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History shows that outsiders have a track record of punishing insiders, witness the Norman conquest et al.
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2013 on Identity & punishment at Stumbling and Mumbling
I much prefer a government that deals with the fiscal realities as it finds them, than a Labour government that assumes future growth, or a successful future tax persecution. It is true that state spending as a proportion of GDP is actually unsustainable, that growth or cuts must address this crisis. And that the safest and most responsible action is to cut spending, in the first instance. Encouragement for growth normally comes through reduction in regulation. Regulation, as we have seen from Labour - normally is good for the corporate lobby, not bad.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2013 on The "nation's finances" at Stumbling and Mumbling
Whereas people who exerted themselves made money for themselves, under Thatcher the new narrative is far more comfortable - let them exert themselves and if they don't we can get a hungrier somebody from abroad who will.
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Pointless referring to the good old days - when in the good old days corporatism was not a worry and the state was a sensible proportion of GDP (not fudged by QE).
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You aren't seriously suggesting that the Left/Right political divide somehow relates to history? I can see how interpretation is very useful to both sides in a debate. There is no objective history, there is just a story to confirm a prejudice. Every intentional act reverberates for forever. This is a truism. America also suffers from the fact that religious oppression here caused it to be seeded by puritans. That Dr Dee advised Queen Elizabeth that an Empire was worth pursuing. Perhaps America's current problems stem from the storm that saved us from the Spanish Armada. Much of the reason we are wealthy today is as a direct result of English character - defiance of Rome (and Romans before that) anybody that wishes to shove ideology down somebody else's throat (for their own good in the face of ignorance). Which does bring matters back to politics...
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2011 on History matters at Stumbling and Mumbling
Religion means regular practice of something - normally something that involves reflection, and contemplation. That's it. The dogma and political power that derive from books is something else entirely. Good that Cameron reminds us of an historical fact - that we are a Christian country, that after the dark ages it was only a tiny slither of religious devotees that enabled reading and writing to resume again. The light of civilisation very nearly went completely out.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2011 on What does religion do? at Stumbling and Mumbling
When Labour exported IT work to Bangalore, your argument (2) was applied. But in fact, it was just bitterness & actually caused damage. For instance the City needed new IT systems to perform risk management, because humans being human - traders - their downside to losing too much money was to become unemployed, whereas on the upside they could become millionaires. Unfortunately in such a set-up, it is hard to expect people to police themselves. Looks like the City could not find enough saints to hire. What they needed was IT professionals to encode ideals into the trading systems. But hey, they had just been replaced. How very convenient for 'neo liberal' haters. As for the miners, yes, what happened was cruel, but their industry was being supported by tax payers. There was no economic raison d'être for coal mining in Britain in the 1980s. It is not true that banking is the same. It was effectively vandalised by ideologues. It is a high value activity. If it stops then trillions of pounds go elsewhere, and so do the 0.03% commissions of the highly skilled, generally trusted traders working in London. The City was seemed to be undermined for two reasons : 1. To provide state funding credit - the old tax and spend formula had become out-dated. 2. To 'prove' that 'neo liberalism' did not work by letting the systemic failure wreak its own demise. Then we could blame the systemic failures on 'right wing greed'. (1) was convient to Old Father Brown's paternalistic good causes - they like to help the people that they know. Screw the people that are out of sight & therefore mind. Before you argue that this was how the miners were treated - effectively by propping up a dangerous activity that was not actually economically viable, if they did not take on the unions then they were abusing tax payers. (2) Was also good for those ideologues who think Europe should wrest control of our mature market mechanisms (not that they dont need technical progress like everything else) so that they can help the Eurozone triumph in its preferred centralised, grand-planning climate - one of socialistic mendacity rather than cold, hard, market reality.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Why defend the CIty? at Stumbling and Mumbling
Software simulation is a good way to model the mechanical possibilities I would say. This sort of technology was unavailable cheaply enough, until recently. I would be surprised if there are not economic simulations running in a lab somewhere that are reasonably representative of the current economic situation. Then I would like to see what happens to a representative model when the minimum wage is abolished. I suspect more economic activity will take place, and wages will go back to being a sliding scale, instead of the massive employer leg-up that it has become (by creating a surplus pool and reducing bid prices). Hell we can imagine what would happen if there was a minimum price for pork : an animal welfare catastrophe.
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2011 on On uncertainty at Stumbling and Mumbling
Let's stick to the economics. Brown's fundamental dishonesty was motivated by a desire to avoid the punishment inflicted on the Tory's by 14% mortgage rates, and negative equity. He 'freed' the bank of England, which I now take as a euphemism for nobbling it eg. (they were prevented from assisting Northern Rock transition). The inflation measure constantly ignored the rampant house price inflation that we could all see was driving a £40 billion credit-fuelled stimulous. If you couldn't see the boom for what it was, then you were making out like all the other bandits.
'Osbrown' moniker has little danger of sticking, the chancellor has demonstrated the minimum degree of compassion towards an expanded bureaucracy by trying to find ways to pay for it. This together with benefit rises, should minimise the pain as Britain attempts to restore solvency after a prolonged, progressive assault. The public, included our indoctrinated your, will begin to realise that no conservative wants to be a tough love pariah these days. Not after the reverberations that are still on-going after the 1980s. Gently, gently is a million miles away from central planning. Most importantly the groan-making, condescending mendacious rhetoric is far less evident with Mr Osborne.
Reading between the lines, because the language is very technical, I think you are saying that when we lowered sterling to fudge the stats, and sold off cash-cows such such as Cadbury's and Boots to foreign investors at a discount, this reduced our income not just in this financial period but for ever after. But calling this 'structural' is meaningless within a theoretical framework. And that rather than reduce expenditure on items we that we desire but, cannot afford, and in actual fact place an activity-reducing burden on the masses (taxation) we should carry on chugging on the Keynesian train. There are still plenty more assets that we can get rid of to trigger a revolution when we finally hit the buffers & are run on much more efficient, since authoritarian, line.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2011 on Structural deficit doubts at Stumbling and Mumbling
Economic restructuring has to happen, and on a large scale. It is apparent to anybody that the machinery of state grew too fast, too soon on a over-simple assumption of future earnings growth. Of course, restructuring costs, deficit reduction has to be carried out with care, it is not achieved with reduced short-term spending. While restructuring is taking place, the frog-eyed-one will may well carry on with his annoying horizontal hand gestures. But you would have to be an especially disingenuous lefty to reckon that the coalition is cutting too fast, or that it is implementing expenditure reduction programs too soon.
Politicians should remember that economic prosperity must come from a beneficent economic climate, and not by departments picking commercial winners. The connection between State and individual businesses should be a disinterested one. The problem with taking the moral high-ground is that the Left don't appear to care. Ingrained into them, I believe is a belief that 'socking it to the man' requires mendacity and low tactics. They believe that the fair results can come from foul means.
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Feb 7, 2011