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    I think economics has become a bit of a false dichotomy and debate in this country.

    You are either for small state, apparently right wing, though I'd say libertarian, or more equality and large state spending. Actually this is false because Blair's 'third way', IMO, took the worst of both worlds(left and right) not the best. His Tax policy was 'rightist', compared to the past, and was much laxer on the rich than Thatcher, creating more inequality and less social mobility. Then with the 'leftist' side, he spent huge amounts on the state.

    The welfare state creates dependency and despair, and you create less jobs by spending here. It's wrong also to assume that chucking money at the NHS helps, especially when you are beginning the marketization of it, not defending it's philosophical, structural basis. And why waste money on endless bureaucrats that meddle with individual liberty and 'targets' in professions like healthcare and education, when we all know these statistics are politicized anyhow, what would be more important would be continuity, confidence these things were not being destroyed or underpaid, and letting people have their individual liberty back to do these jobs as qualified professionals. (This is linked to Blair's general stance on civil liberties and what he calls 'libetarian nonsense' )

    It's clear that New Labour was a chronically overrated, massively damaging project that still influences our politics.

    You know my 3rd way, my ideal economy would also take elements from the economic left and right-

    Higher taxes on rich, and lower taxes on poor, from the left.
    Far less state spending from the right.

    Clearly, this makes far more sense. It is not only compatible with libertarianism and the civil liberties so precious that NuLab wrecked. It also would favour lower unemployment and less regulated more happy professions and industry.

    It would also take the demoralising injustice of the tax system and give people a boost and more freedom on the lower income brackets, whilst still being supportive of business, but especially more supportive of smaller business against large corporations.

    Even if the tax system would always vary from government to government, from my ideal, just like the minimum wage would or could, I think a smaller state is better for smaller business and less well off people, for the aforementioned and constant, long term reasons.

    It could always be made more conducive to reducing inequality or helping opportunity, there would be flexibility, yet even if governments voted in went the other way, the other benefits of the libertarian model would still be there and there for the future.

    If, alternatively, you consider governments with more regressive tax policies that fostered inequality, that also used greater state spending, the less libertarian model, everything else is stifling and oppressive in addition- the corporations monopoly and stranglehold enhanced, the greater welfare state and less jobs at the lower end, with less personal liberties, plus a sense of stagnancy and lessened hope for people at the bottom(not to mention horrible, dehumanizing bureaucracy).

    I believe Blair's 3rd way is like Euro communism for a lot of people at the bottom, and then like a sort of corporate super-rich protectorate class with a monopoly.

    Far from being what the 3rd way could be, a civilized libertarian country with a conscience, far more social mobility, and capitalism in it's best sense of competition and smaller and medium sized firms providing for the customer, rather than corporate giants forcing governments and people to serve them.

    I also think my model is more encouraging of philanthropy and charity.
    The fact that a smaller state means lower overall taxes means that whatever gradation of taxes, however distributed across the income scale, people would be happier to pay less, and society would be freer, and more humane with more individual liberty.
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    (Original post by SaucissonSecCy)
    The welfare state creates dependency and despair, and you create less jobs by spending here. It's wrong also to assume that chucking money at the NHS helps, especially when you are beginning the marketization of it, not defending it's philosophical,
    I don't buy this at all. We only need to look to the friends we aspire to in the US to see that undoing what we have is not the way forward. In the US we have a horrendous situation where many middle class Americans can not afford basic health care. Mothers have no maternity leave and end up having to leave their babies after a couple of days in hospital to return to work. And Americans typically get two weeks annual leave a year.

    No thank you.

    I want to live in a caring society. Whilst bashing the poor we forget that they don't actually cost the UK that much compared to say, rich pensioners who still get the state pension, or rich families who still get child benefit. I don't want to be viewed as an economic unit. I want to live in an inclusive society where I can talk to my neighbours and see my community thrive. The Thatcher adage that there is no society is depressing. That the world is only about me is a ridiculous idea.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I don't buy this at all. We only need to look to the friends we aspire to in the US to see that undoing what we have is not the way forward. In the US we have a horrendous situation where many middle class Americans can not afford basic health care. Mothers have no maternity leave and end up having to leave their babies after a couple of days in hospital to return to work. And Americans typically get two weeks annual leave a year.

    No thank you.

    I want to live in a caring society. Whilst bashing the poor we forget that they don't actually cost the UK that much compared to say, rich pensioners who still get the state pension, or rich families who still get child benefit. I don't want to be viewed as an economic unit. I want to live in an inclusive society where I can talk to my neighbours and see my community thrive. The Thatcher adage that there is no society is depressing. That the world is only about me is a ridiculous idea.
    You've totally misinterpreted my ideas. I believe we have the worst of both worlds. Blair began marketization of the NHS, I'm deeply opposed to this, I wan to preserve it. He then thrown endless money into bureaucrats and management layers that health and education could do without. I also am talking about the welfare state from a compassionate perspective, I believe it's size and it's stagnating effect on fearful, beaten down people is not that answer, it's part of the problem and there are better solutions. I have been in it, I know what it's like. I also know what Blair did to liberty and privacy, inequality and social mobility, and how that effects people on the bottom.

    Blairism is a massive con-job, masterfully spun by Campbell and Mandelson.

    What good is welfare state with impossible housing and rent situations, and a pitiful minimum wage and less jobs and no liberty?Unless you believe it's compassionate to keep people there with enough to just survive a bad existence rather than help them get a shot at a more humane one.

    Blair's way is not compassionate, only the red rosette versus the blue rosette and historical, tribal Labour/Tory divisions make people think compassion. It has created an all powerful and immovable corporate oligarchy, less social mobility(including people much more deeply enmeshed in welfare, then unable to get anything on their CV, then trapped in the system, sometimes across generations, whilst the minimum wage is peanuts, pushed down because of immigration, while the government discriminates in favour of immigrants)

    It has given less chance to smaller business, unaffordable accommodation for vast numbers, people living on food banks, stifling, unending bureaucracy that demoralize medical and education professionals, and less well off people living in conditions of liberty and privacy that are 'worse than orwell'. You won't want to hear this, but mass immigration and especially the political disposition of the EU are all supportive of this system.
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    Health: As somebody who has worked in the NHS and lives with a midwife and a senior nurse, I think nhs Nanagement, although unpopular and in some cases unnecessary do provide a necessary function. As you say continually chucking money at hospitals does not necessarily create better standards which is why the internal market was created to help run it more competivivley and let the doctors and nurses be doctors and nurses not accountants. Of course, new labour did go slightly overboard at one point, but they began to cut it under brown. The Tories top down bureaucratic cutting regime (driven by a predictable media narrative) was far too excessive with disastrous results- felt especially in my local hospital and involved some spending even more for outside consultation.

    Welfare: broadly yes. I think the answer is a Universal Income (which has been backed by milton Friedman before I'm called a commie)

    My phones about to run out if power, but I may comment more later on.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    Health: As somebody who has worked in the NHS and lives with a midwife and a senior nurse, I think nhs Nanagement, although unpopular and in some cases unnecessary do provide a necessary function. As you say continually chucking money at hospitals does not necessarily create better standards which is why the internal market was created to help run it more competivivley and let the doctors and nurses be doctors and nurses not accountants. Of course, new labour did go slightly overboard at one point, but they began to cut it under brown. The Tories top down bureaucratic cutting regime (driven by a predictable media narrative) was far too excessive with disastrous results- felt especially in my local hospital and involved some spending even more for outside consultation.

    Welfare: broadly yes. I think the answer is a Universal Income (which has been backed by milton Friedman before I'm called a commie)

    My phones about to run out if power, but I may comment more later on.
    Just this bit for now. Paul Mason I think has talked about this, in Post Capitalism, it could be fuelled by the rise of AI and the fact that machines will be able to do so much work that people did, so multitudes or all people will get a base level of pay.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I don't buy this at all. We only need to look to the friends we aspire to in the US to see that undoing what we have is not the way forward. In the US we have a horrendous situation
    No country, not even the United States, aspires to a US healthcare system. It's the Godwin's law of discussing healthcare reform: no matter that it's not raised, for some reason any change that is not entirely socialist ends up getting lumped in with the American model.

    It's a daft system to emulate - and actually would be impossible for the UK to emulate given the lack of pre-existing infrastructure owned by charities, religious groups and so on. Keep in mind fewer than 20% of US hospitals are owned by for-profit entities.

    But do not think for a second there are not useful models around the world that we can learn from. There is a huge variety out there and in many areas other countries are doing much better than Britain.

    I want to live in a caring society. Whilst bashing the poor we forget that they don't actually cost the UK that much compared to say, rich pensioners who still get the state pension, or rich families who still get child benefit.
    "Rich" families don't really get child benefit any more. It's withdrawn based on an income threshold. I appreciate there are people who have lots of money and lower annual incomes, but that's just the nature of the system. As for rich pensioners, I think they - quite rightly - feel entitled. National Insurance was sold to them as an investment for their futures - doing well hardly lessens that.

    You say you want to live in a "caring society" but are addressing a point that welfare dependency creates despondency and despair. You've not addressed that at all - unless you believe that to be a caring approach. For my part, I agree with the OP on this one: barriers to work and encouragement to dependency is incredibly bad for the people involved. Look at the stats: being out of work for a long time not only makes it harder to re-enter work through a drop in skills and motivation, it also has terrifying effects on a person's health, their mental wellbeing, their social interaction and (less objectively) their self-esteem. Worklessness is one of the biggest scourges in our society and to create a caring society you need to address that.

    The Thatcher adage that there is no society is depressing.
    Despite being one of her most quoted remarks, it's clearly quoted out of context.
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    I think the worst area of new labour were its well meaning but harmful education policies- in particular, it's Mass opening up of universities (which devalued education ramped up debt s d spending and gave unrealistic expectations) and Blairs obsession with faith schools of all creeds,
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    (Original post by L i b)
    You say you want to live in a "caring society" but are addressing a point that welfare dependency creates despondency and despair. You've not addressed that at all - unless you believe that to be a caring approach.
    Ok - I will address it. The problem I have with the current thinking is that there is an underlying narrative that all people on benefits are lazy, feckless and work-shy. I do not believe this to be the case at all. Yes, there is a benefit trap, but the current government thinking is to simply remove the benefits and allow people to sink or swim. Naturally they are sinking, left right and centre. 10 years ago, you would be hard pushed to find a homeless person begging on the streets of Manchester midday. Now there are established camps of homeless people all over town. This for me is think single saddest indicator of an uncaring government. The last time I remember seeing similar scenes was unsurprisingly during the Thatcher and Major administrations.

    For me, the success of a country is not how rich it is or how many millionaires it produces, but how it treats its poor. We are going back to a Victorian mentality where there are undeserving poor. This helps no one other than providing a convenient excuse to the rich, allowing them to ignore them without guilt. After all, why should one feel guilty about the undeserving poor?
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    Ok - I will address it. The problem I have with the current thinking is that there is an underlying narrative that all people on benefits are lazy, feckless and work-shy.
    I don't accept that at all. It is people on the political left who are talking about "scroungers" and the like near constantly. Yet you'll find all but no mentions of it from Conservative or Coalition politicians. It's a narrative, yes, but it's an opposition narrative and a false characterisation of what the government has done in recent years.

    Yes, there is a benefit trap, but the current government thinking is to simply remove the benefits and allow people to sink or swim.
    That's simply not true. Policies like the Universal Credit have been designed to ensure there is no financial cliff-edge when people take on some work but still receive some benefits. Perverse disincentives to taking on work are being removed and broken down. There has been investment into employment support as well as major investment in targeted employment schemes like Access to Work.

    For me, the success of a country is not how rich it is or how many millionaires it produces, but how it treats its poor. We are going back to a Victorian mentality where there are undeserving poor.
    Are we? In what ways? Did we ever leave it? Or is this just assertion?

    There is undoubtedly a level of personal agency in all of these things. The state offers support for people out of work, in the understanding that they will actively take steps to find it. That has always been part of our welfare system. However benefits are conditional on the basis of things that are very much within an individual's control.

    I think few would accept an understanding that being long-term out of work and not actively taking steps to address that is somehow just a person being a victim of circumstances.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    I don't accept that at all. It is people on the political left who are talking about "scroungers" and the like near constantly.
    When you say that, do you mean well known left wing newspapers like the Daily Mail?

    Meet Britain's most shameless mum: Mother-of-twelve who rakes in £40,000
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...n-stuffed.html

    Single mother says she chooses to claim £20,000 a year in benefits
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...#ixzz4DvzTqkt0

    And so on and so on. Sure, there are a few people like this. But similarly, there are a few millionaires who go out of their way to avoid paying tax. You can conclude nothing from either. And I don't buy the argument that most people would prefer to sit at home watching TV rather than doing work. Have you spent more than a week sitting around doing nothing? It really is not a soft option.

    But even if it is the case, the cost of benefits on the poorest is almost negligible. In 2011 / 12 (https://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images...Benefi-001.jpg) the total budget was just shy of £700 billion. Of that only £5 billion went of job seekers allowance. When you compare that to the tax gap i.e. the amount of tax that should be paid compared to the amount collected, of £34 billion (https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...aps-2015-1.pdf) I know where I would put my efforts. Let the poor have their £5 billion.
 
 
 
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