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#41 rmgill

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1039 AM

Austerity is like cutting your household expenses. What exactly are you cutting when you cut down your expenditures? Are you turning off the heat? Are you buying less beer? Are you buying less food? What are you doing. If you cut off your heat and water and buy more cheap but not good food and ramp up the beer expenditures to make yourself feel better, you're probably NOT going to come out of that very well set.

Cut back the luxuries, cut back to what's absolutely necessary. That's proper austerity. Bang for the buck is what you're looking for.
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#42 Mikel2

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1048 AM

Austerity is like cutting your household expenses. What exactly are you cutting when you cut down your expenditures? Are you turning off the heat? Are you buying less beer? Are you buying less food? What are you doing. If you cut off your heat and water and buy more cheap but not good food and ramp up the beer expenditures to make yourself feel better, you're probably NOT going to come out of that very well set.

Cut back the luxuries, cut back to what's absolutely necessary. That's proper austerity. Bang for the buck is what you're looking for.


When we object to tax raises, we are always told that rapists are going to be let out of prison and fire departments are going to be cut, since there is no money (because absolutely nothing else can be cut!). Are we seeing the equivalent of that?
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#43 Mobius

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1058 AM

Well, if we can get the Germans and Japanese to bomb and shell Europe and Asia into the stone age and then the US can bomb those two into ruins the US and UK can rise again like post WWII, They will have the only economies left standing. That my friends is a formula for success like the New Deal had.
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#44 Simon Tan

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1101 AM

Damn you....that is Plan Iran!!!!
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#45 Simon Tan

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1106 AM

Isn't Likud-Kadima just Likud-Likud? I swear that Arik is using Jedi mind tricks on everyone and running the whole show from his secret villain's lair/villa overlooking the Med.
Hiring and supporting the less able is about 'doing the right thing'. In SE Asia, it is very common to see blind persons selling small trinkets and things on the street. People support them by buying these things. They make an honest living and are proud of doing so. Most will not take charity and I have had several insist that I take my change. Again, it is about doing the right thing. Sometimes, you get assholes who exploit this. Often they too get the right thing. And the left. Repeat as necessary.

Edited by Simon Tan, 08 May 2012 - 1115 AM.

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#46 Simon Tan

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1116 AM

Stuart...pity all the cricket bats are made in Pakistan.....
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#47 Ivanhoe

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1117 AM

When we object to tax raises, we are always told that rapists are going to be let out of prison and fire departments are going to be cut, since there is no money (because absolutely nothing else can be cut!). Are we seeing the equivalent of that?


An example of the fear-mongering can be found in public school budgets. The city of Virginia Beach has been having battles over tax rates and city budgets for several years now. Every time the pols try to zero out increases in the school budget, the school system announces that they will lay off N teachers. The local press trumps that up, parents get enraged, and the city either cuts elsewhere or increases taxes. Nobody ever asks why the school system can't distribute pay cuts (or at least suspend annual raises) amongst its administrative staff, rather than cut teachers. And this is the city that planned to buy an iPad for every student, not too long ago. Average annual expenditure per student was over $11,000 in 2010, above the national average.
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#48 rmgill

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1150 AM

There is a flipside to that coin. In the 1950s a company was set up to employ disabled and mobility impaired people making furniture called remploy. (Looking into it they do other work too).That ticked over for the past 50 years quite happily, still the Government decided to shut down almost all of it, making the workers redundant.


Was it making money or just a cost center to sink money into? Paying people to work on things that's just make work is a luxury. If they were making money, even just getting by, why shut it down? Why not spin it off as it's own independent company with the employees as owners?

However nobody is hiring now, so all thats happened is several thousand people have been dumped on the dole. And not only the dole but I suspect they are also going to claim to get and visit the job centre ever 2 weeks to sign on. And then there is their welfare on top of their welfare and so on (ie employing carers they wouldnt need if they were working with a large group of simiarly afflicted individuals). Now whilst LONG TERM state employment Im totally against, in this case leaving a loss making concern running and partially subidizing these peoples pensions and healthcare would strike me as a smart thing to do till the economy picks up.


Why is the economy down? Is it down in part because of the drag of the tax structure making the money available for all those people on the dole.


As for the IK Brunel point, fair one. Its worth pointing out the country stopped producing individuals like that after the 1860s, so its not as if the problem is a new one.


Could a company decide to do those sorts of things, absent government saying it needed it done and waving money at them?
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#49 Max H

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1232 PM

Was it making money or just a cost center to sink money into? Paying people to work on things that's just make work is a luxury. If they were making money, even just getting by, why shut it down? Why not spin it off as it's own independent company with the employees as owners?


Overall it saved money. However, that money came out of different budgets, so the profit isn't readily apparent. And they couldn't spin it off, because that would be a smart thing to do. It is the tories, after all :glare:

Why is the economy down? Is it down in part because of the drag of the tax structure making the money available for all those people on the dole.


I prefer to blame those who took unaccepable risks with other peoples money. Less taxes wouldn't have really stopped them

Could a company decide to do those sorts of things, absent government saying it needed it done and waving money at them?


They're trying. companies in other countries are more successful, but they're trying.
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#50 Mistral

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1243 PM

Austerity my ass.
This link (in Greek) says that the government announced the yearly plan for 140.000 farmers to be given free or nearly freee holidays ! This includes 8 days in a hotel with 3 day excursions for wife and children.

Plus for 300.000 farmers the subsidy for 20 euros for book purchases is also included.
http://www.imerisia....pubid=112854624

This from a country that is on the verge of complete anarchy and will not have enough money to pay salaries by mid June...
austerity my ass, they have just found the goose that lays the golden aggs and they will milk it till death.

Edited by Mistral, 08 May 2012 - 1244 PM.

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#51 Simon Tan

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1257 PM

Well...if you elect thieves to thieve for you, you can hardly complain of theft yourself. I have never had any sympathy for Greece.
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#52 Mikel2

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1341 PM

I think part of the problem with the current "austerity" is that we accept the premise of big gov't. "Austerity" now means feeding it at the same rate (or faster), while getting less out of it. Under crushing taxes and regulations, who is surprised that the economy is not taking off?

Perhaps people should think about permanently dismantling big chunks of said big gov't.

I am very saddened when I hear my friends in Spain complaining that "if government spending goes down, how is the economy going to recover??"
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#53 Colin

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1414 PM

What I see here is that business claims that government should not run things, they want government to sell off BC Hydro which they almost did, until the public outcry. BC Hydro was making money for the Province. Please explain to me why we should sell off the profitable bits and hold on to the crappy bits?

I bet if private business ran SAR or social housing they would fuck it up just as much as government. Some things just are not meant to run well.
Currently BCTS is building a 344km 287KV power line to what appears to be the middle of nowhere. Once completed though it means that about 6 mines and 5 power generation plants become fesiable. This is the sort of project that government does well, create the infastructure that allows businesses to flourish.

Edited by Colin, 08 May 2012 - 1415 PM.

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#54 Mobius

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1417 PM

I think part of the problem with the current "austerity" is that we accept the premise of big gov't. "Austerity" now means feeding it at the same rate (or faster), while getting less out of it. Under crushing taxes and regulations, who is surprised that the economy is not taking off?

Perhaps people should think about permanently dismantling big chunks of said big gov't.

I am very saddened when I hear my friends in Spain complaining that "if government spending goes down, how is the economy going to recover??"

Exactly. The "austerity" they speak of is an decrease in the rate of increased spending. They have been saying they need growth in GDP but the only growth they have been getting is growth of government. If they exclude government from the GDP they have negative growth.
On the bright side Australia just announced it is going to have a budget surplus this year.
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#55 TonyE

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1419 PM

Time to procure myself some assless chaps and juice up the Turbo interceptor I think. :D


YES!!!!Posted Image
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#56 swerve

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1559 PM

Interesting thing, I had a friend who worked for the Post Office. This was in the days when British Telecom was part of the post office (I gather it was called the GPO in those days). Anyway, year on year the post office put all the money it could find into telecommunications. The first year that side of the business made money (in the early1980s) the Government privatised it as British Telecom. A great success. Unfortunately they held onto the Post office which leaked money like a sieve.

The Royal Mail was nice & profitable in the 1980s. It still makes a modest operating profit in most years, though the letter delivery business has been losing money for several years, & with declining volumes its losses are getting worse.

It wasn't privatised for several reasons, including the feeling at the time that the universal service obligation was incompatible with private business.

History of profitability is on this general history site: http://postalheritag...page/statistics
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#57 swerve

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1617 PM

BTW, the USA finally got over the Great Depression with pure Keynesianism. It massively increased government purchasing of manufactured goods, hired many millions of new government employees, & spent huge sums on infrastructure. The economy grew faster than ever before or since. After a few years it started cutting back, but the infrastructure was still there, as was the new productive capacity manufacturers had invested in to enable them to meet government orders, & the economy was permanently lifted to a higher level.

But I don't think we should start Word War Three just to perk up the economy.
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#58 Mike Steele

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1623 PM

Austerity my ass. This link (in Greek) says that the government announced the yearly plan for 140.000 farmers to be given free or nearly freee holidays ! This includes 8 days in a hotel with 3 day excursions for wife and children. Plus for 300.000 farmers the subsidy for 20 euros for book purchases is also included. http://www.imerisia....pubid=112854624 This from a country that is on the verge of complete anarchy and will not have enough money to pay salaries by mid June... austerity my ass, they have just found the goose that lays the golden aggs and they will milk it till death.


Yep. And in my view there still exists an excellent chance of taking down the EU with them.

Time to procure myself some assless chaps and juice up the Turbo interceptor I think. :D


Do you have a newsletter or other publication to which I can subscribe? ^_^
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#59 Mikel2

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1637 PM

BTW, the USA finally got over the Great Depression with pure Keynesianism. It massively increased government purchasing of manufactured goods, hired many millions of new government employees, & spent huge sums on infrastructure. The economy grew faster than ever before or since. After a few years it started cutting back, but the infrastructure was still there, as was the new productive capacity manufacturers had invested in to enable them to meet government orders, & the economy was permanently lifted to a higher level.

But I don't think we should start Word War Three just to perk up the economy.


The argument that WWII ended the Depression always smelled fishy to me. WWII brought massive govt spending and intervention of all levels of the economy and industry... A New Deal on steroids. If the New Deal fared as it did, what caused the post war boom? I believe the de-regulation and dismantling of much of what was left of the New Deal that followed the elections of 1946 (often over Truman's veto) had much more to do with it.

Edited by Mikel2, 08 May 2012 - 1646 PM.

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#60 Detonable

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 1643 PM

Apparently half the spending for green energetics projects went to people who had financially supported Obama, and after being funded many donated again.

If the money had gone towards infrasturcture projects Keynsian spending would have a better reputation.

I don't think that endlessly paying people unemployment stimulates the economy. It just diminishes the value of working.

Interesting article here about the Krugman issue:

http://www.washingto...sY6T_story.html
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