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Labour Storm Past Tories in Polls watch

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    Teveth,

    Take a step back, breathe, and separate your clear partisanship from your interpretation of what you consider legitimacy and governmental mandates.

    Apply your criticisms of the Tories to Labour, and see if they are still valid.

    It's now a 2 percent lead. The Tories are being humiliated and the public are making a clear statement - "We want an election".
    Dude, it's 2%. Hardly a resounding cry. If anything, the public are making cautious grumbles, but they're not convinced by Labour either.

    We all know that Cameron has no mandate as his party FAILED to take half of the seats in the Commons, so for me the right thing to do is to call an election within 12 months.
    Labour failed too.

    I'll ask you again Teveth (as you have ignored me before), if Labour becomes the largest party but can only get a majority with the Lib Dems, would you resign?

    If you don't, you're a flaming hypocrite.

    Labour are now the country's most popular party and the Tories are running scared, if they think they can ignore it by making the odd unfounded snipe against our leader or by lying to the public about the cause of the national debt/deficit, then they can think again.
    Labour are more popular than the Tories by a measly 2% but you are still facing a party which is only 40% or so of popular support. Add the Lib Dems on top of that, and you can see Labour are still technically less popular than the coalition.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...abour-icm-poll

    It's downhill from here, Cameron. Once the cuts start to kick in, Labour's lead will only extend.
    We shall see, but you really have to lay down the partisanship. You're not impressing anybody.
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    (Original post by Teveth)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...abour-icm-poll

    It's now a 2 percent lead. The Tories are being humiliated and the public are making a clear statement - "We want an election". We all know that Cameron has no mandate as his party FAILED to take half of the seats in the Commons, so for me the right thing to do is to call an election within 12 months. Labour are now the country's most popular party and the Tories are running scared, if they think they can ignore it by making the odd unfounded snipe against our leader or by lying to the public about the cause of the national debt/deficit, then they can think again. It's downhill from here, Cameron. Once the cuts start to kick in, Labour's lead will only extend.
    Wow, so a guardian poll shows a left-wing party doing better than expected?
    We never would have thought.

    The Yougov poll yesterday shows the conservatives 1 point ahead.

    Also I didn't see you campaigning for an election when the conservatives were over 20 points ahead of labour a few years back.

    Realistically though, the polls at this point aren't that important, parties generally go up a few points during their party conference thanks to all the extra media coverage.
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    I'm surprised the Labour lead isn't higher actually.
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    (Original post by Teveth)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...abour-icm-poll

    It's now a 2 percent lead. The Tories are being humiliated and the public are making a clear statement - "We want an election". We all know that Cameron has no mandate as his party FAILED to take half of the seats in the Commons, so for me the right thing to do is to call an election within 12 months. Labour are now the country's most popular party and the Tories are running scared, if they think they can ignore it by making the odd unfounded snipe against our leader or by lying to the public about the cause of the national debt/deficit, then they can think again. It's downhill from here, Cameron. Once the cuts start to kick in, Labour's lead will only extend.
    Oh dear god this is becoming a bit of a pathetic habit isnt it Teveth...the ONLY REAL POLL is at the balot box. Your own bum boy ed miliband even said that they lost badly at the election which was FIVE MONTHS AGO...Labour have picked the wrong man for the job in my eyes...expect 10 years of tory rule.
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    (Original post by Teveth)
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Pol..._A_YouGov_Poll

    Your days are numbered, Cameron and Clegg. Now that we have a new leader in the form of Ed Miliband, we'll be back in power quicker than Danny Alexander and the other ConDem scum can defraud the taxpayer by flipping their houses.

    And ha ha at the Lib Dems, languishing on a pathetic 12%....it doesn't surprise me one bit seeing as though I've seen literally hundreds of their members sign up to Labour over the past few weeks.

    Another 13 years of Labour is on the cards, as soon as we dispose of this filthy, disease-ridden ConDem.
    Ok. I expected to come on here and see a Poll figure of 50+% for Labour. Not even close, I am afraid. By 'storm past', does that mean 'narrowly edge ahead'? By 'storm past', it should be taking the lead, and then some.

    I predict that the Conservative Party Conference will have a similar effect on the Conservative Party poll ratings - putting it firmly in the lead. It never happens to Liberal Democrats after their conference, but it always does after the big two.

    And here is a question for you - do you honestly believe that in four and a bit years time it will be the same way? I sincerely doubt it. Margaret Thatcher was in exactly the same position from 1979 to 1980. She was in danger of being deposed as leader, yet she won a comprehensive victory over Labour in 1983.

    And on membership numbers...you can boast all you want about getting 'more members this week!', but it means absolutely nothing. I recall before the election that many were joining Labour. What effect did this have? A comprehensive pummelling at the polls.

    And while you may have gained some (a deep minority) Liberal Democrat members, the LibDems have gained thousands since the election too.

    Please, sir, don't jump to hasty conclusions after a few months. Everyone thought Gordon Brown was going to lead Labour to victory in his first month or two, yet a few months later he lost a by-election (or three) and lost every single election that he faced as leader.

    The same will be true of Miliband. You can't just go about 'there is another way' when you wrote, campaigned and vouched for the same cuts prior to May 6th. Absolute hypocrisy - I suspect Miliband will be the new Foot. If he survives as long as 2015, that is.
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    (Original post by Teveth)
    Cameron should call an election, in my opinion. It's the right thing to do. He and his scum coalition have no mandate to govern. The Lib Dem voters were betrayed by Clegg.

    Now that Labour are up and running, let's go to the country, Mr Cameron, so that we can finish you off once and for all!
    I have already attacked you on your initial post, but then I read this and thought "What the heck, this is even worse!".

    Ok, from points 1 - 3, I shall show you have said absolutely nothing of value and should resign from this forum.

    1) Your point on Cameron having to call an election. You say that it is the right thing to do 'in my opinion'. Why? Why should he call it? Is there a reason for it? Oh, if he did go to the Country after commiting to fixed-term parliaments, Labour could run on a 'Broken Fixed Parliament Pledge'. You cheap *******s.

    2) Your point on 'He and his scum coalition have no mandate to govern' is absolute crap. Do you want to go to countries such as Germany, Australia and Austria where Coalition Government has existed for over a century? And while we are on this point, woud Brown have had the mandate to govern despite losing over 100 seats? Cameron gained around 100 seats - the largest Conservative increase since 1931. Seems to me that the people wanted change...and besides, the news that Labour benefited from election fraud might suggest that the Conservatives do have a firm mandate, only that it was withheld by some individuals.

    3) 'The Lib-Dem voters were betrayed by Clegg'. Again, why? You seem to just assert things. Have you ever wrote an essay in which you must provide references? You must back up everything you have, or what you are saying is rubbish.
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    (Original post by jamesr30)
    That’s not quite true. Give me 1 year when, adjusted for inflation, German growth was above 2% between 1991-2006. It doesn’t exist. Indeed, look at the figures for 2001-2004 – a period when everyone else was booming and Germany couldn’t even manage 1% real growth.
    In 2005, Merkel was elected on the basis of cutting taxes and employment laws, hence why Germany started to do well in 2007-08, and has done well recently – by starting to adopt some of those ideas. I invested there back in 08 as I saw some great opportunities and believed Germany would be far better placed than other European countries to weather the storm. The success of the CDU in elections since then has re-assured me Germany is currently the best place to do business in W. Europe, a title that for a long time was held by the UK.
    OK. Well I'm going to go with per capita growth rates rather than gross, as it gives a clearer picture of growth in living standards, since that is more relevant to what we are talking about. Slightly more fiddly variable, but more useful.
    US GDP per capita growth 1990 to 2006 is on average 2%
    UK GDP per capita growth 1990 to 2006 on average 2.4%
    Note first that the US growth rate is lower than the UK on average. Now for the more statist countries.
    Germany per capita growth 1990 to 2006 on average 1.4%
    Sweden per capita growth 1990 to 2006 on average 2.3%
    Norway per capita growth 1990 to 2006 on average 2.5%
    Finland per capita growth 1990 to 2006 on average 2.8%
    Denmark per capita growth 1990 to 2006 on average 1.8%
    (2006 is the latest year for which I am able to find readily available comparable data)
    So let's look at the differences. US per capita growth is less than UK growth, despite this being a period of substantial top-rate tax cuts in the US compared to steady-to-rising top rates in the UK. Sweden, Norway and Finland all exceed US growth and approximately match UK growth on average over the period, all of which have tax regimes which redistribute from nearly UK-level inequality to some of the world's most equitable income distributions. Denmark, another redistributory country (though less so) with a substantial welfare state, nearly matches the US for per capita growth.

    German growth, indeed, on average is substantially lower (the difference being slightly more than that between Norway or Sweden and the US), and this is in part due to the overly-rigid labour market prior to Shroeder and Merkel's reforms. I entirely agree that labour markets can become too rigid, but as you can see from other examples, a strong welfare state can be successful. Note that the growth in debt in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Denmark are all substantially lower than that in the US and enormously lower than that of the UK. So, realistically, you also want to take into account the growth in debt when examining income in terms of GDP--the growth in debt in the more statist countries I provide has been substantially less than that off the US or UK.
    Indeed it is worth noting that the growth in debt in Germany especially 2000-2008 has been on average 0.3%, compared to 3.5% for the US, and 5.2% for the UK--credit McKinsey, Debt and Deleveraging. Taking that into account one might wryly note that UK and US growth is not quite what it seems, compared to German growth. The reason for this is quite simply that the Bundesbank reacted to the ending of the dotcom bubble by raising interest rates so as to prevent further speculatory bubbles (enhancing their reputation as inflation-hawks), while Greenspan and the Fed reacted by cutting them. Similarly when the euro was adopted, the Germans insisted on a strict interest rate regime. Basically, while the US and UK went on huge credit-binges, the Germans saved in relatively high-interest accounts. Hardly something which you can blame to any great extent on labour market rigidity (indeed the recession of 2003 was caused more by the strong Euro than anything else).

    (Original post by jamesr30)
    A strong safety net doesn’t encourage risk-taking, and I’ve seen very little evidence for that, but volumes of stuff to the contrary (not to mention my own personal experience, that of having met many people from around the world etc). High taxes and a ridiculously large safety net do not motivate people – after all, if the benefits of working much, much harder are actually quite small, why bother? Very few people would work 10 times harder for only a 10% improvement in wages or whatever it is they are seeking.

    How can you say it encourages risk taking when Germany has one of the lowest entrepreneurial start ups of any major economy!?!??? France and Italy, again countries off to the left, also have very low rates of new businesses starting up, incredibly low growth and high unemployment (particularly among young people).
    I was using a different definition of risk taking than the one commonly used. You are addressing purely the business-creation, entrepreneurial side, I was addressing professional training and career-path risk. Basically the UK and US economy have lost out on manufacturing not just because they had too few entrepreneurs willing to start businesses, but because they had such little labour market support and such a history of dropping their manufacturing workers on the scrap-heap that few people were willing to train to go into those professions. Think of the welfare-state like a bankruptcy-law for workers, it allows them to take a risk and then start over. Admittedly this is more speculation than based off any statistical analysis, but it is also an observation made by economists such as Ha-Joon Chang (admittedly, one of the ‘lefty-professors’ you refer to, though more a questioning liberal a-la Stiglitz than a socialist). France and Italy admittedly are behind, due in large part to the massively strong Euro caused by German exports, rather than labour market inflexibility. You also might want to note that the 'welfare-state' in most of the countries I refer to is not just 'benefits' but funding and support for retraining--addressing your point about the differential between welfare and work, by putting people back into jobs which are relatively high-skilled compared to those the unemployed in the UK could expect.

    (Original post by jamesr30)
    Long term, countries like the US and UK have done and will continue to do, much better than Germany.
    I think it’s a great country; I have always bought German cars (I love BMW, Merc. Etc) – and I have some great German friends (who, by the way, all want to work in London because they believe our economy is much better, although they are proud of German manufacturing and engineering prowess), but I’m afraid just because of 1 year when Germany does well (as a consequence of free market policies anyway!!!) doesn’t make it an example to follow, especially when it has done so poorly for years and years preceding it.
    But that’s how desperate the left is...left wing lecturers/teachers (most, by definition are left wing-they depend on it...) will teach students stuff like this and give them a false impression, and those without the opportunities to read, travel and see for themselves the figures, understand the politics etc, will be brought into the lunacy...
    This is just not true. Germany has a sustainable manufacturing base built up by a strong record of vocational training but also a strong welfare state which enables career-switching when industries decline. This is compared to the UK economy, for which the average skill-level of work has declined substantially over the past 30 years as skilled manufacturing disappeared, replaced by a service economy in which the only work available for many people without a degree is in the low-skilled service sector. This was caused in part by financial liberalisation which had the side effect of destroying incentives for long-term investment as much higher margins could be had in property speculation.
    I read four UK daily newspapers, the NYT and occasionally Al-Jazeera, and I’m fairly sure I’ve read more economics than you. I’ve also travelled fairly widely, I should like to think. I think you might want to have a little more humility. You may know a lot, perhaps more than me in some respects, but assuming ignorance is not a starting point for any good debate.
    It is true that inflexible labour markets and high top-tax rates do have an effect on growth, but you have massively over-estimated their effects compared to that of other factors such as the base rates, the availability of credit, and the strength of currencies. And there are many respects in which the debate on labour markets is more complex than you admit; countries with a strong welfare state and somewhat stricter employment laws such as the Scandinavian group actually have a substantially better record of growth, and that is more often export-led, sustainable growth rather than credit-driven, unsustainable growth.
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    (Original post by TShadow383)
    Two things:

    Raed user Oswy's post above. It will save us both a lot of time.
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    (Original post by Philosopher-of-sorts)
    I read four UK daily newspapers, the NYT and occasionally Al-Jazeera, and I’m fairly sure I’ve read more economics than you. I’ve also travelled fairly widely, I should like to think. I think you might want to have a little more humility. You may know a lot, perhaps more than me in some respects, but assuming ignorance is not a starting point for any good debate.
    Ok, but that was at a bare minimum. I also read the FT, NYT, WSJ and watch Al Jazeera/Bloomberg – to name a few. That list wasn’t at all comprehensive...

    I don’t know. I read PPE at undergrad, took an MBA at Harvard Business with several economics options at Stanford University. I also spent some time at the University of Chicago (where my brother took his MBA) taking economics classes. Those are the finest Economics institutions on the planet – although Economics is not a speciality, merely a side interest for me. I don’t have a PhD, but I am very widely read, and have studied at the best institutions the world has to offer to masters level.

    I agree with a lot of what you say – and you are clearly smart, if in my opinion, misguided. I think the trust is all wrong. Yes, credit driven growth, particularly that of the UK, is unsustainable...but hasn’t that been the policy of 13 years of Labour, particularly in the period post 2002. That’s the whole point...Britain missed its chance to be an economic powerhouse, and instead they raised taxes (mainly through stealth mechanisms), grew the size of the state, and used a property bubble/debt to fuel a massive spending spree that kept things going, until it all burst. Now, people blame bankers for their own stupidity (since when was earning £27k a year and borrowing £150k to buy a house a good idea! – particularly when the interest payments on the total amount of money most people spend on buying a house is more than the rental payments! – how insane is that...)

    It is somewhat bizarre, in reality, to compare economies like Finland, Norway, Sweden to the US and UK. Finland has a population of around 5.3 million, Norway around 5 million, Sweden around 9.5 million (those figures are from memory so may not be 110% accurate, but are pretty close). You can hardly compare that to economy’s with 60 million (UK) or 320 million people (US). Of those countries which are comparable, Italy, France, Germany, UK, US etc - the overwhelming trend is the higher the tax rates and labour laws, the higher unemployment and the lower the GDP growth.

    Furthermore, you have to look at the actual GDP aswell. Generally, countries with higher GDP are going to, all other things being equal, grow slower. The US has a GDP per capita of around $46,000, compared with around $35,000 for Sweden and Finland – 2 of the 3 countries with higher growth rates than the US/UK. In order to match actual US growth, these countries have to achieve growth substantively higher, in percentage terms, than the US – just to stay equal! Let alone to close the gap! This is, in effect, further evidence of what Im saying - you just ignor this part, which is crucial to the analysis.

    Furthermore, Sweden, Norway, Finland don’t have the major international obligations of the UK/US. They do not maintain significant military power, nor do they engage in wars (both overt and covert) against forces hostile to our own. We are forced to bear the burden.

    I agree re debt. But without us taking that debt (not that we should have), Germany would have gone backwards...just look at the number of German cars in the UK bought on finance...I was talking to a BMW sales guy recently and he said that around 90% of the private cars he sold were on finance – I was staggered to realize people would actually borrow money to buy a depreciating asset!! Fair enough if you need a car, don’t have the money and need to buy a Ford or ‘normal’ car, but to borrow money so you can get a BMW?

    (Original post by Philosopher-of-sorts)
    "The reason for this is quite simply that the Bundesbank reacted to the ending of the dotcom bubble by raising interest rates so as to prevent further speculatory bubbles (enhancing their reputation as inflation-hawks), while Greenspan and the Fed reacted by cutting them."
    I’m not sure that’s really true. Actually it seems to me that a lot of the low interest rates were the result of trying to stop panic and the economy going into recession post 9/11.


    (Original post by Philosopher-of-sorts)
    "This is just not true. Germany has a sustainable manufacturing base built up by a strong record of vocational training but also a strong welfare state which enables career-switching when industries decline. This is compared to the UK economy, for which the average skill-level of work has declined substantially over the past 30 years as skilled manufacturing disappeared, replaced by a service economy in which the only work available for many people without a degree is in the low-skilled service sector. This was caused in part by financial liberalisation which had the side effect of destroying incentives for long-term investment as much higher margins could be had in property speculation."
    Thats not quite true. It is in part correct. Germany is managing a long, slow decline. Why an earth are you going to manufacture in Germany when you can manufacture at a fraction of the price in Asia? At the moment, Germany competes on superior skills and high value products - but as a CEO of a major Japanese company said to me recently, the Chianese can now manufacture at the same quality level as his company. In time, it seems to me theres a decent chance they will be able to manufacture at the same quality level...its not that long ago people were having the same arguement re Japan and Europe/US manufactuers, and look what happened there...(Toyota, Honda, Sony etc)...

    (Original post by Philosopher-of-sorts)
    "It is true that inflexible labour markets and high top-tax rates do have an effect on growth, but you have massively over-estimated their effects compared to that of other factors such as the base rates, the availability of credit, and the strength of currencies. And there are many respects in which the debate on labour markets is more complex than you admit; countries with a strong welfare state and somewhat stricter employment laws such as the Scandinavian group actually have a substantially better record of growth, and that is more often export-led, sustainable growth rather than credit-driven, unsustainable growth."
    Well, I make these decisions every week about where to build factories, which countries to invest in, where to hire and fire people. Unfortunately, the tax rates and the ability to downsize in the event of recession form a MASSIVE amount of the decision, and yes, we look at currency strength, political cetainty and other factors (so, for instance, we would invest far more in Russia were it not for the political climate and organized crime demanding 'protection' money - the country has a 12% flat tax and, incidentally, has both boomed, seen increaced tax revenues since, and average wages are a multiple of what they were only a few years ago - its a complete myth that only the rich have benefitted!). But we invest very little in France/Germany/Italy/Spain for these reasons. Increacingly, we are moving investments out of the UK due to the climate here - costing British jobs and reducing tax revenues in the long term. I work for a company that has achieved a minimum of a 28% return for investors in every year since 1998. We also have a moral code which means we cant invest in certain areas and engage in immoral business practises - and we invest hugely in people who work for companies we own, for long term growth and success.

    As a side note, I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been offered to me as a result of policies such as those we have discussed - and it amazes me that people with less economic means usually support the Left - Labour - which actually re-enforces their position and removes the ability to move upwards. I have been successful in life (generally, although I havent found complete happiness yet...) and am only the 2nd person in my family to goto university. My parents grew up in absolute poverty in one of the poorest areas of the UK. My nan still lives in the same council house and depends on benefits. As a result of lower taxes and meritocracy, both my brother and I have been to World leading universitys, despite my grandfather having to leave school at 14 and my dad not being able to afford to study. He (my father) went from the bottom of a company to be the CEO, and transformed the company to one of the largest in the industry. I can own assets beyond the wildest dreams of my grandfather.

    Everyone benefits from this, via the taxes I pay to the British government, the people I support in employment, the money I put into resturants etc (the multiplyer effect).

    Unfortunately, despite loving Britain and wanting to stay here, I am having to re-consider my future here. I am waiting to see what happes re electoral reform and the next election.

    My brother already left the UK as a result of the 50% tax and the increacingly hostile attitude of the left. I doubt he will EVER return to the UK now, and thats the loss of millions in revenue to the UK over the next few years...50% of nothing is still nothing! People have this bizzare assumption that people will stay as their kids are in school here (well, not really, they are at boarding school in another country...) or some kind of force stopping them from moving...I just dont get it.

    I love London, the museams, the resturants, the architecture, the feel, Rome and Paris being a short flight away. Thats why I put up with 40%. But if it goes higher (as it has to 50%, the idea of 60% etc) why bother, with Ireland, Switzerland, Eastern Europe so close. New Yorks not that far really, and if they hadnt stopped Concorde, Id be there during the week (paying tax in the US!) and back to see my girlfriend at weekends or similar. But they have, and I worry it would be too much on our relationship. Im having to take German classes as the company thinks its possible we will move office to Switzerland in the next few years....how telling is that! Thats 29 people in my office, historically paying 40%, who will pay nothing if we do. Then theres the support staff we will lay off, the corporation tax we currently pay to the British government, the CGT, the couriers/taxi drivers etc we will no longer use. Not to mention the fact we will be less prone to invest in British companies, meaning more jobs in effect being lost.

    Anyone with any ability can get jobs in the UK - at least in a strong economy. I want to see the UK with strong growth and low unemployment - that way everyone benefits! But if people engage in these kind of policies, you end up with a situation like Spain, Italy, France etc with shocking unemployment, low growth etc. Or like 1970's Britain...

    Yes, you are right re skills though, we dont invest anywhere near enough in those areas...look at the massive shortage of plumbers etc in the UK! And around 60-70% of my Engeneering graduate friends go into banking etc - theres just not the opportunities here. But also, it was the attitude of the unions and the pathetic quality of products. You see the same with the post office today, signing its own suicide note - although, to be fair, the management there does have a poor attitude.
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    (Original post by jamesr30)
    Ok, but that was at a bare minimum. I also read the FT, NYT, WSJ and watch Al Jazeera/Bloomberg – to name a few. That list wasn’t at all comprehensive...

    I don’t know. I read PPE at undergrad, took an MBA at Harvard Business with several economics options at Stanford University. I also spent some time at the University of Chicago (where my brother took his MBA) taking economics classes. Those are the finest Economics institutions on the planet – although Economics is not a speciality, merely a side interest for me. I don’t have a PhD, but I am very widely read, and have studied at the best institutions the world has to offer to masters level.

    I agree with a lot of what you say – and you are clearly smart, if in my opinion, misguided. I think the trust is all wrong. Yes, credit driven growth, particularly that of the UK, is unsustainable...but hasn’t that been the policy of 13 years of Labour, particularly in the period post 2002. That’s the whole point...Britain missed its chance to be an economic powerhouse, and instead they raised taxes (mainly through stealth mechanisms), grew the size of the state, and used a property bubble/debt to fuel a massive spending spree that kept things going, until it all burst. Now, people blame bankers for their own stupidity (since when was earning £27k a year and borrowing £150k to buy a house a good idea! – particularly when the interest payments on the total amount of money most people spend on buying a house is more than the rental payments! – how insane is that...)

    It is somewhat bizarre, in reality, to compare economies like Finland, Norway, Sweden to the US and UK. Finland has a population of around 5.3 million, Norway around 5 million, Sweden around 9.5 million (those figures are from memory so may not be 110% accurate, but are pretty close). You can hardly compare that to economy’s with 60 million (UK) or 320 million people (US). Of those countries which are comparable, Italy, France, Germany, UK, US etc - the overwhelming trend is the higher the tax rates and labour laws, the higher unemployment and the lower the GDP growth.

    Furthermore, you have to look at the actual GDP aswell. Generally, countries with higher GDP are going to, all other things being equal, grow slower. The US has a GDP per capita of around $46,000, compared with around $35,000 for Sweden and Finland – 2 of the 3 countries with higher growth rates than the US/UK. In order to match actual US growth, these countries have to achieve growth substantively higher, in percentage terms, than the US – just to stay equal! Let alone to close the gap! This is, in effect, further evidence of what Im saying - you just ignor this part, which is crucial to the analysis.

    Furthermore, Sweden, Norway, Finland don’t have the major international obligations of the UK/US. They do not maintain significant military power, nor do they engage in wars (both overt and covert) against forces hostile to our own. We are forced to bear the burden.

    I agree re debt. But without us taking that debt (not that we should have), Germany would have gone backwards...just look at the number of German cars in the UK bought on finance...I was talking to a BMW sales guy recently and he said that around 90% of the private cars he sold were on finance – I was staggered to realize people would actually borrow money to buy a depreciating asset!! Fair enough if you need a car, don’t have the money and need to buy a Ford or ‘normal’ car, but to borrow money so you can get a BMW?



    I’m not sure that’s really true. Actually it seems to me that a lot of the low interest rates were the result of trying to stop panic and the economy going into recession post 9/11.




    Thats not quite true. It is in part correct. Germany is managing a long, slow decline. Why an earth are you going to manufacture in Germany when you can manufacture at a fraction of the price in Asia? At the moment, Germany competes on superior skills and high value products - but as a CEO of a major Japanese company said to me recently, the Chianese can now manufacture at the same quality level as his company. In time, it seems to me theres a decent chance they will be able to manufacture at the same quality level...its not that long ago people were having the same arguement re Japan and Europe/US manufactuers, and look what happened there...(Toyota, Honda, Sony etc)...



    Well, I make these decisions every week about where to build factories, which countries to invest in, where to hire and fire people. Unfortunately, the tax rates and the ability to downsize in the event of recession form a MASSIVE amount of the decision, and yes, we look at currency strength, political cetainty and other factors (so, for instance, we would invest far more in Russia were it not for the political climate and organized crime demanding 'protection' money - the country has a 12% flat tax and, incidentally, has both boomed, seen increaced tax revenues since, and average wages are a multiple of what they were only a few years ago - its a complete myth that only the rich have benefitted!). But we invest very little in France/Germany/Italy/Spain for these reasons. Increacingly, we are moving investments out of the UK due to the climate here - costing British jobs and reducing tax revenues in the long term. I work for a company that has achieved a minimum of a 28% return for investors in every year since 1998. We also have a moral code which means we cant invest in certain areas and engage in immoral business practises - and we invest hugely in people who work for companies we own, for long term growth and success.

    As a side note, I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been offered to me as a result of policies such as those we have discussed - and it amazes me that people with less economic means usually support the Left - Labour - which actually re-enforces their position and removes the ability to move upwards. I have been successful in life (generally, although I havent found complete happiness yet...) and am only the 2nd person in my family to goto university. My parents grew up in absolute poverty in one of the poorest areas of the UK. My nan still lives in the same council house and depends on benefits. As a result of lower taxes and meritocracy, both my brother and I have been to World leading universitys, despite my grandfather having to leave school at 14 and my dad not being able to afford to study. He (my father) went from the bottom of a company to be the CEO, and transformed the company to one of the largest in the industry. I can own assets beyond the wildest dreams of my grandfather.

    Everyone benefits from this, via the taxes I pay to the British government, the people I support in employment, the money I put into resturants etc (the multiplyer effect).

    Unfortunately, despite loving Britain and wanting to stay here, I am having to re-consider my future here. I am waiting to see what happes re electoral reform and the next election.

    My brother already left the UK as a result of the 50% tax and the increacingly hostile attitude of the left. I doubt he will EVER return to the UK now, and thats the loss of millions in revenue to the UK over the next few years...50% of nothing is still nothing! People have this bizzare assumption that people will stay as their kids are in school here (well, not really, they are at boarding school in another country...) or some kind of force stopping them from moving...I just dont get it.

    I love London, the museams, the resturants, the architecture, the feel, Rome and Paris being a short flight away. Thats why I put up with 40%. But if it goes higher (as it has to 50%, the idea of 60% etc) why bother, with Ireland, Switzerland, Eastern Europe so close. New Yorks not that far really, and if they hadnt stopped Concorde, Id be there during the week (paying tax in the US!) and back to see my girlfriend at weekends or similar. But they have, and I worry it would be too much on our relationship. Im having to take German classes as the company thinks its possible we will move office to Switzerland in the next few years....how telling is that! Thats 29 people in my office, historically paying 40%, who will pay nothing if we do. Then theres the support staff we will lay off, the corporation tax we currently pay to the British government, the CGT, the couriers/taxi drivers etc we will no longer use. Not to mention the fact we will be less prone to invest in British companies, meaning more jobs in effect being lost.

    Anyone with any ability can get jobs in the UK - at least in a strong economy. I want to see the UK with strong growth and low unemployment - that way everyone benefits! But if people engage in these kind of policies, you end up with a situation like Spain, Italy, France etc with shocking unemployment, low growth etc. Or like 1970's Britain...

    Yes, you are right re skills though, we dont invest anywhere near enough in those areas...look at the massive shortage of plumbers etc in the UK! And around 60-70% of my Engeneering graduate friends go into banking etc - theres just not the opportunities here. But also, it was the attitude of the unions and the pathetic quality of products. You see the same with the post office today, signing its own suicide note - although, to be fair, the management there does have a poor attitude.
    Pretty much agree with everything you say there.

    Just wondering your opinion on how to tackle the trade defecit we currently have as you seem very inteligent and tuned in?
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    (Original post by Teveth)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...abour-icm-poll

    It's now a 2 percent lead. The Tories are being humiliated and the public are making a clear statement - "We want an election". We all know that Cameron has no mandate as his party FAILED to take half of the seats in the Commons, so for me the right thing to do is to call an election within 12 months. Labour are now the country's most popular party and the Tories are running scared, if they think they can ignore it by making the odd unfounded snipe against our leader or by lying to the public about the cause of the national debt/deficit, then they can think again. It's downhill from here, Cameron. Once the cuts start to kick in, Labour's lead will only extend.

    The idiocy of this person is truly astounding.

    Where were you when Brown, for almost his entire time as PM, was 12 points or more behind the Conservatives (their name btw, not Tories)...

    Yes, Labour probably will move ahead as the cuts come in, and we will have some bad figures Q1 next year...but, things will turn around and from 2012 onwards its all uphill, unless the US/EU goes badly wrong (which it might)...
    House prices will fall (a good thing, and they should), and unemployment will probably hit 3million from 2.45m now...however, the growth medium-long term will be strong, unemployment will fall, and it will be driven by sustainable jobs in a private sector orientated economy...
    The economy will do very well 2014-15, just in time for the election, and that should mean Labour will lose...
    In case you hadn't realized, the agreement between the parties is to have a full 5 year term, with a fixed election date in May/June 2015. This is intended to become legally binding. Elections will be held once every 5 years.

    Not to mention the complete lack of historical understanding. The Conservatives of the 19th Century and early 20th Century were an entirely different party with an ENTIRELY different agenda from the one post 1945 and especially post '79. The modern Conservative party is formed out of a coalition of Liberals and Conservatives - the Conservative party is in many respects, more Liberal than Conservative, that's why many in the party say that we haven't had a truly Conservative PM for at least 4 decades...
    It is complete fallacy to suggest the wealthy traditionally voted 'Tory' during the 19th century and that the rich tried to stop the poor getting the vote etc...complete ********. The rich actually overwhelmingly voted Liberal. However, it suits the agenda to sell this myth to the people/party.
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    jamesr30 is correct. Historical studies are quite clear than pigeonholing the rich as Conservative voters and everyone else as Liberal/Labour is simply intellectually bankrupt.

    I find pigeonholing people according to their social class is about as valid as racial stereotyping.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    jamesr30 is correct. Historical studies are quite clear than pigeonholing the rich as Conservative voters and everyone else as Liberal/Labour is simply intellectually bankrupt.

    I find pigeonholing people according to their social class is about as valid as racial stereotyping.
    You are right as far as suggesting support for any given political party or ideology cannot be automatically assumed on the strength of social origins or wealth. I'm well aware of the phenomenon of the working-class tory and the aristocratic socialist, but let's not throw babies out with bathwater. Historical studies with regard to British society routinely show strong correlation between social class and political outlook when taken more broadly. It's no coincidence that the three most prominent figures in the current Conservative party, Cameron, Osborne and Boris, are from stereotypical privileged and wealthy backgrounds. Similarly you'd be hard pressed to find union leaders, the kind the Daily Mail hate, who are from such well-to-do origins.

    Caution about stereotyping, yes, throwing babies out with bathwater, no.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    You are right as far as suggesting support for any given political party or ideology cannot be automatically assumed on the strength of social origins or wealth. I'm well aware of the phenomenon of the working-class tory and the aristocratic socialist, but let's not throw babies out with bathwater. Historical studies with regard to British society routinely show strong correlation between social class and political outlook when taken more broadly. It's no coincidence that the three most prominent figures in the current Conservative party, Cameron, Osborne and Boris, are from stereotypical privileged and wealthy backgrounds. Similarly you'd be hard pressed to find union leaders, the kind the Daily Mail hate, who are from such well-to-do origins.

    Caution about stereotyping, yes, throwing babies out with bathwater, no.

    I'm quite happy to agree with what you say it is possible to approximate, but I was primarily beefing with many people's lazy tendency to pigeonhole whole sections fo society as if they all think the same. What you say is quite correct.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    I'm quite happy to agree with what you say it is possible to approximate, but I was primarily beefing with many people's lazy tendency to pigeonhole whole sections fo society as if they all think the same. What you say is quite correct.
    Cool. Socialisation is a powerful force, and undercredited in my view, but it's also a complex force which defies mechanically determined relations between upbringing and exposures with subsequent values and ideological orientation.
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    Personally, i find socialism sickening and do not think it works in practicality and i truly hope that true socialists never rule.

    Second thing is, if Labour were to win the election then who would be the next Conservative leader, Boris Johnson, he's certinly popular?
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    Opposition party with new leader ranks higher in an opinion poll than current party making controversial unpopular choices in cuts to reduce deficit shocker.

    Oh, it's only 2%. A real 'storming', eh?

    (Original post by Oswy)
    It's no coincidence that the three most prominent figures in the current Conservative party, Cameron, Osborne and Boris, are from stereotypical privileged and wealthy backgrounds.
    Many Labour politicians were as well. In fact you'd be hard-pressed to find a politician from any party who was never 'privileged'. Nick Clegg probably had an even wealthier background than Cameron. Then there's people like Diane Abbott, attacking parents sending kids to private schools, then turns around and does exactly the same with her sons.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Personally, i find socialism sickening and do not think it works in practicality and i truly hope that true socialists never rule.

    Second thing is, if Labour were to win the election then who would be the next Conservative leader, Boris Johnson, he's certinly popular?
    Haha. Boris the blithering idiot Johnson? He's about as electable as Gary Glitter. I know that most people in the South of England would vote for a post box if it had a blue ribbon on it, but the idea of Boris Johnson picking up seats elsewhere is way off. People wouldn't put up with a Bullingdon Old Etonian again, it would be a bit ridiculous.
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    (Original post by Teveth)
    Haha. Boris the blithering idiot Johnson? He's about as electable as Gary Glitter. I know that most people in the South of England would vote for a post box if it had a blue ribbon on it, but the idea of Boris Johnson picking up seats elsewhere is way off. People wouldn't put up with a Bullingdon Old Etonian again, it would be a bit ridiculous.
    I'm sorry, who's the mayor of London? And was previously an MP?
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    (Original post by Wednesday Bass)
    I'm sorry, who's the mayor of London? And was previously an MP?
    Not only that, but he had the most votes ever recorded for any politician in UK history, i would certainly vote for him, i actually prefer him to David Cameron, i am sick of political correctness and he certainly speaks his mind.
 
 
 
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