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    (Original post by Mr Dactyl)
    I don't know, I think trying to get as much cash off'f your landlord as possible sounds pretty lefty; down with the propertyocracy!
    Not necessarily. Leftism is a very broad camp. Some leftist views would support that rationale, and others wouldn't.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Not necessarily. Leftism is a very broad camp. Some leftist views would support that rationale, and others wouldn't.
    Also, this is a bit random, but I question your happiness rating of earning £30,000 etc is enough...

    What if making money ( in general), makes money, much like how doing a low paid job would make you happy...
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    Just declined all my PhD offers in the States in favour of Masters in Cambridge :bebored: I bet I will wake up one day this term thinking "Why did you do that?!"
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I don't see how that is the case. Also while I was happy to agree with the fact that industrialisation has made some things better, that is a far cry from suggesting that it hasn't caused other terrible problems for humans. There's quite a lot of good anthropology looking at more agragrian, traditional communities becoming integrated into capitalism, and what the effects were and how they were brought to changing. I don't think that its in any way uncontroversial that we're better off with capitalism than without, and there are plenty of features of more traditional social structure that were superior.
    I think we might be arguing past each other here. I don't dispute that capitalism has its downsides. My point is purely that just because something is usually a downside doesn't necessarily mean that the thing that caused it was bad. The two arguments below are identical, so if one has a false conclusion then both are invalid.

    (1) Neoliberalism has increased global inequality.
    (2) Global inequality is bad.
    (3) Therefore neoliberalism is bad.

    (1) The industrial revolution and the following couple of centuries of economic growth in the developed world have increased global inequality.
    (2) Global inequality is bad.
    (3) Therefore the industrial revolution and the following couple of centuries of economic growth in the developed world were bad.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqz3R1NpXzM Have you seen the impossible hamster? :p:
    Increased living standards are good to a point, but personally I think things would be a lot better if they had levelled off before the point we'd reached. Not only is the current living standard unsustainable in terms of the environment, but inequality also produces a lot of harm.
    I have now.

    An economy, unlike a hamster, can grow without consuming more resources. The contrast between the growth of Western economies and that of the Soviet Union was that the Soviet Union just increased inputs while the West also got more efficient (http://media.ft.com/cms/b8268ffe-757...00779e2340.pdf).
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    (Original post by harr)
    I think we might be arguing past each other here. I don't dispute that capitalism has its downsides. My point is purely that just because something is usually a downside doesn't necessarily mean that the thing that caused it was bad. The two arguments below are identical, so if one has a false conclusion then both are invalid.
    How else do you judge the merit of a policy except by looking to the effect it brings?
    (Original post by harr)
    An economy, unlike a hamster, can grow without consuming more resources. The contrast between the growth of Western economies and that of the Soviet Union was that the Soviet Union just increased inputs while the West also got more efficient (http://media.ft.com/cms/b8268ffe-757...00779e2340.pdf).
    That is no longer what we are looking at, though. And the ways in which we are 'efficient' often cause other problems. Its obviously more 'efficient' for a company to employ less workers, but that is obviously terrible for society.

    I'm sure, as you suggest, that we agree more than it seems. My point is not that capitalism cannot be used to drive growth that can have positive effects for everybody, but rather that that isn't how it has been used of late. I forgot to say that poverty in the UK has been rising significantly. Corporations and the super rich get away without paying tax, and all of this wondrous efficiency profits a very small amount of people without feeding back into society. And many of the unchecked practices of corporations and private sector agents are definitely implicated in the growing levels of poverty and unemployment. Only the state can be blamed for its conscious decision to roll back social support and spending (not to mention taxes) but how business are run cause a lot of the problems. It is possible and certainly not unprecedented for states to require that corporations hire a certain amount of staff from the country they are based in. That requirement has been lifted, and so now corporations outsource production to countries with cheap labour. None of that employment goes back into UK society. Does it benefit the countries where the cheap labour is either? No. That's definitely very efficient, and it definitely leads to more growth. But that growth benefits a very small number of elites.
    So I don't think its any good to disagree with me based on all the things that capitalism could do. That is not how it is used at the moment.

    I don't know why I'm wasting my breath trying to speak to a wall though. I stated my views when ebam asked me 'why being very rich is problematic'. I wasn't trying to force my opinion onto everybody in the thread. I'm pretty sure you must have heard or seen all of these arguments before, and if you didn't believe them the first time round I don't think I'm going to be any better than the next person at convincing you :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I don't know why I'm wasting my breath trying to speak to a wall though. I stated my views when ebam asked me 'why being very rich is problematic'. I wasn't trying to force my opinion onto everybody in the thread. I'm pretty sure you must have heard or seen all of these arguments before, and if you didn't believe them the first time round I don't think I'm going to be any better than the next person at convincing you :dontknow:
    Because you like arguing? Because walls have ears? I don't know. Feel free to stop if you feel that you're wasting your time.

    Rest of argument spoilered:
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    How else do you judge the merit of a policy except by looking to the effect it brings?
    By looking at all the effects it brings. And by looking at the effects of the alternatives.
    Its obviously more 'efficient' for a company to employ less workers, but that is obviously terrible for society.
    In the short term, yes. In the medium term it depends on whether the people have the skills to find different jobs: I'm not going to argue that unemployment benefits anyone. In the long term it's likely to be a good thing. We would be much worse off if we still had 80% of the population employed full time in feeding us because we wouldn't have as many people free to write books, discover new medicines, look after old people, etc.

    I forgot to say that poverty in the UK has been rising significantly.
    UK poverty measures seem to be more a measure of inequality than absolute living standards. Obviously this is still worrying though.
    Corporations and the super rich get away without paying tax
    Corporations can't pay tax as such. The effects of any tax on corporations will be borne by some combination of owners, staff and consumers. For example VAT is paid by companies but mainly falls on the consumer in the form of higher prices. You could argue that corporation tax should mainly fall on the shareholders, so I suppose we come back to your rich people point. In general the rich pay a lot of tax, though I could understand if you took the view that they should be paying more in proportion to their income.
    Only the state can be blamed for its conscious decision to roll back social support and spending (not to mention taxes)
    I agree. Get rid of all zero-ratings and exemptions for VAT and use the revenue to increase benefits (especially for those working on low incomes -- you can make work pay in ways other than punishing the unemployed). Reduce subsidies to businesses and reconsider "pro-business" policies in general.
    now corporations outsource production to countries with cheap labour. None of that employment goes back into UK society. Does it benefit the countries where the cheap labour is either? No.
    I disagree. People in the UK get cheap stuff and the jobs go to where they are needed most.
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    Because the issue upsets me, I guess.
    (Original post by harr)
    UK poverty measures seem to be more a measure of inequality than absolute living standards. Obviously this is still worrying though.
    Sadly I can't show it to you because the programme was aired about a year ago, but there was a really disturbing BBC documentary about child poverty in Britain which went to some of the poorest areas and spoke to kids and looked at the conditions they were living in. It was really shocking. A lot of people in this country do go hungry, and live in houses with walls covered in slime where everyone in the family is constantly ill from the damp. And that's just when you look at people on the radar. So its not just about inequality by any means.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Because the issue upsets me, I guess.

    Sadly I can't show it to you because the programme was aired about a year ago, but there was a really disturbing BBC documentary about child poverty in Britain which went to some of the poorest areas and spoke to kids and looked at the conditions they were living in. It was really shocking. A lot of people in this country do go hungry, and live in houses with walls covered in slime where everyone in the family is constantly ill from the damp. And that's just when you look at people on the radar. So its not just about inequality by any means.
    Also, hypothetically speaking, if you were a child that came from poverty and happened to make it into cambridge... why is wrong for that child now to strive to earn the highest salary lol, ( Why would I want to earn only £15,000 when the chance to work in a hedge fund and earn £150,000 exists lol).. Stupidity tbh...

    Its generally the middle class/high class ppl like you who use the argument of earning loads of money is bad lol, its more what you do with it after that counts...

    But Im tried of all these "old money" britains claiming I shouldn't earn a high salary when you got inheritence/ land from old money just being handed down its easy to look down upon those of us who are striving to make a living :P
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    *braces for ****storm*
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    Also, hypothetically speaking, if you were a child that came from poverty and happened to make it into cambridge... why is wrong for that child now to strive to earn the highest salary lol, ( Why would I want to earn only £15,000 when the chance to work in a hedge fund and earn £150,000 exists lol).. Stupidity tbh...

    Its generally the middle class/high class ppl like you who use the argument of earning loads of money is bad lol, its more what you do with it after that counts...

    But Im tried of all these "old money" britains claiming I shouldn't earn a high salary when you got inheritence/ land from old money just being handed down its easy to look down upon those of us who are striving to make a living :P
    Well I actually grew up in South Africa and was poor. At many points in my childhood we had electricity cut off because we couldn't pay the bill, and sometimes we ran out of food. I grew up wearing second hand clothes because we couldn't afford new ones. So I don't think I fit into your criteria.
    And the reason is because all humans should be valued equally. No one person's happiness or need for it should outweigh another's. If you think its morally acceptable to put your needs above those of others, then that's your choice But I won't agree with you that its right.

    And incidentally this is a great example of the sort of things you often say in this thread which made me say that you seem to be influenced by an investment banker mentality Namely the view that its 'stupid' not to try and be as rich as you can be if you have the chance.


    (Original post by BigFudamental)
    *braces for ****storm*
    Well no, because I've got a ****load of work to do and this argument has already taken up a lot more time than I really can afford. It was a bit more justifiable yesterday because I spent the whole day in the UL trying to blitz through one of the most mind numbingly boring sources I've read this year. Breaks to post were all that kept me going.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Well I actually grew up in South Africa and was poor. At many points in my childhood we had electricity cut off because we couldn't pay the bill, and sometimes we ran out of food. I grew up wearing second hand clothes because we couldn't afford new ones. So I don't think I fit into your criteria.
    And the reason is because all humans should be valued equally. No one person's happiness or need for it should outweigh another's. If you think its morally acceptable to put your needs above those of others, then that's your choice But I won't agree with you that its right.

    And incidentally this is a great example of the sort of things you often say in this thread which made me say that you seem to be influenced by an investment banker mentality Namely the view that its 'stupid' not to try and be as rich as you can be if you have the chance.







    Well no, because I've got a ****load of work to do and this argument has already taken up a lot more time than I really can afford.
    Fair enough, though you would have been more than entitled to one.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Because the issue upsets me, I guess.
    Good reason.
    Sadly I can't show it to you because the programme was aired about a year ago, but there was a really disturbing BBC documentary about child poverty in Britain which went to some of the poorest areas and spoke to kids and looked at the conditions they were living in. It was really shocking. A lot of people in this country do go hungry, and live in houses with walls covered in slime where everyone in the family is constantly ill from the damp. And that's just when you look at people on the radar. So its not just about inequality by any means.
    That's obviously appalling, and a country as rich as the UK shouldn't be allowing that to happen (if it were spending all its money on helping even poorer people overseas then that would be one thing, but it clearly isn't). The standard measure of UK poverty, however, is one of inequality (number below 60% of median household income). I'd expect changes in this measure to correlate with changes in absolute poverty, but if you know of any more direct ways that poverty has been measured in the UK then I'd be interested to look at the figures.
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    (Original post by harr)
    Good reason.That's obviously appalling, and a country as rich as the UK shouldn't be allowing that to happen (if it were spending all its money on helping even poorer people overseas then that would be one thing, but it clearly isn't). The standard measure of UK poverty, however, is one of inequality (number below 60% of median household income). I'd expect changes in this measure to correlate with changes in absolute poverty, but if you know of any more direct ways that poverty has been measured in the UK then I'd be interested to look at the figures.
    I've forgotten all of it to be honest :o: I crammed so many stats and measures for my second year exams but haven't touched it since, and my memory is poor for those kinds of details. However you don't disagree that we ought to be intervening to prevent cases of extreme suffering and poverty, you just seem more sceptical as to whether inequality is really something that we should avoid or not. Have you read the Spirit Level? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spi...ways_Do_Better

    Also the current attitude to immigration and surrounding policy is especially depressing. The conditions a lot of immigrants live in are really appalling.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    And incidentally this is a great example of the sort of things you often say in this thread which made me say that you seem to be influenced by an investment banker mentality Namely the view that its 'stupid' not to try and be as rich as you can be if you have the chance.
    *yawns* usual middle class sob story^^

    When I am wiping my **** with 50's u will see who is the one laughing :P

    Well, clearly you too are influenced (inversely) by the IB mentality... Tbh the investment banks did reject me after interviews etc... but still, I gotta do a job of some sort, not everyone just b*ms academia like you, intellectual ****ing all day long.

    I just wanna make money, because that makes me happy, I don't think anything else would make me happy quite frankly therefore the earning above £30,000 etc wouldn't even apply to me lol cos I would get happier just the process of earning money, not by the material possessions it can by but the Money, Power, Control triangle...

    Rather the ability to convert knowledge/common sense into money at will, is something I strive to perfect... Not necessarily the actual earning of money is important / satisfying but knowing that I could make "X" amount per year at will is more what I am after...##
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I've forgotten all of it to be honest :o: I crammed so many stats and measures for my second year exams but haven't touched it since, and my memory is poor for those kinds of details. However you don't disagree that we ought to be intervening to prevent cases of extreme suffering and poverty, you just seem more sceptical as to whether inequality is really something that we should avoid or not. Have you read the Spirit Level? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spi...ways_Do_Better

    Also the current attitude to immigration and surrounding policy is especially depressing. The conditions a lot of immigrants live in are really appalling.
    I pretty much agree with you here. I haven't read The Spirit Level, though I have read a reasonable amount about it. I'm sure that inequality is damaging, but I don't always agree with you on how to tackle it, whether because I give it a lower weight relative to other issues or just because we disagree on how effective certain methods would be.
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    I've just bought amaretto-flavoured tea, nom, nom, nom!

    And without wanting to wade into the argument too much, I think that the ideal job is one which benefits society - but 'benefits' can be interpreted pretty broadly. But it would be good if teachers and nurses could earn as much as bankers, as their job is probably more beneficial to society...*stands back*
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    (Original post by Crazy_emz)
    I've just bought amaretto-flavoured tea, nom, nom, nom!

    And without wanting to wade into the argument too much, I think that the ideal job is one which benefits society - but 'benefits' can be interpreted pretty broadly. But it would be good if teachers and nurses could earn as much as bankers, as their job is probably more beneficial to society...*stands back*
    I think instinctively most people would agree with you but "beneficial" is a bit of a wishy-washy concept. Bankers will tell you that the only reason they get paid so much is because society values their services so much, hence they "benefit" society the most. Of course that only washes if you believe that markets actually work (one would have to be a fool)...
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    (Original post by BigFudamental)
    I think instinctively most people would agree with you but "beneficial" is a bit of a wishy-washy concept. Bankers will tell you that the only reason they get paid so much is because society values their services so much, hence they "benefit" society the most. Of course that only washes if you believe that markets actually work (one would have to be a fool)...
    Yeah, I know it's a ridiculously simplistic idea (but then I AM only a pretend part-time social scientist...)...but as you might have guessed, I'm not too keen on the market. And I have a child's sense of justice...
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    (Original post by Crazy_emz)
    And without wanting to wade into the argument too much, I think that the ideal job is one which benefits society - but 'benefits' can be interpreted pretty broadly. But it would be good if teachers and nurses could earn as much as bankers, as their job is probably more beneficial to society...*stands back*
    I would say the ideal job is one that you enjoy and allows you to live. Benefiting society would be ideal as well, but you really need to do something that you enjoy since you will probably do it for most of your life.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I've forgotten all of it to be honest :o: I crammed so many stats and measures for my second year exams but haven't touched it since, and my memory is poor for those kinds of details. However you don't disagree that we ought to be intervening to prevent cases of extreme suffering and poverty, you just seem more sceptical as to whether inequality is really something that we should avoid or not. Have you read the Spirit Level? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spi...ways_Do_Better

    Also the current attitude to immigration and surrounding policy is especially depressing. The conditions a lot of immigrants live in are really appalling.
    I love the China example because it's something I've seen first hand.

    Is the average standard of living so much higher than it was even 5 years ago? Yes, so much yes. Is there a lot of social discontent? Yes.

    Does this outweigh the fact that almost everyone is living better? Who knows.
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