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Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Reading this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-34808717 which allows you to see where you stand in the world ranking of equality, I was led to ponder that the greatest inequality we currently face in Britain is income inequality.

    This is something that goes way beyond gender, race and sexual preference. We have a generation where the majority can never aspire to home ownership and for whom the ever spiraling cost of rent, coupled with the low incomes that now appear to be the norm, the prospect of escaping the poor end of society is slimmer than it's been since the war.

    Do you agree that in a nation where our politicians point proudly to their record on equality, income inequality should be anathema?

    Do you agree that everyone should earn enough to be able to save?

    Do you agree that home ownership should be possible for every citizen?

    Do you agree that by allowing the cost of a roof over our heads whether rented or owned to extend beyond a third of the average local income, successive governments have been party to the inequality we now live with?
  2. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    All of this is true and it is to the great shame of successive governments starting with Margaret Thatchers that we are in this parlous situation.
    Yes and it continues to increase.
  3. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    This problem of inequality has been created through many different and often calamitous decisions made by the Westminster circus.
    1. Allowing/encouraging (through policy) our manufacturing base to decline and disappear thereby removing many well paid employment opportunities.
    2. Continually reorganising education to the point of stupidity for staff and students alike, thereby creating an underclass of people who appear to be well qualified yet are very sadly only qualified to a mediocre level.
    3. Selling off our national assets thus leaving them in the hands of foreigners and capitalists whose only interest is the bottom line.
    4. Selling off the Council houses thus providing another underclass, those who will never be able to buy their own home because rents are Rackman high and legally so!
    5. I could go on but you all know the story by now.
  4. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    A comment which deserves reminder of Thatcher pointing to the parable of the good Samaritan where she said that without his wealth, he wouldn't have been able to help anyone.

    So what have the consequence of her policies been?

    A situation where untold wealth has been able to be accrued by some, whilst an entire generation and more face a lifetime of debt, merely to survive. The debt I took on was a traditional one, a reasonable one that enabled me to buy a house and later to use the equity in that house to invest in a business that would better me and provide stable and decent employment to others.

    Thatcher almost had it right, but the failing of her ideology for the ordinary person was that no provision was made to ensure that opportunity would be carried on for every generation. I need to point out here that buying a home and using it as capital wasn't something that Thatcher inspired in me. My father had done the same when Thatcher was still in a pram, as had many. My father inspired me, not Thatcher.

    The largest benefactors of the uncapped increase in house prices have mostly been the banks, since every increase in house prices has meant larger mortgages and therefore more interest on the debt to be paid. The second largest benefactor has been those who purchased home to let who enjoy free money, since the rent they charge covers their mortgage and more.

    With private tenancy agreements of six months being the norm, landlords are free to charge whatever they like in rent and the only limiting factor in their ability to do so is market forces, i.e. whether supply exceeds demand. Since the supply of new home has been restricted by government controls, they have been allowed free rein to use the housing crisis to milk it for all they can.

    The third largest beneficiary of this sad situation has been the parasites whose services are linked to house sales as a percentage of the cost of the transaction. Ask yourselves whether the work required to sell a million pound property is greater than a hundred thousand pound one, and if it isn't, why should the charge for doing so be ten times higher? It's in the interest of estate agents to pretend that houses are worth more than they really are, and there isn't an independent regulatory body to appeal to that can keep estate agents' aspirations of their income in check.

    Meanwhile, whilst the fat cats get richer, the poor have no choice other than to be ripped off. The vast majority of council house that were sold are now in the hands of private landlords, some of whom own more than any council owned, and current government policy is to allow the same to happen to housing association properties.

    Who is your government serving? Do you honestly know what you're voting for?

    Be truthful. How many of you would have preferred a pre-Thatcher life to the one we have now?
  5. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I agree with what you say above and comment selectively.
    IMO all of this is a second tier problem, it is still very serious and needs to be addressed politically.
    More important (by a small margin) is our lack of home grown and owned industry, we have become the warehouse of Europe with token industries contributing ever smaller amounts to our GDP which leads to:
    The opportunity to work in a progressive career has been to a large extent removed through bean counters and deskilling aided by an education system with crumbling foundations. Kids do not learn anymore and teachers/lecturers do not teach. We have the tick-box and spreadsheet numbers game instead. Quality in education has been sacrificed for quantity and the results are all around us.

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