The Commons Bar Mk XIII - MHoC Chat Thread

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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    It is, once Osbourne reversed the capital spending cuts in 2012 he went nuts for trains. We've currently got the highest rail investment in Europe.

    Problem is that we need more and planning law means that NIMBY's hold it all up for years (case in point, construction of HS2 should have started in 2015 according to Brown and the coalition in 2010.. god forbid Heathrow).

    I'm just hoping that May still backs HS3.
    It out government invests huge amounts of taxpayer money into the railways anyway, why can't we own them? It seems a private company owns them uncontested and gets taxpayer money handouts on top.

    I hope we press on with HS3 too.

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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    See, 40miles costs us about £12 (excluding discount cards) with a monopoly state controlled railway system.

    Feel sorry for people using English public services, absolute tragedy hitting the poorest.
    To be fair that's a London problem more than an England one. Leeds-Nottingham for example starts at £10.50.

    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    The elderly shouldn't live in those villages.

    Also, trust me, it can be a pretty big time difference. Makes a 20 minute journey into a 45 minute one when I go and visit my parents.
    I actually agree with you and with buses and trains being loss making it's no surprise that even when nationalised we had things like the Beeching cuts.

    (Original post by toronto353)
    The way it's going, the only thing that can stop the Conservatives in 2020 is complacency. Also, is anyone else here a member of the Conservative party IRL? I'm considering joining, but just wanted some opinions.
    I've been a member on and off (was from 07-13 until IDS put me off and since then i've joined and lapsed).

    (Original post by barnetlad)
    and in TSR land you probably will have fewer trains to choose from given the recently passed Bill.
    My bill does not effect the frequency of any services.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    It out government invests huge amounts of taxpayer money into the railways anyway, why can't we own them? It seems a private company owns them uncontested and gets taxpayer money handouts on top.

    I hope we press on with HS3 too.

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    We do own them, Network Rail is publicly owned. The bit that's private is the operator and that's loss making as a whole.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    We do own them, Network Rail is publicly owned. The bit that's private is the operator and that's loss making as a whole.
    So companies like Virgin run the trains at a loss?

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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    So companies like Virgin run the trains at a loss?

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    So basically one the reasons for the current system was that when nationalised the railways as a whole were loss making. What you have now is a situation where mainline franchises (ECML, Transpennine) are quite profitable but others like the northern franchise require a subsidy to the tune of £2bn over the life of the 7 year franchise. The current system arguably makes less of a loss because a competitive auction of each franchise can allow operators to bid high (at the probable cost of higher ticket prices).

    Basically it's a mess so long as people still want stations in the middle of nowhere like Denby Dale. For a profitable network you'd basically need to cull half the network.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    So basically one the reasons for the current system was that when nationalised the railways as a whole were loss making. What you have now is a situation where mainline franchises (ECML, Transpennine) are quite profitable but others like the northern franchise require a subsidy to the tune of £2bn over the life of the 7 year franchise. The current system arguably makes less of a loss because a competitive auction of each franchise can allow operators to bid high (at the probable cost of higher ticket prices).

    Basically it's a mess so long as people still want stations in the middle of nowhere like Denby Dale. For a profitable network you'd basically need to cull half the network.
    Join up the operator and the network infrastructure provider and own not lease trains and a significant cost reduction would be made. Local marketing and partnerships have also helped increase the use of rural railways. Have an Oyster or contactless ticketing system nationwide and you save the time queueing for a ticket- this is what is done in the Netherlands, for example.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    We do own them, Network Rail is publicly owned. The bit that's private is the operator and that's loss making as a whole.
    Network Rail is horribly inefficient and gold plates projects so increasing the cost.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    So basically one the reasons for the current system was that when nationalised the railways as a whole were loss making. What you have now is a situation where mainline franchises (ECML, Transpennine) are quite profitable but others like the northern franchise require a subsidy to the tune of £2bn over the life of the 7 year franchise. The current system arguably makes less of a loss because a competitive auction of each franchise can allow operators to bid high (at the probable cost of higher ticket prices).

    Basically it's a mess so long as people still want stations in the middle of nowhere like Denby Dale. For a profitable network you'd basically need to cull half the network.
    A better question is why should certain services be privatised and the operators allowed to cream a profit when the state controlled railways require subsidy. Instead the state should operate it all where the "profit" is reinvested into the subsidy, thus cutting the government subsidy.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    To be fair that's a London problem more than an England one. Leeds-Nottingham for example starts at £10.50.



    I actually agree with you and with buses and trains being loss making it's no surprise that even when nationalised we had things like the Beeching cuts.



    I've been a member on and off (was from 07-13 until IDS put me off and since then i've joined and lapsed).



    My bill does not effect the frequency of any services.
    How come you have let your membership lapse?
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    More evidence that libertarianism is simply nonsense economically: even in markets where people are supposedly most rational (financial markets), there exists a significant endowment effect - http://www.economist.com/news/financ...-have-and-hold
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    More evidence that libertarianism is simply nonsense economically: even in markets where people are supposedly most rational (financial markets), there exists a significant endowment effect - http://www.economist.com/news/financ...-have-and-hold
    Indeed. Libertarianism is simply an unwavering belief in unevidenced claims. Capitalism is still by and large the best economic system we have but neoliberalism, as well as its ethical consequences is also disastrous economically. It is based on demonstrably false assumptions.

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    Theresa May proposing to fine tax evaders 200% of what they owe. I like it. Let's see if she follows through with it.
    However it's tax avoidance which is the main problem.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Theresa May proposing to fine tax evaders 200% of what they owe. I like it. Let's see if she follows through with it.
    However it's tax avoidance which is the main problem.
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    Should not just be tax evaders. Certain kinds of damage, those who dodge paying train fares, petrol or car park charges, come to mind.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    How come you have let your membership lapse?
    Back in 2013 i was in awe at the sheer incompetence of IDS (not so much the ideas he had, they were mostly sound with the right implementation - the disabled should be subject to decade review for example) and being more of a Europhile i was pretty annoyed that Cameron was pandering to the Kippers on immigration rhetoric and the EU. At the time i was considering a move to the Lib Dems who bar foreign policy had somewhat impressed me (Alexander was an unsung star of the coalition in my opinion).

    Low and behold though the Liberal Democrats never held their nerve and by 2014 were pointing how nasty the Tories would be alone (they should have stood their ground and praised the good bits of the coalition), in addition the more evidence i saw the less reliant on the EU i felt the UK is (so it became less of an issue) and then Merkel of course decided to invite the third world. All this plus a bigger mental focus on the economy and the limited success pushed me back towards the Tories as we entered 2015 and i've been mostly content ever since.

    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Indeed. Libertarianism is simply an unwavering belief in unevidenced claims. Capitalism is still by and large the best economic system we have but neoliberalism, as well as its ethical consequences is also disastrous economically. It is based on demonstrably false assumptions.

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    All theories are based on false assumptions because they are all insufficiently dynamic. In the case of capitalism it's main failing in practical terms is that it assumes that humans are far more rational economic calculators than they are (this is why i love behavioral economics which somewhat attempts to go into that).

    A simple example is if i ask everybody in this thread.. '£200 now or £220 in 3 months'. The majority of people will provide an irrational answer. Which would you choose?
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Back in 2013 i was in awe at the sheer incompetence of IDS (not so much the ideas he had, they were mostly sound with the right implementation - the disabled should be subject to decade review for example) and being more of a Europhile i was pretty annoyed that Cameron was pandering to the Kippers on immigration rhetoric and the EU. At the time i was considering a move to the Lib Dems who bar foreign policy had somewhat impressed me (Alexander was an unsung star of the coalition in my opinion).

    Low and behold though the Liberal Democrats never held their nerve and by 2014 were pointing how nasty the Tories would be alone (they should have stood their ground and praised the good bits of the coalition), in addition the more evidence i saw the less reliant on the EU i felt the UK is (so it became less of an issue) and then Merkel of course decided to invite the third world. All this plus a bigger mental focus on the economy and the limited success pushed me back towards the Tories as we entered 2015 and i've been mostly content ever since.



    All theories are based on false assumptions because they are all insufficiently dynamic. In the case of capitalism it's main failing in practical terms is that it assumes that humans are far more rational economic calculators than they are (this is why i love behavioral economics which somewhat attempts to go into that).

    A simple example is if i ask everybody in this thread.. '£200 now or £220 in 3 months'. The majority of people will provide an irrational answer. Which would you choose?
    A guarenteed 10% return in investment in 3 months? That seems like a no-brainer. I guess some could really need the money now in which case I can see why it wouldn't be worth it for them to wait, but thankfully I'm not in that position.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)


    All theories are based on false assumptions because they are all insufficiently dynamic. In the case of capitalism it's main failing in practical terms is that it assumes that humans are far more rational economic calculators than they are (this is why i love behavioral economics which somewhat attempts to go into that).

    A simple example is if i ask everybody in this thread.. '£200 now or £220 in 3 months'. The majority of people will provide an irrational answer. Which would you choose?
    There seems to be a rather large conflation between capitalism, neoliberalism and libertarianism, with many on both the right and left essentially treating the three as synonyms with one another.

    When people say they are anti-capitalist, what they most likely mean is that they are anti neoliberalism or anti-libertarianism. For example, they would not be opposed to a shop keeper selling goods from different private companies (capitalism), but they would be opposed to the shop keeper paying his workers a pitiful salary (neoliberalism).

    Libertarianism is an inherently flawed ideology and it is based on an unwavering and unevidenced belief that the private sector is always better than the state and that governments should never interfere in the market. However most people who say they are Libertarian are very inconsistent. For example how many libertarians would argue that the police force, judiciary, armed forces and government should be privatised? How many libertarians would argue that it is wrong for our government to ban child workers or to prohibit companies from selling medicines without testing them first or even for our government to ban the purchasing of electoral votes?
    How many would say that governments shouldn't be setting interest rates?

    Libertarians by and large do accept that sometimes government is better and sometimes government intervention is needed, yet they pretend that they don't and therefore oppose state control of the health service and education etc.


    Secondly, it is based on a flawed assumption that humans are only selfish. Humans are selfish yes, but we are not 'only' selfish. With such an assumption they argue for insecure jobs on the basis that we can only be motivated to do a good job by fear of losing money.

    However, in Japan the structure of businesses is far more accommodating towards employees. They have far more secure contracts, they are encouraged to come up with ideas and treated with respect. They are far happier and more productive as a result. It's a similar story in countries such as Sweden. Humans have a selfish side, but they also have a side that likes to be appreciated, that likes security.

    Just a couple of points, I could go on.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    Network Rail is horribly inefficient and gold plates projects so increasing the cost.
    The taxpayer gives huge subsidies to rail franchises and they turn it into dividends for their shareholders rather than reinvesting back into the railway lines.

    The public gets all the cost, the private sector company gets all the benefit.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Theresa May proposing to fine tax evaders 200% of what they owe. I like it. Let's see if she follows through with it.
    However it's tax avoidance which is the main problem.
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    Game theory teaches us it should be (amount evaded)/(probability of being caught), so I suspect it should be higher because I don't believe half of all tax evaders are caught.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    A simple example is if i ask everybody in this thread.. '£200 now or £220 in 3 months'. The majority of people will provide an irrational answer. Which would you choose?
    Maybe if it was a larger figure, say £2,000 now or £2,200 in three months, then I would say hell yeah wait the three months, but while £20 is a hell of a lot to me, I would likely take the £200. It's a bit like when I watch the chase, if you know the show, if I was to get say £6,000 in the cash builder and I was offered £20,000 or less as the top offer (increasing the risk of being caught and getting nothing) then I would stick to the £6,000, if the high offer was say £25,000 or £30,000 then I would take that risk, even though £6,000 is likely more than everything I own put together.

    As numbers get bigger, that 10% gets bigger, I would personally skip on the extra £20, but I do admit I have a slight immediate gratification streak at times.
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    I am pleased to see the results of the latest four votes in the House, especially that we wish to see cemeteries managed appropriately and with dignity, and the House's view about not culling badgers.
 
 
 
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