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I'd be grateful for an opinion on this guy's research: It seems to me that prices in London have nothing at all to do with 'real' supply - if this guy is to be believed, many more dwellings have been built than the actual increase in population. This certainly chimes with my experience of living in the building site hellscape of Central London. Of course since all new developments chase the 'luxury' buck, and since those luxury bucks are looking merely to park their money securely, it will take more than a commitment to any proportion of 'affordable' or 'social' rents on new builds to take the air out of this bubble. What's needed is for those luxury bucks to feel less secure in investing in more flats, and that would take a concerted programme of CPOs on both BTL RtB flats and new-builds to house people from Council waiting lists.
Far from being 'hippy shite' Basic Income has been around as a proposal since the common land people used for their subsistence first started being enclosed, about 500 years. It has a long and honourable pedigree of proposers including Thomas More, Thomas Paine, John Mill, Bertrand Russell, etc. Where it has been tried, people have worked more in paid employment, not less, tho usually in self-started businesses. Partly because they get better nutrition, more education and spend time ill as was shown in the 1970s trial with Mincome in Canada. And are not wrapped up in the very unhealthy stress of worrying about where their next meal will come from. As a benefits advisor, I support Basic Income - partly because I'd rather do other things myself, but also because the latest round of welfare sadism is visibly making my clients more ill - far from 'nudging' them into more activity they are able to cope with far less. When people go on about 'welfare dependency' they have no idea how complicated and demeaning the current system is. Having to regularly (and now incessantly) prove to several state agencies how poor you are or how ill you are at the risk of losing everything is I'm sure has a deleterious effect on both people's health and general ability to participate usefully in the rest of society, whether that's via a paid job or not. It's time to recognise that what people (mainly women as AmyDentata said) normally do unpaid for each other is really what's keeping this society ticking over and fit for any kind of paid employment. Many of my jobs over the years have been below minimum wage for small businesses who couldn't have afforded more, or more highly paid, but very short-term contracts on specific projects. This was possible because at the time I could claim a form of basic income which barely exists now, income support for single mothers, which made few other demands. On top of that I did a lot of volunteer work to improve my local environment and housing, in museums and other heritage projects as well as raise a child. Minimum (or Living) wage depends on having thriving businesses able to pay, but these generally start with a lot of free work by the owners and their families. A basic income would at least give employees a way to fight for better wages without risking starvation. 'Full employment' depends on either the government or the market coming up with the jobs, employing people in somehow a non-coercive way - talk about a pipe dream!
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Jul 2, 2013