Where is politics going?

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lpm
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:05 pm

There is no better symbol of progress than the word staycation.

When I was a kid a holiday meant going to the seaside. A foreign holiday would never be called a holiday - it was such a status symbol it would always be called a foreign holiday. I first went abroad at 18, first stayed in hotel when I was 25. My grandmother went on a coach trip to London when she was in her 70s because she thought she ought to see it once before she died. She didn't think much of it.

By 2020 a holiday was so obviously a foreign holiday that young people had to commandeer the word staycation to describe the novelty of staying in Britain for a holiday.

The stalling of income inequality is obviously not what any of us want. But it shouldn't obscure the radical improvement in absolute living standards since 1980.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:08 pm

Yes but in a thread about future directions of politics w.nking on about how lame things were when you were young during the Industrial Revolution is missing the point
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:18 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:43 am
housing costs make up a lot of the current inequality, especially structural inequality which keeps people in their place.

There are a number of land reform proposals, some pretty modest, which will help address some of the structural problems, but demographics are also creating a pinch.

My point being that the solution isn’t as easy as a few % on income tax.
Certainly. The income tax rate was just an example.

If the UK electorate wanted to reverse structural inequality related to property ownership they could a) close the loophole whereby people’s primary residence is exempt from capital gains tax; b) close the loophole whereby people don’t pay inheritance tax on assets transferred 7 years or more before death; and c) bring back capital transfer tax (abolished in 1988).

But if Kier Starmer actually suggested the above I expect that there would be a sharp intake of breath from the circa 65 per cent of households which are owner occupiers.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:21 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:08 pm
Yes but in a thread about future directions of politics w.nking on about how lame things were when you were young during the Industrial Revolution is missing the point
It's about the future.

I'm describing the radical changes achieved over the last 30-40 years. Huge leap forwards without any radical overthrow of the system or hard left government or mass rejection of the capitalist compromise.

The same will be done in the next 30-40 years. We will see radical improvements from nothing more than the continuation of normal politics. Fantasizing about instant radical change from some dramatic overthrow of the system is teenage illusion. Far better to push for incremental change and accept that it's a slow walk up the mountain, than try to convince the electorate we can leap up the cliff face.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:30 pm

I'm not convinced that foreign holidays, coupled with low wages, insecure work, rising use of food banks, increased educational inequality etc etc actually represents a radical increase in living standards. Stability and safety would be better measures.

It's the kind of "let them eat cake" thing that makes rich people look super out of touch. Let's call people in their thirties childish because they'd like to believe they have a chance at a stable income and housing during the next decade, because oo look they booked a trip to Ibiza on a 24% APR credit card that they'll still be paying back when they have kids.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:32 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:56 am
A wealth tax would be a good start. Lots of EU countries have them, typically below 1%. Let's take back control from the oligarchs and give £350m a week to the NHS.
Yes it would.

YouBut 1% wouldn’t be high enough to reduce inequality. As far as I remember Piketty found that the long term return on capital was 5%.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:32 pm

And I'm not sure where lpm got the "sudden" thing from, though obviously if you have a good idea it's better to get on with things than deliberately retard progress just because comfortable poshos think it would be too scary.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:35 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:32 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:56 am
A wealth tax would be a good start. Lots of EU countries have them, typically below 1%. Let's take back control from the oligarchs and give £350m a week to the NHS.
Yes it would.

YouBut 1% wouldn’t be high enough to reduce inequality. As far as I remember Piketty found that the long term return on capital was 5%.
Fair enough. It does strike me that there must be a decent amount of data from various jurisdictions and time periods that some kind of analysis can be undertaken, as Piketty has done. But it's probably worth setting goals or targets so we know what questions to ask of the data, and I don't get a sense that many people actually have a clear idea of what they'd like the UK to look like beyond a vague "the good bits of the past but with added modernity" handwave.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:45 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:30 pm
I'm not convinced that foreign holidays, coupled with low wages, insecure work, rising use of food banks, increased educational inequality etc etc actually represents a radical increase in living standards. Stability and safety would be better measures.

It's the kind of "let them eat cake" thing that makes rich people look super out of touch. Let's call people in their thirties childish because they'd like to believe they have a chance at a stable income and housing during the next decade, because oo look they booked a trip to Ibiza on a 24% APR credit card that they'll still be paying back when they have kids.
I agree, the three things I’d focus upon are home ownership, private or occupational pensions and ownership of other assets (eg shares, other property). Clearly they aren’t the whole picture but in terms of social policy they are probably a pretty good proxy. A household with one or more of the above is usually accumulating wealth (until they’re very old).

But back to the earlier point, that applies to circa 60% of UK households. Could be higher, I haven’t checked the numbers today.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:52 pm

I think a lot of those households are one or two retired people, though.

I've got nothing against older folks, but my focus is on younger people who are really struggling to get established in the current economy. Obviously most of us accept we're unlikely to ever own homes unless our parents die young, but it would be nice to at least have a decent rental market, honest work contracts and internal promotions.

Still, at least we can get ryanair flights to Mykonos and get bladdered and sunburned for a week each July.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:01 pm

BoaF, the flight you're waiting for isn't super cheap because airlines were renationalised, yet on the other hand it's meant Stelios is a billionaire from setting up EasyJet.

The super fast broadband you're accessing for pennies isn't because broadband was nationalised and given away for free, but it does mean BT directors earning absurd salaries.

The solar electricity that's cheaper than coal isn't because of radical action to nationalise power companies, yet it's also making venture capitalists excessively wealthy.

I just don't think you're allowed to ignore all the great things delivered by the capitalist compromise. That's cheating. And pretending job instability and terrible housing is new is definitely cheating. I'll allow you to moan about 24% APR credit cards though - that is new, ready access to credit cards, mortgages and other financial services was simply unavailable to the masses 40 years ago.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:15 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:52 pm
I think a lot of those households are one or two retired people, though.

I've got nothing against older folks, but my focus is on younger people who are really struggling to get established in the current economy. Obviously most of us accept we're unlikely to ever own homes unless our parents die young, but it would be nice to at least have a decent rental market, honest work contracts and internal promotions.
Yes, there has been a concentration of wealth among the older generations. But that wealth is being and will be passed down to younger generations (so long as it isn't eaten away by fees for residential care). As far as tax policy goes, radical redistribution is going to be opposed by people who own assets, and also by those who expect to inherit those assets in the future.

People under 40 who don't have a mortgage, and whose parents don't own homes and pension funds, are f.cked. I haven't looked up the stats, but I still expect that they're a minority.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:21 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:01 pm
BoaF, the flight you're waiting for isn't super cheap because airlines were renationalised, yet on the other hand it's meant Stelios is a billionaire from setting up EasyJet.

The super fast broadband you're accessing for pennies isn't because broadband was nationalised and given away for free, but it does mean BT directors earning absurd salaries.

The solar electricity that's cheaper than coal isn't because of radical action to nationalise power companies, yet it's also making venture capitalists excessively wealthy.

I just don't think you're allowed to ignore all the great things delivered by the capitalist compromise. That's cheating. And pretending job instability and terrible housing is new is definitely cheating. I'll allow you to moan about 24% APR credit cards though - that is new, ready access to credit cards, mortgages and other financial services was simply unavailable to the masses 40 years ago.
Still possible to have solar cells and broadband with less inequality and less absolute poverty. For example, Denmark is usually close to the top of the rankings for ease of doing business.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:41 pm

But did Denmark achieve that by being radical? No. They achieved it by being Blairite and incrementally improving over decades.

There is a method that has been proven to work:

1. Give great education from birth to 21, year after year.
2. Wait 30 years.
3. Success.

1. Build good housing, year after year.
2. Wait 30 years.
3. Success.

1. Improve hospitals and train nurses, year after year.
2. Wait 30 years.
3. Success.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:53 pm

I don't understand why you're griping about rates of progress rather than anything anybody has actually said.

Renationalising airlines?! Are you still pissed?
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by sTeamTraen » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:12 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:21 pm
Fantasizing about instant radical change from some dramatic overthrow of the system is teenage illusion. Far better to push for incremental change and accept that it's a slow walk up the mountain, than try to convince the electorate we can leap up the cliff face.
Indeed. It's lots of fun to discuss exactly how big the changes are that the left should make, but the first big change I want to see is the left actually winning elections, without which these are just student debating club arguments. To a first approximation(*) this will require persuading people who voted for the right last time to change their minds. Unless you believe that the 33% of the electorate who stayed at home at the last UK general election did so only because Labour, under the leadership of a Blairite centrist like *checks notes* Jeremy Corbyn, was once again failing to propose a sufficiently radical programme to get them off their arses, this may involve making some compromises to avoid frightening those people too much.



(*) In the UK at least, given the demographics of the Tory vote, COVID killing off a few older people might be of some marginal benefit from this point of view, somewhat ironically.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:38 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:12 pm
lpm wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:21 pm
Fantasizing about instant radical change from some dramatic overthrow of the system is teenage illusion. Far better to push for incremental change and accept that it's a slow walk up the mountain, than try to convince the electorate we can leap up the cliff face.
Indeed. It's lots of fun to discuss exactly how big the changes are that the left should make, but the first big change I want to see is the left actually winning elections, without which these are just student debating club arguments. To a first approximation(*) this will require persuading people who voted for the right last time to change their minds. Unless you believe that the 33% of the electorate who stayed at home at the last UK general election did so only because Labour, under the leadership of a Blairite centrist like *checks notes* Jeremy Corbyn, was once again failing to propose a sufficiently radical programme to get them off their arses, this may involve making some compromises to avoid frightening those people too much.



(*) In the UK at least, given the demographics of the Tory vote, COVID killing off a few older people might be of some marginal benefit from this point of view, somewhat ironically.
You won't get radical left wing change in a democracy. Radical right wing change, maybe. The question lpm is posing, is radical left wing change really necessary? Perhaps goals can be met with incremental change, year after year. That would maybe work if you could guarantee incremental left wing government for decades. Unfortunately one right wing government can destroy a decades progress and you are back to square one.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by sTeamTraen » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:46 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:38 pm
You won't get radical left wing change in a democracy. Radical right wing change, maybe. The question lpm is posing, is radical left wing change really necessary? Perhaps goals can be met with incremental change, year after year. That would maybe work if you could guarantee incremental left wing government for decades. Unfortunately one right wing government can destroy a decades progress and you are back to square one.
Is that true though? The other side could make exactly the same claim. The point is to shift the Overton window so that your incoming right-wing government is less right-wing than it otherwise might be. But you don't do that from opposition.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by discovolante » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:56 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:32 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:56 am
A wealth tax would be a good start. Lots of EU countries have them, typically below 1%. Let's take back control from the oligarchs and give £350m a week to the NHS.
Yes it would.

YouBut 1% wouldn’t be high enough to reduce inequality. As far as I remember Piketty found that the long term return on capital was 5%.
Although if you're referencing Piketty, I'm not sure he proposed that a wealth tax should exceed return on capital, he suggested about 2-3%, no? It was more about transparency.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:26 pm

discovolante wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:56 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:32 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:56 am
A wealth tax would be a good start. Lots of EU countries have them, typically below 1%. Let's take back control from the oligarchs and give £350m a week to the NHS.
Yes it would.

YouBut 1% wouldn’t be high enough to reduce inequality. As far as I remember Piketty found that the long term return on capital was 5%.
Although if you're referencing Piketty, I'm not sure he proposed that a wealth tax should exceed return on capital, he suggested about 2-3%, no? It was more about transparency.
Yes, probably, I haven't checked the numbers.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:17 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:18 pm
plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:43 am
housing costs make up a lot of the current inequality, especially structural inequality which keeps people in their place.

There are a number of land reform proposals, some pretty modest, which will help address some of the structural problems, but demographics are also creating a pinch.

My point being that the solution isn’t as easy as a few % on income tax.
Certainly. The income tax rate was just an example.

If the UK electorate wanted to reverse structural inequality related to property ownership they could a) close the loophole whereby people’s primary residence is exempt from capital gains tax; b) close the loophole whereby people don’t pay inheritance tax on assets transferred 7 years or more before death; and c) bring back capital transfer tax (abolished in 1988).

But if Kier Starmer actually suggested the above I expect that there would be a sharp intake of breath from the circa 65 per cent of households which are owner occupiers.
Or you could make any land subsidies dependent on the land being registered (and perhaps liable for uk tax rather than the crazy concept of UK land somehow legally existing offshore!)

You could also move subsidies away from acreage towards utility, and you could also look at planning law to avoid future slum development. In an ideal world we’d find a way to entice retirees out of family-sized homes.

It’s not all about simply raising more money from people.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:56 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:31 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:00 am
lpm wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:27 pm
These Jewish people complaining about antisemitism under Corbyn need to get real. It's a completely delusional rejection of the world that was around us in the 1930s.
No, lpm did not write that and such false attribution is unacceptable.
Forum members have often changed quoted text as a rhetorical device, but they usually clearly indicate that by writing things like 'fixed it for you' or similar. Bird on a Fire has made a note to make it clear that his edit was a similar rhetorical device.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:33 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:17 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:18 pm
plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:43 am
housing costs make up a lot of the current inequality, especially structural inequality which keeps people in their place.

There are a number of land reform proposals, some pretty modest, which will help address some of the structural problems, but demographics are also creating a pinch.

My point being that the solution isn’t as easy as a few % on income tax.
Certainly. The income tax rate was just an example.

If the UK electorate wanted to reverse structural inequality related to property ownership they could a) close the loophole whereby people’s primary residence is exempt from capital gains tax; b) close the loophole whereby people don’t pay inheritance tax on assets transferred 7 years or more before death; and c) bring back capital transfer tax (abolished in 1988).

But if Kier Starmer actually suggested the above I expect that there would be a sharp intake of breath from the circa 65 per cent of households which are owner occupiers.
Or you could make any land subsidies dependent on the land being registered (and perhaps liable for uk tax rather than the crazy concept of UK land somehow legally existing offshore!)

You could also move subsidies away from acreage towards utility, and you could also look at planning law to avoid future slum development. In an ideal world we’d find a way to entice retirees out of family-sized homes.

It’s not all about simply raising more money from people.
I have to admit I don't understand this land tax subsidy stuff.
What UK needs is a disincentive for owner occupiers.
An increase in the stock of reasonable rental properties.
Strict no nonsense rent controls to hold rents below a certain percentage of income.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:21 pm

House prices have gone crazy in recent years. I bought in 2000 with a salary of £15k and had a mortgage of £45k, in other words the traditional 3x salary. That’s a pipe dream nowadays. I couldn’t afford my current house if I hadn’t benefited from the rising tide of house prices.
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by lpm » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:35 pm

Interest rates in 2000 were what, 8%? Now they are 2%. Mortgages of 4.5x salary are standard. And joint salary - most humans pair bond into couples. Very hard for a single person. But a joint income of £40k x 4.5 = £180k mortgage which should be cheaper than rent. Saving £30k for deposit is tough however.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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