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"A Snotty Islington Weirdo..."

Discussion in 'Personal' started by artboyusa, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    The CO2 from natural cycles has been quantifi....

    oh, what's the point?

    You're the expert.

  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Being another cemented dichotomy of a thread, I thought I would interject with another of my handy summaries of the content so far, for late comers-

    nizebaby and alex_teccy like this.
  3. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    You'd have to change Islington to where I actually live, but with my current state of cold the rest of the thread title describes me quite well.
    cissy3 likes this.

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    And I hate Tories who wrap the flag around themselves while simultaneously shovelling their ill-gotten cash offshore. What's patriotic about people who deprive their fellow-citizens of the money for public services?
  5. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Wish I had ill-gotton gains
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    What prevented you from getting them? Was it merely a sense of decency and a willingness to be law abiding?
  7. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Perhaps it is time to be quiet, wait and see, then comment, then again:

    Judging a Conservative government before it has started work seems premature.

    All the voter analysis in the world as to why Labour lost and why the Conservatives won will not change our current course over the next 5 years.

    I am looking forward to the UK leaving the EU., and I believe we will continue to trade and cooperate with them without having their laws and regulations imposed on us. It can and should be, an exciting period and yes, there will be lows but there will also be highs.
    artboyusa and alex_teccy like this.
  8. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    You almost make it sound illegal.
    needabreak likes this.
  9. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed, though we now know that something that needs to be done about inequality isn't simply throwing money at it, few people if any bought that as a realistic longer term option last week, so we need to look for a viable alternative.

    Personally as I've said before I feel counteracting the negative aspect of expectancy theory to be key in this regard, creating a can do attitude while the odds are against you is a challenge but the value of something is often in the struggle to achieve it and the sense of achievement. We cannot simply pass off our middle classed values to others but might seek information about what they will find helpful and motivating, we shouldn't be surprised it isn't state dependency because as we know less well off people aren't without pride or a sense of self, and they don't always want to be seen as poor needy people depending on others... they might surprise us with their ideas on what will help them but we would need to ask not assume.

    I'd just like to say that I think many here would agree that we still have a rather good education system here in the UK so to say people we disagree with are simply stupid is at best unlikely, while to say they disagree with certain things is clearly true.
    Oscillatingass likes this.
  10. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    Well, I am sorry to inform you that there could be a slight problem with this recommendation: the past.

    What the recent past demonstrates is that the current brand of free-market economics fsvoured by the Conservatives is not reducing economic inequality. So why should we expect anything to change under Johnson?

    I have already cited detailed information on recent global economic history using David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism as my primary source. The UK was included.

    But just to demonstrate that Harvey is not the only person who takes this line, let's have a look at what Matthieu Ricard has to say. The following is taken from his book Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change the World. Just the very title is an indication that we are a long way from the naive assumptions about human nature indulged in by supporters of free-market capitalism.

    Much economic policy-making from that angle is based on the model of homo economicus - the view that humans are narrowly individualistic, rational but self-interested creatures. Unsurprisingly, hundreds of pages of Ricard's study are devoted to demolishing this model, and along the way the author draws on a vast range of multidisciplinary research to do so. But my concern here is not with these studies. Suffice it to say that even Adam Smith, the father of the market economy, was not nearly so extreme as his successors in taking the aforementioned view of humanity.

    In a work which has not attracted quite so much attention as The Wealth of Nations, Smith stated: 'To restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature; and can alone produce among mankind that harmony of sentiments and passions in which consists in their whole grace and harmony.'

    In other words, any theory of economics that excludes altruism is fundamentally incomplete and diminished.

    But anyway, here is Ricard, writing in 2013:

    'We have already seen how in the United States the richest 1% of the population currently owns 40% of the country's wealth, compared with just 13% of it twenty-five years ago...such a level of inequality is morally unjustifiable and is a scourge on society. What's more, contrary to the claims of neoliberals, the wealth at the top of the ladder remains there, and does not 'trickle down' to the bottom to create a more dynamic society for all.

    As Joseph Stiglitz explains, inequality is both the cause and consequence of the failure of the political system, and it contributes to the instability of the financial system, which in turn contributes to increased inequality. It is this vicious cycle that has thrown us into the abyss, and we will only be able to emerge from it by reforming the system.'

    Does anyone seriously think that Johnson's government will instigate these reforms?

    But there's more:

    'The divide in the United States is widening faster and faster. For thirty years, 90% of Americans saw their income increase by just 15%, while those who make up the wealthiest 1% experienced a leap of 150%. Between 2002 and 2007, this 1% of the population monopolized over 65% of national income gains. While the best-off became considerably richer, the situation for the majority of Americans got worse.

    In Europe, although income inequality is overall lower than it is in the United States, it is on the rise. The most equal countries are those in Scandinavia, where the richest 10% earn just six times more than the poorest 10%.

    Research carried out by economists at the IMF suggests that almost everywhere in the world, income inequality slows growth and triggers financial crises...The 2014 report from the OECD concludes that the gap between rich and poor is at its highest level in 30 years in most OECD countries. Today, the richest 10% of the population in the OECD area earn 9.5 times more than the poorest 10%...This long-term trend increase in income inequality has curbed economic growth significantly, chiefly because of families with low incomes not being able to invest in their education.'

    Ricard then goes on to discuss China ('an oppressive totalitarian regime - notably, and unusually at the same time as being a capitalist state since the 1990's'). In actual fact, 'the poorest people's wages increased proportionately even more so than those of the richest. Yet immense fortunes have been amassed among the wealthiest, often thanks to nepotism within the leadership and due to wholesale corruption.'

    And it's a similar story in India. Arundhati Roy's Capitalism: A Love Story has the finer detail on that. What I remember being most shocked by is the suicide of 250,000 farmers (!) as a result of their financial plight since neoliberal reforms were introduced.

    Continuing with Ricard:

    'What's more, in all countries studied, in times of economic crisis, the elite classes almost always come out alright, while people with low incomes are affected disproprotionately. The wealthiest also benefit much more than anyone else when the economy recovers. Women for their part earn just 10% of global income, despite carrying out two-thirds of humankind's work.

    Tax and protection schemes, which play a major role in easing the levels of inequality brought about by free market capitalism, have in many countries ceased to be effective over the last fifteen years, since libertarian capitalism aims at reducing the role of government and at reducing social welfare as much as possible.'

    The section I have quoted from finishes with the words of Warren Buffet: 'There's been class warfare going on. And my class has won.'

    Anyway, enjoy your flirtation with the Tories. Personally, given what's gone on in recent times, I think it might prove to be the equivalent of having a massive bet on a fatally crippled racehorse, given that the Conservatives were the implementers of neoliberal policies.

    So think I'll stick with Ricard's perspective for now, especially as he enjoys the reputation of being the happiest person alive.

    "The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produces a level of gamma waves – those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory – ‘never reported before in the neuroscience literature’...the scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, allowing him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity."

    Maybe he knows something we don't.
  11. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    No. We can't just let them get on with it for 5 years. They have already killed 120,000 people with austerity. Lots more are going to die. The old, the disabled, the poverty stricken, the ill.
    These evil b4stards make it their lifes work to steal everything our taxes have paid for, destroy our society and tilt the board decisively in their favour.
    If the game wasn't rigged there might be something in their philosophy (if you are selfish and amoral anyway). However the bait they use (you can become one of us, rich and powerful) is simply a lie. You are scum to them, because you aren't rich. The poor (defined as anyone who is not a millionaire or better) are simply livestock to be herded.
    It is entirely appropriate to judge a tory or a tory government by what the are programmed to do. What they do is evil. There is no other word for it.
  12. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Star commenter

    Do you mean like the the Guardian Media Group who used of an offshore tax shelter in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying any tax on the £302 million in profit it made from the sale of Auto Trader in 2008? Which all of it's employees benefit from, including Seamus Milne, JCs communications advisor?
    artboyusa likes this.
  13. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    They have not killed 120,000, austerity was impossible to avoid when Labour left office and the Conservatives took over. We were virtually bankrupt in 2010 thanks to 3 successive Labour governments who could have done so much but failed dismally.
    I agree that the wealth disparity needs to be corrected so as to remove poverty but that can only be corrected through growth in the economy, just printing money rarely solves anything.
    I do not consider any person with lower than a millionaire income as scum and I am sure the majority of those in the millionaire income do not as well.
    alex_teccy likes this.
  14. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Citing learned research and thoughts of others will not change the wealth disparity in the UK. Historical memory will not correct problems we currently have to deal with. What might start to address the issue of poverty and disenfranchisement is having a government that acknowledges past mistakes and has the power to take steps towards rectification.
    It will not happen overnight.
    alex_teccy likes this.
  15. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    Afternoon, Lexus.

    First of all, quite a few of us were concerned when you fell off the radar. Maybe you didn't see the posts.

    But anyway, just to take this thread momentarily off course, a while back I recall that you were somewhat dissatisfied with aspects of Catholicism.

    Someone who I find intriguing within your faith tradition is Bernadette Roberts. She's not very well-known but you may want to investigate her contemplative writing if you still have concerns. Just Google her name.

    Might not be your thing but thought she was worth a mention.
  16. MAGAorMIGA

    MAGAorMIGA Star commenter

    Yes - I include them, and anyone else who deliberately deprives the poor of their desperately needed public services because of their selfishness. These people are not patriots, and for them to attacks others as "unpatriotic" is hypocrisy.
    ajrowing and alex_teccy like this.
  17. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    Moving on to an explanation of why I fear what lies in store/lies are in store for us as far as Johnson is concerned, I just want to look at some of the consequences of economic inequality. If those fears are subsequently proved to be wrong and the issue of wealth disparity does get addressed, then I will be delighted to have been incorrect. But the historical record does seem to justify my pessimism right now.

    Previously, I have made use of the writings of Ha Joon Chang, David Harvey and Matthieu Ricard.

    This time it's going to be the late Tony Judt, the historian who authored the acclaimed Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 and Thinking the Twentieth Century, co-authored with Timothy Snyder. This is from his 2010 work Ill Fates the Land:

    'No society can be flourishing and happy,
    of which the far greater part of the members are
    poor and miserable'
    - Adam Smith

    'Poverty is an abstraction, even for the poor. But the symptoms of collective impoverishment are all around us. Broken highways, bankrupt cities, collapsing bridges, failed schools, the unemployed, the underpaid and the uninsured: all suggest a collective failure of the will. These shortcomings are so endemic that we no longer know how to talk about what is wrong, much less about repairing it. And yet, something is seriously amiss. Even as the US budgets tens of billions of dollars on a futile military campaign in Afghanistan, we fret nervously at the implications of any increase in public spending on social services or infrastructure.

    To understand the depths to which we have fallen, we must first appreciate the scale of the changes that have overtaken us. From the late 19th Century until the 1970's the advanced societies of the West were all becoming less unequal. Thanks to progressive taxation, government subsidies for the poor, the provision of social services and guarantees against acute misfortune, modern democracies were shedding extremes of wealth and poverty.

    ...Over the past thirty years we have thrown all this away. To be sure 'we' varies with country. The greatest extremes of private privilege and public indifference have resurfaced in the US and the UK: epicentres of enthusiasm for deregulated market capitalism. Although countries as far apart as New Zealand and Denmark, France and Brazil, have expressed periodic interest, none has matched Britain or the United States in their unwavering, thirty-year commitment to the unravelling of decades of social legislation and economic oversight.

    In 2005, 21.2 percent of US national income accrued to just 1% of earners. Contrast 1968, when the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker. Today, the CEO of Walmart earns nine hundred times the wages of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Wal-Mart founders' family was estimated to be about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the US population: 120 million people.

    The UK too is now more unequal - in incomes, wealth, health, education and life chances - than at any time since the 1920's. There are more poor children in the UK than in any other country of the European Union. Since 1973, inequality in take-home pay increased more in the UK than anywhere except the US. Most of the new jobs in the UK were either at the very high or the very low end of the pay scale.

    The consequences are clear. There has been a collapse in intergenerational mobility: in contrast to their parents and grandparents, children today in the UK and in the US have very little expectation of improving upon the life into which they were born. The poor stay poor. Economic disadvantage for the overwhelming majority translates into ill health, missed educational opportunity and - increasingly - the familiar symptoms of depression: alcoholism, obesity, gambling and minor criminality. The unemployed or underemployed lose such skills as they have acquired and become chronically superfluous to the economy. Anxiety and stress, not to mention illness and early death, frequently follow.

    Income disparity exacerbates the problems. Thus, the incidence of mental illness correlates closely to income in the US and the UK, whereas the two indices are quite unrelated in all continental European countries. Even trust, the faith we have in our fellow citizens, corresponds negatively with differences in income: between 1983 and 2001, mistrustfulness increased markedly in the US, the UK and Ireland - three countries in which the dogma of unregulated individual self-interest was most assiduously applied to public policy. In no other country was a comparable increase in mutual mistrust to be found.

    Inequality, then, is not just unattractive in itself; it clearly corresponds to pathological social problems that we cannot hope to address unless we attend to the underlying cause. There is a reason why infant mortality, life expectancy, criminality, the prison population, mental illness, unemployment, obesity, malnutrition, teenage pregnancy, illegal drug use, economic insecurity, personal indebtedness and anxiety are so much more marked in the US and UK than they are in continental Europe.

    The wider the spread between the wealthy few and the impoverished many, the worse the social problems: a statement that appears to be true for rich and poor countries alike....Inequality is corrosive. It rots societies from within. The impact of material differences takes a while to show up: but in due course competition for status and goods increases; people feel a growing sense of superiority (or inferiority) based on their possessions; prejudice towards those on the lower ranks of the social ladder hardens; crime spikes and the pathologies of social disadvantage become ever more marked. The legacy of unregulated wealth creation is bitter indeed.'

    So there you go. That's yet another statement of the counter-narrative. Let's hope that the issues and behaviour that Judt refers to in the previous two paragraphs do not become even more exacerbated over the next five years. Otherwise, the UK might become like something out of a J.G. Ballard novel.
    George_Randle and lexus300 like this.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    There's nothing in the manifesto about directly addressing wealth in equality so you are likely to be correct.
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Those and the Christian ethos of the commandment.Thou shall not steal.
    I still don't even though there have been many opportunities to do if I wished.
    lexus300 likes this.
  20. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Good afternoon NMT., I was out of circulation for a while but not for health reasons and consequently I did not know that some were concerned, many thanks to all.
    I no longer consider RC Church as my church and like you I have looked and read into where I want to be. You may have read “The Great Controversy” by Ellen G White.
    The aim of the book is to help people to find their own way to God.
    It is strongly critical of he early Christian Church IE., Catholic Church. Some of the terrible things they did leave me speechless. Also how the New Testament was hidden from the population in the Middle Ages so that the church could make obscene amounts of money from the poor. It then goes into the trauma’s of the reformation particularly the experiences of Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Tyndall, Baxter, Wesley all we’re persecuted by the Catholic Church. It is cross referenced very thoroughly and is a tour de force for those who are interested in the Christian faith.
    I will look into Bernadette Roberts in the near future. So, thank you again.
    NoseyMatronType likes this.

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