Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Joined
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    07 May '15 12:10
    Originally posted by finnegan
    What revenues? Under austerity, revenues crash. With growth policies, revenues can expand to accommodate the relevant borrowing, and as happened historically, the outcome is indeed that we do not spend more than we earn - our earnings grow to support our spending. See the [b]evidence.[/b]
    He was agreeing with you.

    No need to jump down his throat.
  2. Germany
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    07 May '15 12:43
    It's impossible to come to a general conclusion about the benefits or drawbacks of "austerity" until and unless you know what expenses exactly are being cut. For example, cuts in military spending or cuts in administrative personnel because of increased efficiency are unlikely to be harmful to the economy.
  3. Joined
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    07 May '15 12:461 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Well the point of my thread is to demonstrate that austerity does not work and is in fact harmful and you appear to accept this is the case. Seeing[b] the evidence that the initial two years of ConDem austerity screwed the economy and killed stone dead a recovery that was well underway thanks to Gordon Brown, you will be voting for a repeat performance ...[text shortened]... lerated. It helps that we have a local Labour candidate without a trace of New Labour about her.[/b]
    Well the point of my thread is to demonstrate that austerity does not work and is in fact harmful and you appear to accept this is the case. Seeing the evidence that the initial two years of ConDem austerity screwed the economy and killed stone dead a recovery that was well underway thanks to Gordon Brown, you will be voting for a repeat performance. Wow.


    Other issues were more important. If I was only voting on the economy I wouldn't have voted Tory.


    I agree that elections are not about single issues. I disagree that the Tories are the party of civil liberties or non violence or ethical foreign policy. But I do agree that New Labour was rapidly losing its attraction and in an ideal world I would not vote in this election either for Labour's manifesto. I would probably find the Greens closest to my aspirations and values.


    I have plenty of issues with the Tories on the civil liberties or foreign policy front.
    They are however, not nearly so bad as labour [who I have vowed never to vote for].

    Ideologically I am also probably closest to the Green party. [if you do one of those "answer these questions to
    see where you lie on the political spectrum" tests, I come out nearest the greens http://www.politicalcompass.org/ ]
    However, I then go and look at the Green party's policies on a whole bunch of issues and disagree with them.
    And these are often issues that go to the heart of the problems they claim to want to solve.
    So being ideologically similar doesn't seem to get me anywhere.

    EDIT: My political compass

    https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015?name=You&ec=-6.63&soc=-8.0


    The idea that alternative energy policies are bad economically is absurd. They not only offer immense potential for economic benefit, but also recognise that in reality the fossil fuel reserves in our geology are of negative value and cannot safely be exploited. The case for nuclear energy is not simple - the problem is how to evaluate risks that may be rare but are of such enormous scale when they happen. It is also a problem to trust the people who operate them. Economically, the subsidy environment makes comparative costing pretty dishonest and I fear the numbers can be manipulated to fit any prior commitment.


    You mistake me for someone else [an idiot apparently].

    I am pro-environment, and strongly anti-fossil fuels. I am pro-solar, pro-wind, pro-geothermal, pro-hydro.... ect ect.
    However I am also pro-nuclear. I understand all the arguments for and against, and the arguments for win out comfortably.
    And I find that the side that lies about this issue is the 'pro-environment' 'green' side.
    France has almost half the electricity costs of Germany, with vastly less CO2 [from power generation] because France
    gets ~80% of it's power from nuclear power stations. German has invested vast sums of money in renewables, and made
    little progress because they have scrapped their nuclear and replaced it with coal.
    France didn't do anything magical, what they did can not just be replicated but improved upon.
    We can power pretty much our entire country with ~60 buildings. How much land do we need to cover with solar panels
    and wind turbines to get the same power... And if we build those power-stations next to cities we can heat millions of
    homes and offices of off the 'waste' heat making them even more efficient.
    And the high temperatures and energy output from a nuclear power plant are perfect for creating synthetic fuels.
    Which we can use to power cars and planes to make them environmentally sustainable.
    Which means that we can have holidays abroad, with all the cultural and economic benefits, without the environmental costs.

    We can use GM to engineer our crops to all be nitrogen fixers, so that we can reduce, or stop using fertilisers at
    a huge energy [and cost] saving AND stopping nitrogen run-off into the seas...

    And yet the GREEN party is against all these things... It makes me want to cry, it really does.


    Sometimes people forget that politics takes place within parties and not just between them. The Labour Party was diverted by Blair and can be redirected into more progressive policies. Instead of abandoning the party in search of new ones that are unpredictable, it is reasonable to work for change within Labour. Nothing is easy in politics.


    What Tony Blair [and Gordon Brown] did verged on treason, and is unforgivable.
    When the other [still serving] members of the party realised what he did they could have forced him out or left
    the party. They did neither. That is also unforgivable. Therefore I cannot ever vote for them.


    Anyway elections are not opinion polls. We are not asked to pick our ideal or favourite policy mix. We are facing an ugly contest and forced to choose the best realistic outcome in our grasp. That often requires tactical voting.


    Yes. What makes you think I don't know this?
    That is precisely why I voted the way I did.


    In my case, I am voting for the only party that can get rid of the vile Esther McVey who worked so hard to make disabled people pay the cost of tax relief for the rich which is all the outgoing government was good for and which they propose to repeat if allowed. For me this is a single issue election and the treatment of the disabled has been a disgrace that must not be tolerated. It helps that we have a local Labour candidate without a trace of New Labour about her.



    Well if you are going to boil it down to a single issue election...

    Russia is helmed by a mad man who keeps threatening us with nuclear freaking bombers.

    Anyone voting for getting rid of our nuclear deterrent needed to keep him, and any other nuclear armed maniac over the
    next 40~60 years in check is naive or insane.

    If we get this wrong and land up in a war with such a madman because they didn't believe that retribution would come
    for their actions then the consequence's of that are worse than every other issue on the table.

    I want a liberal, pro-science, pro-environment, rational party.

    But I want one that realises that we live in a world where everyone does not play nice, and some of those people are insane
    and have nuclear weapons. And that as a consequence we need to have the capability and will to defend ourselves against them
    and thus to force them to talk with us, rather than invade us.

    Until such a party exists, we are left with choosing the least bad alternative.
  4. Joined
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    07 May '15 12:52
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    It's impossible to come to a general conclusion about the benefits or drawbacks of "austerity" until and unless you know what expenses exactly are being cut. For example, cuts in military spending or cuts in administrative personnel because of increased efficiency are unlikely to be harmful to the economy.
    Oh he is totally right that 'austerity' is hurting both the economy and important services.

    It's just, that [to my mind] is not the most important issue at stake.



    However all the long term policies of all the parties are doomed.

    Over the next 10~20 years, we will automate and remove 20~40% of the workforce.
    The most obvious and easy to see example being self driving vehicles putting everyone
    who drives for a living out of work.
    The Great Depression had a peak unemployment in the USA of only 25%.
    And this will not get better, we will not invent new jobs to take those that have been removed.
    We will just get even better at automation and remove even more people from the need to work.
    The end result is great, a post scarcity economy.
    However before you get their you completely break our present economic system.
  5. Account suspended
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    07 May '15 13:25
    Originally posted by finnegan
    At last a decent account of what is wrong with austerity policies and why Cameron is a big fat liar and why it is a drag having our mass media owned by tax dodgers, crooks and Australians.

    http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2015/05/02/britain-for-the-love-of-god-please-stop-david-cameron/

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) subsequently came out ...[text shortened]... ish earners will have seen their incomes fall 38% over this government’s five year term.
    Woa Epic!
  6. Germany
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    07 May '15 13:44
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Oh he is totally right that 'austerity' is hurting both the economy and important services.

    It's just, that [to my mind] is not the most important issue at stake.



    However all the long term policies of all the parties are doomed.

    Over the next 10~20 years, we will automate and remove 20~40% of the workforce.
    The most obvious and easy to see ...[text shortened]... carcity economy.
    However before you get their you completely break our present economic system.
    At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, most people worked in agriculture. Today, a few percent of the population works in agriculture. What happened? The opposite of what you predict - we invented new jobs. Sure, most of these (administrative) jobs are useless, but we are actually pretty good at coming up with ways to waste our time.
  7. Garner, NC
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    07 May '15 13:54
    Originally posted by finnegan
    At last a decent account of what is wrong with austerity policies and why Cameron is a big fat liar and why it is a drag having our mass media owned by tax dodgers, crooks and Australians.

    http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2015/05/02/britain-for-the-love-of-god-please-stop-david-cameron/

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) subsequently came out ...[text shortened]... ish earners will have seen their incomes fall 38% over this government’s five year term.
    So you're saying that no matter how much the government is spending now, the right thing to do is to always spend more and never spend less?

    Is there no limit to the amount the government can spend for which the best course of action is to reduce the spending? Are there any other downsides to massive government spending and inflation that the experts considered?

    And who is paying the "experts" who have concluded that austerity never works?
  8. Cape Town
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    07 May '15 14:281 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    For example, cuts in military spending or cuts in administrative personnel because of increased efficiency are unlikely to be harmful to the economy.
    Unless the military spending is done at home. In which case it would almost certainly be harmful to the economy. Cuts in any personnel, if the money was formerly borrowed from abroad, would harm the economy because there is just that much less money being put into the economy.

    Generally, in the short term, borrowing and spending money is good for the economy regardless of what you spend it on. Even giving it away as a 'tax break' as they do in the US benefits the economy. The down sides are:
    1. Someone has to bay back the borrowed money at some point.
    2. It only lasts as long as you can borrow and can lead to the illusion that you have a viable economy when in really you are just living on borrowed money.
    Its basically like credit card debt. You will certainly seem richer for as long as you can keep borrowing, regardless of how carelessly you spend it.
  9. Germany
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    07 May '15 14:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Unless the military spending is done at home. In which case it would almost certainly be harmful to the economy. Cuts in any personnel, if the money was formerly borrowed from abroad, would harm the economy because there is just that much less money being put into the economy.
    The economy isn't about "money," it's about how well the needs of citizens are met.
  10. Joined
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    07 May '15 14:37
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, most people worked in agriculture. Today, a few percent of the population works in agriculture. What happened? The opposite of what you predict - we invented new jobs. Sure, most of these (administrative) jobs are useless, but we are actually pretty good at coming up with ways to waste our time.
    This time is not the same as last time.
    There is no law that says "Newer better technology always means newer better jobs for humans".
    The majority of jobs in the workforce existed 200 years ago in some form or another, and almost all
    of them are prime targets for being automated out of existence. Those 'useless' administrative jobs
    being pretty near the top of the list.
    There is a limit to how many 'bull-excrement' jobs that are not in any way needed the economy can
    sustain before people realise that those jobs are pointless and stop paying for them.

    Humans Need Not Apply.
    CGP Grey
    YouTube&hd=1

    Not my source on this topic, but a well put together presentation of it.
  11. Joined
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    07 May '15 14:40
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Unless the military spending is done at home. In which case it would almost certainly be harmful to the economy. Cuts in any personnel, if the money was formerly borrowed from abroad, would harm the economy because there is just that much less money being put into the economy.

    Generally, in the short term, borrowing and spending money is good for the e ...[text shortened]... ly seem richer for as long as you can keep borrowing, regardless of how carelessly you spend it.
    Actually tax breaks barely do anything for the economy [unless taxes are really high, which
    they are not even close to being].
    SPENDING money, on things such as infrastructure and jobs that employ people, has a vastly
    greater effect that tax breaks, which barely do anything... except bust the budget of the entity
    giving the tax breaks.
  12. Cape Town
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    07 May '15 14:40
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The most obvious and easy to see example being self driving vehicles putting everyone
    who drives for a living out of work.
    The types of jobs available changes all the time. If anything the unskilled workforce such as drivers are the best able to switch careers in response to demand.
    There is a trend currently in many countries of the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor and middle classes, but this doesn't mean everyone will be out of work, they will just have to settle for a lower salary. The solution? More socialism, cooperatives, labour unions etc.
    Interestingly many formerly successful businesses are dying out or changing to a more democratic system with more jobs. There are probably more people writing and producing video than ever before its just that a lot of it is no=longer in traditional type newspaper and tv station jobs.
  13. Germany
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    07 May '15 14:42
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    This time is not the same as last time.
    There is no law that says "Newer better technology always means newer better jobs for humans".
    The majority of jobs in the workforce existed 200 years ago in some form or another, and almost all
    of them are prime targets for being automated out of existence. Those 'useless' administrative jobs
    being pretty ne ...[text shortened]... h?v=7Pq-S557XQU&hd=1

    Not my source on this topic, but a well put together presentation of it.
    There is no law that says "Newer better technology always means newer better jobs for humans".

    What's a "better" job? Better in what way?

    The majority of jobs in the workforce existed 200 years ago in some form or another

    Nope. Mine didn't exist, for instance. Yet, today there are millions of researchers.

    There is a limit to how many 'bull-excrement' jobs that are not in any way needed the economy can sustain before people realize that those jobs are pointless and stop paying for them.

    It sure doesn't look that way. What's that limit and how have you determined it?
  14. Cape Town
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    07 May '15 14:43
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Actually tax breaks barely do anything for the economy [unless taxes are really high, which
    they are not even close to being].
    SPENDING money, on things such as infrastructure and jobs that employ people, has a vastly
    greater effect that tax breaks, which barely do anything... except bust the budget of the entity
    giving the tax breaks.
    Short term, tax breaks are better for the economy than infrastructure investments. Whether spending money employing people is any use has to do with what you employ them to do.
    Long term, infrastructure investment is better, just as getting a mortgage for a house is better than getting a credit card.
  15. Joined
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    07 May '15 14:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The types of jobs available changes all the time. If anything the unskilled workforce such as drivers are the best able to switch careers in response to demand.
    There is a trend currently in many countries of the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor and middle classes, but this doesn't mean everyone will be out of work, they will just have to s ...[text shortened]... before its just that a lot of it is no=longer in traditional type newspaper and tv station jobs.
    There are probably more people writing and producing video than ever before its just
    that a lot of it is no=longer in traditional type newspaper and tv station jobs.


    Yeah, but the number actually making a living at it is still tiny.
    And always will be.
    Any job that relies on popularity will always only ever support a [tiny] minority of people.

    And no, the basic 'types of jobs' are fundamentally the same as 100+ years ago.
    The 'new' jobs don't employ many people.

    Look at the biggest companies on the stock exchange 100 years ago, and you will see companies
    that make stuff and employ 100's of thousands of people. Now you see companies like Apple that
    employ a few thousand people and have half a trillion in cash.

    We make things with robots, we can do administrative tasks with software bots, we can move stuff
    around with robots, we can mine and harvest with robots. All that you need to run it is a small group
    of engineers and designers and programmers to run the robots.

    You can't magic up enough unnecessary jobs to fill the gap.

    There is still lots and lots of stuff we can do, that is worthwhile.

    Just not anything that you can, or should, get paid for.
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