Where is politics going?

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Millennie Al
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:08 am

Herainestold wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:33 pm
What UK needs is a disincentive for owner occupiers.
Why?
An increase in the stock of reasonable rental properties.
Strict no nonsense rent controls to hold rents below a certain percentage of income.
You can't have both. In the presence of rent controls, no sensible investor will build property to let as they will fear losing money on it compared to building commercial premises, building a ship, buying gold, or merely spending the money on generally having a good time.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am
On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:13 am

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.
What would the current government do with the money raised, and why would that be better than what the current holders of that wealth would do?

NB: I am not asking what you would do with it. You are not in government and likely never will be (unless you have a PPE degree from Oxford you haven't mentioned).
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:24 am

plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:17 pm
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!)
How does registration help? If you're paying a subsidy you presumably know who you're paying it to. And anyway, over 85% of land in England and Wales is already registered.
You could also move subsidies away from acreage towards utility,
One of the reasons for using acreage is an attempt to protect the environment. Do you want to abandon that?
and you could also look at planning law to avoid future slum development.
Well, I may have some bad news for you there - future slum development is more likely to be caused by planning laws. Currently the regulations mean that land for building is extremely expensive and heavily regulated. This means that builders want to pack as many premises on the land as they can to get the most from the sales of them. Furthermore, regulations, instead of pushing back against this, frequently require provision of "affordable" portions. What this really means is cheap rubbish and result in housing estates with little or no gardens, inadequate parking, and generally the least and lowest quality extras (such as odd bits of grass that could be used for leisure).
In an ideal world we’d find a way to entice retirees out of family-sized homes.
Well, here at least I have great news. We are in just such an ideal world as they will die - you just need a bit of patience.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by plodder » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:32 am

eostfu x

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Martin_B » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:21 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am
On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
But it does appear to be an important part of the World Happiness Rating; which sounds like a made-up PR thing, but is from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Given that the UN use this rating to gauge national population levels of well-being and drives economic and social policies, inequality does appear to be a valid measure of something worthwhile in society, and something which high levels of it should be discouraged. Unfortunately, uncontrolled capitalism and trickle-down economics seem to believe that inequality is something to aim for.

That said, the opposite, which would be hard-line communism where equality is forced upon the population, isn't something I think many people would see as the optimum solution. ;)
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by noggins » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:30 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
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.
Exactly. What you need is for the right wing party to have to be seen commiting to the welfare state for electoral success. cf Bismark

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by dyqik » Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:08 pm

Martin_B wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:21 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am
On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
But it does appear to be an important part of the World Happiness Rating; which sounds like a made-up PR thing, but is from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Given that the UN use this rating to gauge national population levels of well-being and drives economic and social policies, inequality does appear to be a valid measure of something worthwhile in society, and something which high levels of it should be discouraged. Unfortunately, uncontrolled capitalism and trickle-down economics seem to believe that inequality is something to aim for.

That said, the opposite, which would be hard-line communism where equality is forced upon the population, isn't something I think many people would see as the optimum solution. ;)
In consumer driven economies, like the US, UK, Western Europe, etc. inequality is a fairly direct measure of how bad the economy is at enabling the population to contribute to the economy.

Massive inequality also reduces the pool of investors and entrepreneurs, and thus reduces diversity in the economy, which has knock-on effects on economic resilience and stability.

It's also plays fairly directly into political stability and thus the ability to carry out long term political projects, like tackling climate change.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:15 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:08 am
Herainestold wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:33 pm
What UK needs is a disincentive for owner occupiers.
Why?
An increase in the stock of reasonable rental properties.
Strict no nonsense rent controls to hold rents below a certain percentage of income.
You can't have both. In the presence of rent controls, no sensible investor will build property to let as they will fear losing money on it compared to building commercial premises, building a ship, buying gold, or merely spending the money on generally having a good time.
That is why there needs to be government involvement. It can't be left to the market.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:16 pm

dyqik wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:08 pm
Martin_B wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:21 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am


So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
But it does appear to be an important part of the World Happiness Rating; which sounds like a made-up PR thing, but is from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Given that the UN use this rating to gauge national population levels of well-being and drives economic and social policies, inequality does appear to be a valid measure of something worthwhile in society, and something which high levels of it should be discouraged. Unfortunately, uncontrolled capitalism and trickle-down economics seem to believe that inequality is something to aim for.

That said, the opposite, which would be hard-line communism where equality is forced upon the population, isn't something I think many people would see as the optimum solution. ;)
In consumer driven economies, like the US, UK, Western Europe, etc. inequality is a fairly direct measure of how bad the economy is at enabling the population to contribute to the economy.

Massive inequality also reduces the pool of investors and entrepreneurs, and thus reduces diversity in the economy, which has knock-on effects on economic resilience and stability.

It's also plays fairly directly into political stability and thus the ability to carry out long term political projects, like tackling climate change.
Equity should be a goal of governance rather than a by product.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by sTeamTraen » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:42 pm

noggins wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:30 pm
Exactly. What you need is for the right wing party to have to be seen commiting to the welfare state for electoral success. cf Bismark
A few years ago, the then leaders of the then only-mostly-anti-Euro (pre-neo-Nazi) German AfD party apparently had an exploratory meeting with the leaders of the Front National in France, to see what they had in common. The meeting was scheduled for a full day but only lasted about an hour, when the AfD people discovered that the FN was, to all intents and purposes, a socialist party with added racism.

I suppose you could say in their favour that when the FN (now RN) says "Stop spending money on foreign aid and give it to poor people in France" they might well actually do it (obviously after creaming off a bit for themselves because they are corrupt as f.ck), whereas your more libertarian far-right parties get people to vote for reducing aid but then spend it on tanks or tax cuts.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:49 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:42 pm
The meeting was scheduled for a full day but only lasted about an hour, when the AfD people discovered that the FN was, to all intents and purposes, a socialist party with added racism.
So you mean a sort of national socialism?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:01 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:42 pm
noggins wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:30 pm
Exactly. What you need is for the right wing party to have to be seen commiting to the welfare state for electoral success. cf Bismark
A few years ago, the then leaders of the then only-mostly-anti-Euro (pre-neo-Nazi) German AfD party apparently had an exploratory meeting with the leaders of the Front National in France, to see what they had in common. The meeting was scheduled for a full day but only lasted about an hour, when the AfD people discovered that the FN was, to all intents and purposes, a socialist party with added racism.

I suppose you could say in their favour that when the FN (now RN) says "Stop spending money on foreign aid and give it to poor people in France" they might well actually do it (obviously after creaming off a bit for themselves because they are corrupt as f.ck), whereas your more libertarian far-right parties get people to vote for reducing aid but then spend it on tanks or tax cuts.
I don’t have time to look up the numbers but a large proportion of the electorate in Europe and the US is in favour of more redistribution and more spending on services, but for want of a better term are culturally right wing, eg aren’t in favour of immigrants, gays, trans people and suchlike. They may not be overt racists, homophobes or transphobes but instead don’t see those groups as being important and resent attention and resources devoted to them.

In the UK Labour and Tory parties vie for their attention, and those voters explain why Tory politicians and pundits are so keen to talk about immigration or women’s toilets.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by sTeamTraen » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:52 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:49 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:42 pm
The meeting was scheduled for a full day but only lasted about an hour, when the AfD people discovered that the FN was, to all intents and purposes, a socialist party with added racism.
So you mean a sort of national socialism?
One of the successes of Marine Le Pen has to been to get her father out. The RN is now not much more islamophobic (officially at least) than the French population as a whole, and indeed has one or two members of Arabic descent, as often (mutatis mutandis) happens when far-right parties go mainstream. The former leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is not only rabidly anti-Arab/Muslim, but also extremely anti-Semitic, in a "could be an actual Nazi" kind of a way. MLP has worked out that very few French people have much of an opinion about Jews at all, so banging on about them is just poor optics for minimal electoral benefit.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:59 am

Martin_B wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:21 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am
On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
But it does appear to be an important part of the World Happiness Rating; which sounds like a made-up PR thing, but is from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Given that the UN use this rating to gauge national population levels of well-being and drives economic and social policies, inequality does appear to be a valid measure of something worthwhile in society, and something which high levels of it should be discouraged. Unfortunately, uncontrolled capitalism and trickle-down economics seem to believe that inequality is something to aim for.

That said, the opposite, which would be hard-line communism where equality is forced upon the population, isn't something I think many people would see as the optimum solution. ;)
Inequality is only relevant if you think envy is ok, and the worlds main religions very much think it is not, as well as many philosophers. Instead of focusing on inequality and thereby fomenting envy, the focus should be on reducing poverty.

Which world is more desireable: one where everyone is a subsistence farmer working 60 hours a week to avoid starvation, or one where most people have plenty and a few live in stupendous luxury?
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:01 am

Herainestold wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:15 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:08 am
Herainestold wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:33 pm
An increase in the stock of reasonable rental properties.
Strict no nonsense rent controls to hold rents below a certain percentage of income.
You can't have both. In the presence of rent controls, no sensible investor will build property to let as they will fear losing money on it compared to building commercial premises, building a ship, buying gold, or merely spending the money on generally having a good time.
That is why there needs to be government involvement. It can't be left to the market.
What government involvement? If the government is the landlord, rent controls are meaningless as the government cannot enforce rules against itself. If not, how do you force people to invest in loss-making enterprises?
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Gfamily » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:13 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:59 am
Inequality is only relevant if you think envy is ok, and the worlds main religions very much think it is not, as well as many philosophers. Instead of focusing on inequality and thereby fomenting envy, the focus should be on reducing poverty.

Which world is more desireable: one where everyone is a subsistence farmer working 60 hours a week to avoid starvation, or one where most people have plenty and a few live in stupendous luxury?
I'd rather the one without self serving, well insulated, complacent f.cking idiots in it.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by secret squirrel » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:21 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:59 am
Inequality is only relevant if you think envy is ok, and the worlds main religions very much think it is not, as well as many philosophers. Instead of focusing on inequality and thereby fomenting envy, the focus should be on reducing poverty.

Which world is more desireable: one where everyone is a subsistence farmer working 60 hours a week to avoid starvation, or one where most people have plenty and a few live in stupendous luxury?
We could have an abstract moral argument about whether, in a world where everyone lived in their own bubble, isolated from everyone else, it would be right for some people to have much more than others. But here on planet earth, the people who live in stupendous luxury have stupendous power over ordinary people, and use it to their own advantage. And the more they have in comparison to the norm the harder it is to stop them.

I like the 'it's just envy' argument though. My memory is a little fuzzy, but did not Robespierre himself say, "sure, the Aristocrats don't like it, but they're just envious of the people not getting their land redistributed. The king? He's just envious of the people not getting executed for treason."

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Martin_B » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:18 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:59 am
Martin_B wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:21 am
But it does appear to be an important part of the World Happiness Rating; which sounds like a made-up PR thing, but is from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Given that the UN use this rating to gauge national population levels of well-being and drives economic and social policies, inequality does appear to be a valid measure of something worthwhile in society, and something which high levels of it should be discouraged. Unfortunately, uncontrolled capitalism and trickle-down economics seem to believe that inequality is something to aim for.

That said, the opposite, which would be hard-line communism where equality is forced upon the population, isn't something I think many people would see as the optimum solution. ;)
Inequality is only relevant if you think envy is ok, and the worlds main religions very much think it is not, as well as many philosophers. Instead of focusing on inequality and thereby fomenting envy, the focus should be on reducing poverty.
Well, no. Inequality is relevant to the UN, whether they think envy is OK or not; it is used in the calculation of an index which is used to help formulate policy.

Personally, I don't think envy is OK, and I suspect few people do, it being one of the "ten" commandments and part of the basis of humanist morality.
Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:59 am
Which world is more desireable: one where everyone is a subsistence farmer working 60 hours a week to avoid starvation, or one where most people have plenty and a few live in stupendous luxury?

I think I said above that I'm not a fan of hard-line communism where equality is forced upon the population and everyone is a subsistence farmer working 60 hours a week to avoid starvation; although knowing farmers, if you asked them to work 60 hours they'd think you were asking them to work fewer hours!

I'd consider myself a democratic socialist: I'm a capitalist, but think that the self-destructive excesses of capitalism should be restrained by government oversight and that taxation should be enforced, with the money collected going towards creation of opportunities for everyone, regardless of your status of birth. Government should be there to help all people, not a greedy few and their friends.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by JQH » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:19 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am
On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
There would appear to be a link between income inequality and levels of crime. See this for example. So your comment is only valid if you don't regard reducing crime as worthwhile.
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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by bmforre » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:46 pm

WaPo reports on drastic inequality in Brazil facing coronavirus: Isolate, let others risk to serve you.
In a country of profound inequality, where delivery services are extremely inexpensive, the comfortable can afford to order in virtually any service or product: groceries, medications, wine. The hairdresser makes house calls. So does the manicurist. Friends send home-cooked meals via mototaxi. Want a coronavirus test? The lab will send over a technician.

Brazil’s deliver-anything culture has enabled a minority of people to achieve an extraordinary degree of isolation. In August — six months into the pandemic — surveys showed that 8 percent of Brazilians still hadn’t left their houses. In October, amid the lull between the first and second coronavirus waves, 1 percent of people still weren’t leaving. Now, as cases and deaths rise once more, people are retreating back into complete isolation, or are grateful they never left it.
Is this a fine way for politics to go?

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by dyqik » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:21 pm

JQH wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:19 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:20 am
On the other hand, inequality rose through the 1980s. After 1997 it fluctuated but strikingly the latest numbers are pretty much where it was in 1990.
So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
There would appear to be a link between income inequality and levels of crime. See this for example. So your comment is only valid if you don't regard reducing crime as worthwhile.
Inequality is also important if you care about supporting a strong, stable economy. Which most UK and US voters say is important to them.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:51 pm

dyqik wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:21 pm
JQH wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:19 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:09 am


So what? Inequality is not a valid measure of anything worthwhile in society.
There would appear to be a link between income inequality and levels of crime. See this for example. So your comment is only valid if you don't regard reducing crime as worthwhile.
Inequality is also important if you care about supporting a strong, stable economy. Which most UK and US voters say is important to them.
A strong stable economy is good, but if you state that one of the goals of such an economy is less inequality, the capitalists won't have it. The goal of capitalism being to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by monkey » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:01 pm

Martin_B wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:18 am
I'd consider myself a democratic socialist: I'm a capitalist, but think that the self-destructive excesses of capitalism should be restrained by government oversight and that taxation should be enforced, with the money collected going towards creation of opportunities for everyone, regardless of your status of birth. Government should be there to help all people, not a greedy few and their friends.
You can call yourself what you want, but from what you've written there, I'd call you a Social Democrat.

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Re: Where is politics going?

Post by Herainestold » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:06 pm

monkey wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:01 pm
Martin_B wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:18 am
I'd consider myself a democratic socialist: I'm a capitalist, but think that the self-destructive excesses of capitalism should be restrained by government oversight and that taxation should be enforced, with the money collected going towards creation of opportunities for everyone, regardless of your status of birth. Government should be there to help all people, not a greedy few and their friends.
You can call yourself what you want, but from what you've written there, I'd call you a Social Democrat.
What is the difference between a social democrat and a democratic socialist? I really don't get it. I'd consider myself to be a left wing socialist but not a communist or a marxist. Although I think communism gets a bad rap, which it doesn't wholly deserve.

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