish in order to become 'more competitive'. In the end, we have to decide whether we want to return to the barbarism of the 19th Century, or we want to live in a free, fair, and democratic society.

The article you posted was written in America sometime prior to September 2000. Far be it from me to suggest you quote a more recent (and British) source but stuff like global economic meltdown, rocketing youth unemployment rates, deperate need to restart growth etc. all fundamentally change the game these days.

Yes, and the article refers to records spanning over a half-century. Citing a British source is not necessary, but I'll have a look around - not that it's likely to affect your opinion.

And once again, the public didn't cause the financial crisis and meltdown. They shouldn't be the ones to have to pay for it. In any case, just like the cuts, eliminating the min wage will have the opposite effect of kickstarting growth. It will send us spiraling deeper in to depression; the problem with the economy is fundamentally one of demand: nobody has any money to spend any more. Helping businesses with tax breaks isn't going to help them grow when there is no demand to fuel growth.

The problem is the shrinking middle-class with all the wealth accumulating at the top, and a lack of demand at the bottom. Put money in to the hands of the poor and middle-classes and you will help kickstart the economy.

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claig · 03/10/2011 18:21

aquashiv, the article wasn't about social mobility. It was about the decline in Britain's manufacturing industry. I never knew that manufacturing declined more under New Labour than under Thatcher. It is quite stunning news. Thatcher was responsible for starting the decline, but New Labour took it even further. Did you see the Newsnight programme recently where Mandelson admitted that they had made a mistake in neglecting Britain's manufacturing industry?

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ttosca · 03/10/2011 18:40

The chancellor's honeymoon period is coming to an end ? there is a limit to how many times you can blame the last manager-

The life cycle of a chancellor of the exchequer mirrors that of the manager of a team struggling in the lower reaches of the Premier League. So when George Osborne arrived in office last year, there was hope that after an appalling run of results the team's performances would improve.

Osborne announced that the economy would go through the equivalent of one of Fabio Capello's infamous boot camps. The regime of spending restraint and tax cuts would get the economy back into shape.

For the past 17 months the people on the terraces have remained remarkably patient even though, judged by growth and unemployment, UK FC has slipped even closer to the relegation zone.

The chancellor's honeymoon period is now coming to an end. There is a limit to how many times you can blame the last manager for your problems, although there were plenty of digs at Gordon Brown and Ed Balls in Monday's speech in Manchester. The economy grew at 1.1% in the second quarter of 2010, the period when the coalition was formed, but it has underperformed ever since. In the nine months from October 2010 to June 2011 output expanded by just 0.2%.

Osborne is smart enough to know that before too long he is going to be faced with the familiar chant of "you don't know what you're doing", so his address had to offer a bit more than the grin-and-bear it mantra that marked his first few months as second Lord of the Treasury.

The government clearly knows it has to do something to boost growth, but Osborne's options are limited. Underspending by Whitehall departments means he can extend the freeze in council tax, but the net impact in terms of aggregate demand will be zero. Nor will planning system changes or toughening up the rules for industrial tribunals have any impact on the economy in the short run.

Instead, the idea seems to be that the Bank of England will compensate for the Treasury's fiscal austerity by restarting its quantitative easing programme this autumn. This will be buttressed by what Osborne called "credit easing". He is working on plans to "inject money directly into parts of the economy that need it, such as small businesses".

This is a tacit acceptance that monetary policy is not working and an admission that the government has so far failed to heed the message from small- and medium-sized companies that they are not being well served by the high street banks. It may also be spectacularly missing the point if the real problem in the economy is not a lack of new investment from companies, many of which are flush with cash, but of a collapse in consumer confidence caused by the squeeze on real incomes.

That said, it would certainly be welcome were Osborne to announce measures in next month's autumn statement that ensured money gets to the bits of the economy that need it. A double-dip recession this winter is a real threat and the chancellor knows it. Were that to happen, there would no longer be chants of "there's only one George Osborne". It would be: "You're getting sacked in the morning."

www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/03/george-osborne-uk-fc-larry-elliott?newsfeed=true

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PeachyWhoCannotType · 03/10/2011 18:59

Something occurred to me over Dinner- in the last Budget the tories decided to change the 16 hours of work for WTC rule that includes non profitable / start up slow month business to 24 hours minimum wage work from 2013; therefore it's staying no?

Interesting Claig; I moved from a town decimated by cuts to business from both Maggie and later Labour to an area not far from the Welsh valleys. So yes, I agree with that. My gut from what I directly observed (and my father was a Manager for one of the bigger companies so saw quite a lot) was that it truly did start with Maggie and that precipitated everything, but warehousing has taken over and now those are closing too as the transport industry struggle with fuel costs and companies are merging. Fortunately for my old town which has an awful name for itself wrt employment a major name moved their hub in, otherwise I would fear for anyone growing up there.

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claig · 03/10/2011 19:11

Yes, I think Thatcher started it, although it was probably already in decline due to bad management by her time. They all turned a blind eye to manufacturing and the jobs of its workers. They banked on service industries and financial services and the banks went belly up.

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PeachyWhoCannotType · 03/10/2011 19:18

Sounds about right.

My home town had no service industries, in the eighties it was not a good place to be; think police cars in threes (one to go on the estate, one to accompany it and one to wait at the entrance seeing as the residents had their own stinger device).

It's no surprise I fit in near Newport frankly; I think 20% unemployment was what Cheryl Gillan claimed at QT based here. And it is definitely not improving.

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claig · 03/10/2011 19:23

Yes, it's a tragedy. I think it's due to globalisation. I don't think it will change, as all parties follow the same plan.

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DoNotPressTheRedButton · 03/10/2011 19:32

(Sorry, Peachy here- just rediscovered an old name I like)

I agree as long as the same parties accept it for what it is; Ms Gillan did herself no favours going on about our unemployment without seeming to know the historical causes, if they an;t do anything about it (and we just lost out in our bid to be an enterprise zone so very sore point right now) they should at least not throw the blame back on to struggling people who lost their jobs.

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claig · 03/10/2011 19:35

It's got nothing to do with the workers. Historically, we had bad management and a lack of investment, followed by governemnt often turning a blind eye to our manufacturing industry as they followed the globalisation plan.

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claig · 03/10/2011 19:38

Just look at Germany to see how different it could all have been.

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DoNotPressTheRedButton · 03/10/2011 19:42

I don't really know Germany, never been there. But I do wish politicians of all flavours would stop blaming people for the results of their policies- if you've got the balls to make the policy, accept the inevitable fall out.

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claig · 03/10/2011 19:46

Yes, but that's human nature. Very few people blame themselves, they usually blame others. That's why the parties do the usual yah-boo of blaming it all on the other side. They are in power for over a decade and they still blame it on what the other lot did 30 years ago.

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DoNotPressTheRedButton · 03/10/2011 19:51

Very few people put themselves up for that level of role; accountability and all that

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ttosca · 03/10/2011 20:02

Yes, but that's human nature. Very few people blame themselves, they usually blame others. That's why the parties do the usual yah-boo of blaming it all on the other side. They are in power for over a decade and they still blame it on what the other lot did 30 years ago.

No, that's not 'human nature', claig. It's political strategy.

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claig · 03/10/2011 20:08

Yes, that type of political strategy is about trying to win advantage, defeat your opponents and fool the public. But it is human nature to seek that advantage. Spin doctors and pagers are all there to gain an advantage in the battle for the mind of the public.

Labour had the best mind in the business - Peter Mandelson. No one compared to him, he is a political genius. That's one reason that they outwitted the Tories.

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maypole1 · 03/10/2011 22:38

niceguy2 quite the op answer to also our woes is to have Wayne and waynetta in charge.

breadandbutterfly yes because Gordon brown and ed creepy milliband are all have been dragged up she pauses and then falls of he chair while she laughs

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MrPants · 03/10/2011 23:27

Just a couple of points. Firstly, Peachy says ?£3.68 does not keep a human being.? but then contradicts themselves by saying ?We'd rather pay minimum wage and get fed, housed people who could focus on their job rather than imminent bankruptcy.? So, either the NMW isn?t enough or it is enough. Whatever it is, this isn?t an argument to keep it.

Then FantasticVoyage makes a point about the NMW being used to avoid a benefits trap and about companies no longer being able to pass on their shortcomings to their workers via low pay. I?m sorry, for your first point, I?d argue that there is a benefits trap whereby able bodied people routinely pass over work because they don?t fancy it ? try standing outside a job centre at harvest time and see how many youngsters are happy to pick turnips all day. For your second point, what is Income Support for if it isn?t to subsidise low paying firms (See also Working Families Tax Credits)?

Adamschic I don?t know much about modern apprenticeships, modern apprentices or their personal finances. What I do know is that their next employers, who pay more than minimum wage, will want to see some evidence that the candidate can turn up for work on time each morning. In that respect, a job paying £2.50p/h is analogous with the job that I had when I was 16 which paid £1.80p/h. As I was still living at home and had no outgoings other than the occasional bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 I didn?t consider myself hard done by at all.

ttosca starts off by playing the man and not the ball with their you appear to be a right-wing cock. comment, before making a few assumptions about my knowledge of the benefits system and claiming that ?95% of claimants are legitimate, looking for work, and don't cheat the system.?. So, by your figures, I make that 1 in 20 on the make. Your final point about remunerating the cleaners of Buckingham Palace fails to take into account what the average wage for a cleaner in London is. Incidentally, and getting back on topic, the example ttosca quotes is well above the National Minimum Wage but not above the living wage for London ? This is therefore still not an argument for a NMW.

On their next post ttosca writes ?Every human being who works a full-time job is 'worth' a living wage.?. I think this is where we will, when all is said and done, probably end up having to agree to disagree.

On ttosca?s next post, they start with the ?Numerous studies time and again have shown that the minimum wage has no statistical effects on overall employment figures?. OK, if I?m wrong then the experts at the Low Pay Commission are also wrong, the CBI are wrong, the Adam Smith Institute is wrong and the unemployment rate is misleading us too. If it has no effects on employment why not abolish poverty overnight by doubling or even trebling the minimum wage?
With regards to the straw man post, where did I mention discrimination or sexual harassment? They have no effect on the bottom line of a company so why would I be concerned with them in my earlier post? How could repealing that legislation help this country?s international competitiveness?

ttosca I genuinely like the football analogy ? I don?t agree with all of what you wrote, but love the idea of a cabinet meeting with the Lib-Dems chanting ?You?re going home in a BUPA ambulance!? to a slightly stunned front bench.

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DoNotPressTheRedButton · 04/10/2011 09:21

Er what? You want to pay below it; OK so my syntax is less that perfect- wowee- but YK exactly what I meant.

LMAO about harvest time; as a Somerset girl I can't remember meeting a farmer who ever approached a job centre!




You did not answer in any of your rebuttals what should be done about people who do not deserve a minimum wage (in your opinion)- state or destitution?

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Blueberties · 04/10/2011 10:25

Surely sometimes people who "do not deserve a minimum wage" are not undeserving in their "natural condition" - in the sense that changes can be made about themselves, their education, their attitude and so on that can change that.

I don't know if I'm for or against a minimum wage - for, in my instinct - against, if it inhibits employment. In some ways I think working conditions are more important: low wages often go with appalling health and safety.

I think women would suffer unduly were the minimum wage to be abolished - you have to remember one is not just talking about workshy 17-year-olds here and jobs in offices. There are people running for example clothing workshops with dreadful conditions, terrible cash paid, all outside the authorities' knowledge and remit, and often it's women who are employed for this crappy money and in terrible conditions.

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MrPants · 04/10/2011 11:20

With regard to your first point, yes, I?d be quite happy to pay below it. At some point, the left need to wake up and see that we are all individuals and not some collective block where one size fits everyone. For example, someone earning minimum wage in the South East, who may be struggling to raise a family, is in a totally different position from a young kid, from one of the less expensive areas of the country, helping out at their supermarket for beer money. Looking at those two cases, one would struggle on NMW (if not find life impossible ? so much for curing poverty then); one could probably work for less. That is why only one of them will receive Income Support.

Who knows how many jobs would exist if individuals could compete to secure work by varying the price of their labour and have Income Support ?top up? those incomes.

Regarding harvest time, I live in the farming belt of Hampshire ? I stand by my previous comment.

Onto your final point about what I would do. Firstly, I see low income jobs as stepping stones to better jobs. The state needs to remove as much risk as possible when it comes to employing people ? for this reason the government needs to tread a very careful line when it comes to protecting the rights of the employee. If employers could, in effect, try out new personnel and evaluate them against the job they are required for (and if they are successful keep them, and if unsuccessful easily sack them) the risk in employing a new starter is greatly reduced. In return for such a deal, the least an individual can expect is some experience and something to write on their CV?s. The benefits of this cannot be overstated.

For those who cannot get better jobs and are essentially stuck in low income work until they retire, there is the Income Support mechanism. I appreciate that it has its shortcomings (see below for my preferred alternative) and, for example, doesn?t do much to encourage securing promotions and better paid positions, but it alleviates all but the worst poverty.

If I had a magic wand, the two changes I would introduce (which would make work pay, significantly reduce poverty and be fair to all) would be to firstly increase the personal allowance for Income Tax and National Insurance - Can anyone explain how it can be in any way right, let alone efficient, for the poorest in our society to have to pay tax only to then claw some of their hard-earned back off the state in the form of benefits?
The second major change would be to introduce a Citizens Basic Income - £75 p/w should do it ? and allow the unemployed / low paid to even borrow against it (up to a point). This is a system which doesn?t require much bureaucracy to administer, doesn?t penalise people who seek better paid work, and doesn?t discriminate against those in work or those with young children. I admit that it?s expensive (I did say I need a magic wand) but it could replace all benefits (with additional payments for pensioners and the disabled who would, of course, still receive it) and massively reduce the headcount needed to administer the 72 (may be wrong but that?s a number someone quoted to me the other day) separate benefits that are currently available.

That?s the thing with us libertarians; if you stop and think about it most of us don?t really deserve our ?baby-eating? reputations. I too want to help the poor but I would rather that help was aimed at allowing them to help themselves rather than encourage more people to take ever more handouts from the rest of us. Think of it as a hand up, rather than a hand out? Now, where have I heard that before?

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slug · 04/10/2011 11:31

I'm fairly sure that most (though not all) Tories are the result of homes where their parents were married at the time of conception. Therefore they cannot, technically, be said to be 'bastards'.

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Blueberties · 04/10/2011 11:33

Anyway wrt the title, my MIL is a Tory, and while she's been fairly poisonous to me in the past, she is definitely not "a bastard", and has devoted large amounts of her time to Good Works, and she is very kind to lost souls, and has vast reserves of patience.

Yanbu to call my mil a bastard.

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adamschic · 04/10/2011 11:33

It's not fair to generalise about young people not being worth x per hour. I have a 17 yr old who in a part-time job that pays above the adult rate for everyone regardless of age. She does get to work on time and is just as valuable after a bit of training as someone older.

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Blueberties · 04/10/2011 11:35

In fact on a not-much household income and a small house she is still contribiting to the one in twenty or whatever it is someone said who are not fraudulently claiming benefit. And she is paying for care for her husband.

So very yanbu.

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