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Old 02-10-2024, 09:43 PM   #61
enorbet
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Capitalism is not a static thing any more than Democracy is. Both evolve. In fact Capitalism is the economic version of Democracy where currency equates with votes. Unfortunately for both, in the real world neither starts with basic equality, and even if that were possible, some more creative and driven people will become powerful government officials and/or very wealthy, outstripping the majority. Over time those driven will seek to maximize power and wealth. When sufficient power and wealth is accumulated, those will attempt to enact laws that make it harder on any competition and easier for those like them in both Business and Law. This usually and inevitably results in some form of oligarchy and then Fascism, which is or tends to be more static, commonly until it reaches the "Let them eat cake" stage.
 
Old 02-11-2024, 12:56 AM   #62
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Many years ago I read a book called Social Limits to Growth which argued that, once most people's needs for material goods such as food, clothing and shelter have been met, they will start wanting what the author calls "positional goods", that is goods which are accessible (or not!) according to your position in society. These include such things as a good job, a nice house in the suburbs, or a holiday in a quiet beautiful place.

The problem with all these things is that they have limited availability, so people have to compete for them and inevitably most people will lose out. For example, there are only a limited number of suburban homes. If more and more are built to satisfy demand, the suburb becomes part of town and no longer a pleasant place to live. Most of urban London consists of places that once were suburbs. But if this is prevented by planning laws, competition will make the houses more and more expensive and only the rich will be able to live there. Either way most people will lose out.

Similarly with good jobs. Here the competition is in qualifications: jobs that were once available to anyone who had graduated from school came to require A-levels (university entrance level) and then degrees. And the secluded holiday beaches that the rich used to favour become accessible to the rest of us only as ugly hell-holes full of skyscraper hotels. Meanwhile of course, the rich have found themselves secluded nooks elsewhere. We can never catch them up.

The author also argues that many material goods also have a positional aspect. For example, it was really fun to own a car in the 1920's. You could go anywhere in it. You could drive out into the countryside every Sunday and have a nice picnic by the roadside. Today the car has become a necessity for most people and it means spending hours in heavy traffic travelling not much faster than you could walk, but at much greater expense.

He argues that in the past, only rich people were in a position to seek such things and so their scarcity didn't matter. But once economic growth allows a large number of people to desire positional goods and enter the market for them, they will quickly discover that the goal is constantly receding. And eventually this will cause mass anger and social collapse.

Last edited by hazel; 02-11-2024 at 01:21 AM.
 
Old 02-11-2024, 01:38 AM   #63
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Nobody would agree that the economy and technology should have been kept frozen at what it was in 1924, or even 1824, and similarly it is a bad idea to freeze it in 2024.

The Garden Of Eden, where people just plucked food from the trees and never did any work, was just a myth.
 
Old 02-11-2024, 03:48 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
Nobody would agree that the economy and technology should have been kept frozen at what it was in 1924, or even 1824, and similarly it is a bad idea to freeze it in 2024.
Hear here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
The Garden Of Eden, where people just plucked food from the trees and never did any work, was just a myth.
...and a myth with appeal limited to a starvation environment from my POV. An environment where nobody ever did any work would be a living Hell for me. I don't even want to imagine it.
 
Old 02-11-2024, 04:17 AM   #65
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Labour make the UK economy stagnate by disapproving of people becoming wealthy (* but see footnote below). We have not had innovators like the Fords, Microsofts, Amazons, and so on that people all benefit from. James Dyson the vacuum cleaner man has now gone off to Singapore.

* Footnote - except for senior Labour party members. All the living famous Labour party politicians are multi-millionaires as far as I know, with the possible exception of Jeremy Corbin.

Another bad thing that Labour zealots like JC do is follow Stalin's doctrine of a) creating separate social class categories (that people stay in for life, rather than being in a continuum that they can move around in), and then b) set them against each other in the hope that this will create a working-class uprising and that there will be a socialist revolution in the UK. They tacitly encourage the less well off to be passive and static rather than getting to work and bettering themselves, and misdirect their efforts into fighting the middle-classes rather than into joining them.

Wealth over a whole lifetime ought to be considered by politicians and economists, rather than just a snapshot of now regardless of age. The conscientious start off young and poor, and hopefully by hard-work and enterprise end up old and rich. They can start as employees, and become employers. Tenants, then landlords. Working-class, then middle-class. Just a snapshot could suggest wealth-inequality, but considered over lifetimes much more equality.

(Surely being young and poor then old and rich is much to be preferred to being young and rich and then old and poor).

Last edited by grumpyskeptic; 02-13-2024 at 05:52 AM.
 
Old 02-11-2024, 07:54 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
Nobody would agree that the economy and technology should have been kept frozen at what it was in 1924, or even 1824
Nobody except the Amish?
 
Old 02-13-2024, 06:23 AM   #67
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When I was growing up in north-west London in the 1950's, we considered ourselves poor....
When I moved away from my working-class parental home it was to a squalid room in London for which in 2024 the landlady would probably be arrested. I had a good full-time job, but that was all I could afford, and although I was frugal I still was overdrawn every month, so I could not even really afford that. There must have been millions of people in similar circumstances.

Another thing I would do if I was Prime Minister is ban credit cards. I'm not aware they are beneficial, they just encourage people to get into debt.

What I regret is not putting myself on the waiting list for a council flat, because I could have sold it for £££££££££s profit. In any case I understand that the rents for council flats and houses are heavily subsidised, so they only pay about half the market rent. The only people who can currently afford to live in central London are the council-dwellers and millionaires.

It is a very good idea to convert disused offices and shops to flats. It will be good to have some life in business areas after office hours. I remember walking around the City at weekends and seldom seeing anyone.

Last edited by grumpyskeptic; 02-13-2024 at 06:50 AM.
 
Old 02-13-2024, 06:33 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
Another thing I would do if I was Prime Minister is ban credit cards. I'm not aware they are beneficial, they just encourage people to get into debt.
Finally something we agree on! I remember the first credit card to arrive on our shores: barclaycard. The ads said "Takes the waiting out of wanting".

Mind you, nowadays I often think wistfully that it would be nice to have a credit card so that I could safely make little donations to good causes online. I absolutely refuse to pass my debit card details around because it's directly linked to my bank account. But I don't believe I could get a credit card now from any bank as I've never been in debt and therefore have no credit record.

Last edited by hazel; 02-13-2024 at 06:35 AM.
 
Old 02-13-2024, 07:38 AM   #69
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I think there are such things as prepaid "credit" cards (that is, they don't actually provide credit, but still fit into the credit card system).
 
Old 02-13-2024, 08:22 AM   #70
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I think there are such things as prepaid "credit" cards (that is, they don't actually provide credit, but still fit into the credit card system).
Yes, I could easily get such a card from my local credit union and I have considered that. But they all have a monthly fee, so they wouldn't be worthwhile for occasional use.

If I wanted to do a lot of online shopping, that's certainly the road I'd go down.
 
Old 02-13-2024, 01:14 PM   #71
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A bank debit card linked to a PayPal account will allow you to shop online as much as you want - I've been doing this for years now, most places/sites will accept payment this way, more secure than giving out details of your card over the phone, you'll be asked for your password on all purchases, (just don't save it on your computer).
 
Old 02-14-2024, 04:44 AM   #72
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You can also do authorise direct debits/credits to your bank account with Paypal. Paypal haven't been hacked that I'm aware of, and have two factor authentication via text message. So you can set that up for a dumb phone.
 
Old 02-14-2024, 08:31 AM   #73
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What concerns me with the likely outcome of Labour winning the next election, is that like other socialists they will think that all that is required is to get everyone giving lip-service to the party, and to keep up appearances, and that once those are obtained then everything in the UK will spontaneously start going all by itself, rather like a cargo-cult https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult#Examples or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology
Starmer and "New Labour" (The "Blairite" faction) are not "socialist". They are the centrist, right leaning element which subverted the Labour party during the 1990s and which consists of some wealthy high profile Labour MPs and peers. The Blairite faction are endorsed by TBI (Starmer clearly has strings) and it is this same faction which ousted Corbyn and wrested back control of the parliamentary party.

He resorted to weasel worded sabotage in an attempt to wreck Corbyn's and Labour's, chances in the 2019 election:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ent...b0d50f32931a10

On the run up to that election - the establishment made their views clear: Corbyn was not fit to be PM - despite being the elected Labour leader - and would clearly not be a valid PM if he were voted in. This is what Blair calls "populism" in action - i.e. the "great unwashed" voting for the "wrong" candidate.

Whether you get the Tories again or Starmer/TBI Labour (in a repeat of '97), you will still be getting capitalism, so you can rest easy...

Last edited by _blackhole_; 02-14-2024 at 08:33 AM.
 
Old 02-14-2024, 09:48 AM   #74
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Future general election campaign positioning has nothing to do with zero growth in the UK. That, after is the topic. And if you have to, don't smear - snipe. That form of humour can be enjoyed by very disinterested parties like the large majority here.
 
Old 02-14-2024, 10:45 AM   #75
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Future general election campaign positioning has nothing to do with zero growth in the UK.
Ok... Mr Self-appointed Moderator. There was a whole offtopic conversation about bank cards which you were part of. That's ok then?

I replied to the OP's: "the likely outcome of Labour winning the next election"

It seems like a case of the "mote and the beam".

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
And if you have to, don't smear - snipe. That form of humour can be enjoyed by very disinterested parties like the large majority here.
Not a clue what you're talking about there... I posted a link and known facts. There is no "smear" or "snipe" involved.

You seem to want to get on my case for some reason...?

Last edited by _blackhole_; 02-14-2024 at 11:04 AM.
 
  


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