Capitalist Myths

I am maybe a cynic, but if I don't understand something then I tend not to believe it, but I wouldn't be so bold as to say it isn't true.

On the news this morning, there has been a call for the top earners wages to be tempered, as the gap between rich and poor is widening and it is said we will soon return to the inequalities of the Victorian era.

So, for starters, here are two 'myths' that I have trouble believing, and my reasons for doubt:

  1. It is claimed that high pay (£3M upwards) for the 'business whizzes' is necessary as they would otherwise go abroad. Is there any evidence to prove this?  Isn't this just 'spin' to justify the high salaries? Isn't their any loyalty to the country that gave them the opportunity to get there in the first place. Isn't there a limit to the number of extremely high paid jobs available for the 'whizzes' and therefore competition would be fierce if a few countries put a ceiling on this pay? Do they really earn these massive salaries in increased profits, or are these massive profits gained at the loss to their workers in redundancies or low pay, or in losses to other companies in competition which means another company loses out, making their workers redundant, and therefore our country loses out in reality? If just one country said 'enough is enough' wouldn't the other countries jump on the bandwagon, too, in an effort to get their enormous numbers of lower paid voters onside?
  2. Tax avoidance/evasion/black market is 'good' for the country as this puts money back into the economy. The reasons appear to be that the more money in people pockets, then the more they spend, and therefore 'more' tax is gained overall. Surely, tax collected is spent by the government in the same way, which in turn will increase tax take. While I do not wholly support the current benefit system, the money dished out as benefits is more likely to be spent than a few extra £ in the hands of someone who is already wealthy. Yes, the government may waste money on spin doctors or other wasteful purchases, but isn't this just the same as the 'spin doctor' evading tax in the first place? I just cannot believe that all 'evaded' tax gets spent on something that produces tax, and even if it did, it would have to be 'spent' many times before the evaded tax was recovered.

OK. I am quite happy to be proved wrong, so can anyone convince me?

Comments

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johnjenkins's picture

That's the point Shirley

johnjenkins | | Permalink

Many tax payers feel that government spending is not "for the greater good of the country" so why bother giving it to them. That is a feeling that is being manifested all over the world in different degrees. Politicians are too wrapped up in their own importance to see what is happening. Still we got DC's big bazooka so all will be well.

Economics

chatman | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:
It would be nice if we could test our theories

I agree. If we could, then economics would be a science, instead of the pseudo-intellectual fantasising that it is.

Greater Good?

chatman | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:
Many tax payers feel that government spending is not "for the greater good of the country"

Many taxpayers confuse the greater good of the country with the greater good of themselves.

johnjenkins's picture

@chatman

johnjenkins | | Permalink

or maybe they feel if the government won't look after them they will have to do it themselves. I don't think there is any confusion.(I know you didn't mean that literally)

So we are all agreed we have to get back to the "status quo" (come on OGA I left this one for you)

ShirleyM's picture

@john ... but ...

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I think everyone in the whole country would agree that money gets wasted by all governments. Withholding money (to stop it being wasted) would not solve the problem. It would just punish everyone, the guilty and the innocent together, and then the politicians would blame the public (or blame someone other than themselves as usual!).

Look at the turnout for voting at the last election. It was pathetic. People just don't believe anything the politicians say any more and know that their promises mean nothing. So what the hell are we supposed to base our vote on?

If we put more money in the hands of the general public won't they just spend it on binge drinking ???? Lets poll tax the hell out of them. :)

Old Greying Accountant's picture

It depends Shirley ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... round here, the cost of living is high and the level the 40% band kicks in at is a joke. In other areas of the country you can live like a king , virtually in a castle, as a basic rate tax payer (less true last year or so admittedly).

Where I am a modest 3 bed semi will cost £250k plus, even a one bed flat is part of £150k. If you commute up the Smoke you are looking at £3-4k (may be more) for a season ticket, or if you drive a similar sum just in congestion charges let alone parking etc. Food is also much more expensive as are business rents where £20+ per sq foot is not uncommon.

So, round me, on a salary of £45k the monthly take home would be about £2150, unless you were fortunate to get on a base rate tracker, mortgage, council tax and utilities are very likely to take that down to £800 disposable, less commuting/car say £250 we are down to £550 and £125pw to feed and clothe a family of 4 is not a lot - and they wonder why credit card debts are out of control? In other areas the same salary could leave £300 pw disposable!

What really rankles me is that a husband and wife both earning £40k will pay significantly less tax than one where wife stays home and husband earns £80k.

Not a perfect solution, but I have always thought a fair solution would be that the PA level should equal mimimum wage for a 37.5 hour week, approx 12,500 and that higher rate tax should kick in at twice average wage, approx £25k, so at £50k - and that PA's for spouses (or partners co-habiting) should be pooled. We are not all fortunate enough to be self employed/trade through our own companies so we can utilise a spouse/partners PA!

ShirleyM's picture

Good points, OGA!

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I think there is a lot of unfairness in the tax system. We get quite a few retired Southerners, who sell up their modest semi and buy the equivalent, or better, house to retire in up North and still have lots of cash to spare. Generally, though, wages are higher in London to compensate for the higher costs, and a northerner doesn't often get the opportunity to move to a cheaper home to release large amounts of cash for their retirement. Jobs are scarce up North though and don't pay so well, otherwise ALL the Londoners would move here wouldn't they, if they could get London wages and have a lower cost of living? As it is, the trend is for working people to move south, so there must be advantages! Few people get that level of salary in the North. It's swings and roundabouts really, but I do see your point about disposable income.

I agree with you about allowing a spouses allowance to be transferred to their partner and this would benefit a lot of married taxpayers, but then the unmarried taxpayers would moan. It could start a new trend and encourage marriage, or civil partnerships. :) It would also remove many complications and doubts, and maybe add a few new ones, but better and fairer overall.

 

 

Anti-unmarried-person Prejudice

chatman | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:
the unmarried taxpayers would moan

I certainly would.

Solve the housing problem

chatman | | Permalink

Why not just build enough council houses for everyone, then we wouldn't have to whinge about house prices.

And while we're on, we could pay a citizen's wage to everyone in the country. That way we could wipe out the housing benefit administration and unemployment benefit systems and all their costly administration in one go. Some people would take advantage, but probably no more than  do now, and it would remove the benefits trap whereby people lose money by taking a job.

In addition, you would never have to give to beggars because you would know they have a home and a bit of cash.

If you're really paranoid about people taking the mickey, you could give everyone food and clothes vouchers and make public transport free, instead of giving people money.

Think of all the savings on the means-testing systems we have now.

Who knows, if it all went well, we could reinstate the NHS.

If you really got carried away, you could stop the government propagating the message that ostentatious displays of wealth are desirable; that would save most people a fortune.

johnjenkins's picture

Let's take it one stage further chatman

johnjenkins | | Permalink

The government give us just enough to live on as "pocket money" for a weeks work decided by the "experts". Any extras would have to be worked extra for. Those that didn't want to work would be sent to other countries. That would solve the housing problem as well.

Looks like we gotta find chatman a chatwoman, Shirley if we implemented pooling of allowances.

I'm not a great believer of pooling allowances. We are all individuals and should be treated taxwise as such.

I agree OGA round our way a married couple with 2 kids need £25K a year to survive.

I don't think it's just that government waste money they spend money they haven't got on things we don't want and think oh well we'll raise taxes. How much have WE lost on Northern Rock. How much is DC's big bazooka gonna cost etc. etc. Shirley said the turnout at the last election was pathetic. Perhaps, and I jest not, we do need a new political entity that will actually give us what we want not what their parties think we need.

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Don't start me ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I have long advocated vouchers not cash, although I am sure they would be traded for drink and tobacco!

There should be a better graduated system of benefits to help people move off beenfits into work, with benefit reductions for refusal of suitable employment.

As to housing, if we reduced the population back to a sensible level there would be plenty! As a UK citizen of many generations I would be safe from deportation, but well past the date for my "run" - lol (talking of which there is talk of a re-make in 2014, but the termination age is reduced to 21!)

More prejudice

chatman | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:

Looks like we gotta find chatman a chatwoman, Shirley if we implemented pooling of allowances.

I agree OGA round our way a married couple with 2 kids need £25K a year to survive.

How much does an unmarried couple with 2 kids need to survive round your way? And why assume because I am not married that I am single? (unless you've seen how ugly I am, in which case fair enough).

I know where I'd take my pocket money

chatman | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:
The government give us just enough to live on as "pocket money" for a weeks work decided by the "experts". Any extras would have to be worked extra for. Those that didn't want to work would be sent to other countries. That would solve the housing problem as well.

I'll have Spain please. I think my pocket money would go a long way there. Or maybe Greece when the Drachma's back.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I did actually say ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... co-habiting partners should be able to pool too, via an election system is probably easiest, provided they live at the same property, as should parent and child if a child lives with and looks after a dependant parent.

Vouchers

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
I have long advocated vouchers not cash, although I am sure they would be traded for drink and tobacco!

Vouchers for those on benefits would be humiliating, but if we all got them it would be great. I wouldn't care if they were traded for alcohol or tobacco; at least people would have the choice of eating and clothing themselves if they wanted.

Why victimise single people?

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
co-habiting partners should be able to pool too, via an election system is probably easiest, provided they live at the same property

But why should they have any allowance at all? Why victimise single people?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

And ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
I have long advocated vouchers not cash, although I am sure they would be traded for drink and tobacco!

Vouchers for those on benefits would be humiliating, but if we all got them it would be great. I wouldn't care if they were traded for alcohol or tobacco; at least people would have the choice of eating and clothing themselves if they wanted.

... your point is?

I don't think the hard core of benefit scroungers (sorry, dependants) we are talking about would know humiliation if it slapped them round the face with a cold kipper!

The world owes no one a living, as a mature civilized society we appreciate we need to look after the vulnerable and the disadvantaged and housing, feeding and clothing them is our moral duty, but how we do it should be in the most beneficial way: if you were de-hydrated in the desert would you spurn a drink of water because it was in a cracked beaker and not in a cut glass Waterford tumbler? Whats that saying about gift horses?

The main point of the benefit system should be to provide a safety net, not a way of life! 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Because

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
co-habiting partners should be able to pool too, via an election system is probably easiest, provided they live at the same property

But why should they have any allowance at all? Why victimise single people?

by not working they are leaving a job for someone who needs it more perhaps? The cost of a second allowance (@£60pw) is far cheaper than paying full benefits to someone!

Seriously?

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
I have long advocated vouchers not cash, although I am sure they would be traded for drink and tobacco!

Vouchers for those on benefits would be humiliating, but if we all got them it would be great. I wouldn't care if they were traded for alcohol or tobacco; at least people would have the choice of eating and clothing themselves if they wanted.

... your point is?

I am not sure how I could make it any simpler for you. What part of it did you find particularly challenging?

???

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
co-habiting partners should be able to pool too, via an election system is probably easiest, provided they live at the same property

But why should they have any allowance at all? Why victimise single people?

by not working they are leaving a job for someone who needs it more perhaps? The cost of a second allowance (@£60pw) is far cheaper than paying full benefits to someone!

Who's talking about not working? I just think it is unfair to give tax breaks to people just for getting married.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I'm sorry ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... if they are working why should they be victimized by having their allowance stripped just because they got married - which is what you have apparently just said should happen!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

You're implying I care ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
I have long advocated vouchers not cash, although I am sure they would be traded for drink and tobacco!

Vouchers for those on benefits would be humiliating, but if we all got them it would be great. I wouldn't care if they were traded for alcohol or tobacco; at least people would have the choice of eating and clothing themselves if they wanted.

... your point is?

I am not sure how I could make it any simpler for you. What part of it did you find particularly challenging?

..if they are humiliated by vouchers if they means they get fed, clothed and sheltered (assuming they are capable of such feelings)!

I had thought that was apparent from my post

Still, if people didn't try to evade tax by engineering ficticious charges we wouldn't have to pay such a high rate of tax anyway.

Sorry

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... if they are working why should they be victimized by having their allowance stripped just because they got married - which is what you have apparently just said should happen!

What I meant to say was why should anyone get a tax allowance for being married?

Misunderstanding

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
You're implying I care

I do apologise if I implied that. It never would have entered my head for a minute.

People on benefits

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

..if they are humiliated by vouchers ... (assuming they are capable of such feelings)!

An excellent point; people on benefits are incapable of such feelings as humiliation, as we all know. How stupid of me to have forgotten that.

ShirleyM's picture

I've been thinking about this overnight

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Taking OGA's example of a married couple where 2 x £40k get more tax relief than 1 x 80K at the moment. I think this is quite fair. Two people are working as opposed to one and will therefore have twice the travel costs, possibly childcare costs, and all the rest. So overall, they would probably be worse off than the couple where just one works, even if the tax is less. Couples also benefit from shared housing costs which many single people cannot do.

Yes, people who are self-employed or have their own companies can do a lot more tax planning. This is one of the perks but it does have to be justified.

Benefits are a joke unless you have kids. We have to stop kids being a passport to high benefits.

It's all about expectations and trade offs, ie. I so often hear that it doesn't matter if someone never works, because they are leaving a job for someone who does want to work! It doesn't matter that councils waste tons of our money when they allow their workers to do 1 hrs work for 1 days pay, because it stops the same workers claiming benefits? How mad would it be for them to do a full days work for their money, helping the local OAP's put their bins out, or doing meals on wheels, or something? The logic defeats me!

Maybe the unemployed (the ones who are looking for work) should be 'employed' instead of given benefits, where they attend a workplace every day and apply for jobs all day long (and given all the necessary stationery, internet access, local job ads, etc.), or attend interviews. This would solve quite a few problems. Employers would be more likely to take on the long-term unemployed if they knew the person had a good attendance record and had worked hard to find a job.

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Ah but Shirley ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... there should be no childcare costs ...

That is what mothers are for!

May be if more were bringing up their children there would be less crime and illiteracy. May be also society would become more compassionate if they were taught to look after each other from an early age and may be that it why society is so dysfunctional these days -  just a thought :o)

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

May be ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... on shared housing costs, expectations are too high.

When I grew up the expectation was to share a flat with friends, find a partner, save up and buy your own place, or you lived with your parents and then saved up.

Now the expectation is sole occupancy which has become a self defeating aspiration as it has increased pressure on housing and contributed to pushing prices to a level where the latest I saw was you would need to be in your forties to have saved enough to buy your own place!

 

ShirleyM's picture

Tut tut OGA :(

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I will translate 'mother' into 'parent'!

No kids for me ... but as I was always the higher earner then it would have been logical for my hubbie to stay home, but yes, this would release more jobs and remove a lot of the pressure for good childcare, unless you are a lone parent.

This is another example of the greed of the capitalist society. I know lots of families where one parent stays at home, or fit work around the children, and they are financially worse off, but they prefer to give priority to the family.

Too many people are chasing money for the things they 'have to have', ie. a bigger & better house, a bigger & better car, a bigger and better TV, holidays abroad, Uni for the kids, etc. Aren't we all supposed to be really ambitious and earn pots of money, and are looked down on when we are not?

Steve Holloway's picture

My manifesto    1 thanks

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

Tax second home ownership very harshly to release properties in to the pool. Relief could be given for properties commercially let to unconnected persons.

Provide far greater incentives to the developers to clean and utilise brown field sites.

Increase the basic rate of tax to 25%.

Increases personal allowances to the level of the minimum wage but remove PA's at a lower level than the current £100k.

Make old age pension means tested but the overall bill largely unchanged. The minimum level of income that someone should have in retirement is the the national minimum wage prevailing.

Remove all non-means tested benefits.

A fair government backed scheme to allow equity release from properties that is guaranteed to last the life of the occupants. This income will be counted towards the means tested OAP benefit.

Introduce tax relief for private medical insurance and scrap the BIK tax on employer contributions. Accept that the NHS is vastly inefficient due to its size and let the private sector take the strain of treating those that can afford it.

Recognise trade unions as inhibitors to any change and outlaw collective action.

Stop all representation at employment tribunals and limit it to those people directly involved with the dispute.

A referendum on the EU.

 

Something for everyone I think!!

 

 

 

 

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Only if you are a lemming.

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

Aren't we all supposed to be really ambitious and earn pots of money, and are looked down on when we are not?

Watched a good item on breakfast TV this morning about the "Black Friday" bargains on Amazon and the like this week. There are some fantastics deals to be had and the presenter said to the money expert shouldn't you buy them if you can get an £800 television for £300 (say) and it was refreshing to hear him say, NO, not if you can't afford it because you are skint and/if you don't NEED it.

As an aside, when browsing in Waterstones I was flicking through a book of letters that weren't sent to the Telegraph, one was along the lines, Sir, I get bemused by the line "sent from my Blackberry" after an e-mail - is that supposed to impress me?

Personally, I would favour someone whose child was well mannered and knew how to read a book than one whose had the latest designer clothes and electronic gadgets.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Interesting Steve ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... and broadly supported by me, although second home ownership a bit tricky, if a couple has one each why should they be penalised over two single people who happen to spend a lot of time visiting each other?

Agree with the union point, especially in the light of the latest figures that show the public sector wages are now around £4000 higher than the equivalent private sector ones, without taking into account the other benefits such as gold-plated pensions, generous leave and sickness terms etc.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I never suggested they should ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... if they are working why should they be victimized by having their allowance stripped just because they got married - which is what you have apparently just said should happen!

What I meant to say was why should anyone get a tax allowance for being married?

... just that the two individual allowances of two people should be able to be pooled, because at the moment employed people are "victimised" over those who are self-employed or own their own company. These can effectively have the ability to utilise their spouses PA, but employed persons (except MPs) can't! 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Thank's!

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
You're implying I care

I do apologise if I implied that. It never would have entered my head for a minute.

You're telling me I don't care now, great!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

There are two sorts of benefit claimants ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

chatman wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

..if they are humiliated by vouchers ... (assuming they are capable of such feelings)!

An excellent point; people on benefits are incapable of such feelings as humiliation, as we all know. How stupid of me to have forgotten that.

... in general terms:

  1. Those who have through no fault of their own been forced to claim benefits as a last resort; and
  2. Those who make a career of it and couldn't give a s**t

I'll let you decide what I feel about which as you seem so good at it.

ShirleyM's picture

I have to disagree with you about Trade Unions

ShirleyM | | Permalink

They regularly resolve problems between employers and employees and this can avoid disputes being taken to tribunal level. They are not all greedy sods, and don't just exist for strikes. They can get too greedy, but employers can sometimes be too greedy and uncompromising too!

I had help from a union once, when the company I worked for decided to ignore the promises made to me. The union got involved and we worked out an amicable compromise. I stayed with that company for many years, and they tried hard to get me to stay when I finally left.

Without the Union I would have been wondering what to do, whether to get legal help (very expensive), and which would probably have escalated the problem out of all recognition, or just throw the towel in and leave.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

But that is what ACAS should do ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... there should be a general independant service to mediate and resolve disputes.

Have unions, but if no resolution is reached then both sides should have to go to abitration and abide by the result.

But there is a big difference between enforcing contractually agreed terms, which is what you are talking about, and forcing unilateral changes to employment terms by blackmail, which is effectively what a strike is.

I don't say strikes should be illegal, but empoyers should have the right to sack anyone who does, after all we have how many millions of people in need of a job? 

 

Paul Scholes's picture

Good old BBC again    2 thanks

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Have had a scan down the posts from the past day and can't see anyone mentioning Nick Robinson's programme from BBC2 Wednesday night, "Your money & How they spend it" I can't miss Frozen Planet (gasps at the wolf & bison!!) so caught it last night on replay.

Much debunking of the various myths written in the press and this thread from the left, right & indifferent, in that it seems to make little difference who is in power the pressure is to spend and the decisions are political rather than practical.  The eye opener was the 60 year simple graph showing the tax take against the spend.  I know it's been said before but they really have little idea what they are doing at the time and only get wise with hindsight.

With regard to the various tennis matches above over benefit claimants, parents, unions etc you (including me) are on a hiding to nothing, ie once you have read the headlines you want to read, listened to the politicians you want to listen to or carried out single lane research into a topic and "proved" your beliefs, you will be as entrenched as when you started.

However, if you stand back and read the tennis matches you will see inequality lurking at the back of all of them.  Deal with that and save the column inches and wasted breath.

 

ShirleyM's picture

OGA

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I think you are forgetting that there are some truly terrible employers out there. ACAS charge an absolute fortune to come out and settle a dispute, and as they want payment by the employer then the worst employers won't even entertain it!

I don't agree with strikes, but ACAS aren't the solution either. Unions are no different to the big employers. They blackmail people into less beneficial contracts. The new contracts may be necessary to ensure the companies survival, but not always. It's the same now with main contractors squeezing the subcontractors. They can get away with it and rake more profit for themselves and it's too bad if the subcontractors have to reduce their workers pay as a result!

Until people and companies act fairly and with consideration to everyone involved, then unions, and the like, will always be needed.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Two sides though Shirley ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... many good companies are ham-strung by bad employees who they have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to deal with. They are lazy, incompetent, know the riule book cover to cover and play it to the letter, disruptive, divisive and just plain troublemakers causing dissent and sirring up bad feeling where none should exist.

I am not saying ACAS are the answer, but they should be, or should be replaced by someone/thing that is, and it should be funded from employees and employers current NI contribution levels.

As to contracts, there are statutory minimum terms, that is the area that if it is wrong should be changed, after all we have a minimum wage, minimum holiday requirement, SSP. SMP, soon will have mandatory pension contributions. At the end of the day the employers are taking the risk in doing business, they should be able to choose whatever additional benefits they offer above what society deems the minimum standard. If they are so stupid to not realise that better contract terms and conditions are likely to lead to a better motivated and loyal workforce and ultimately better long-term performance that is their problem.

That said, this is general terms, I am open minded and would look at individual cases on an individual basis, but, the current public sector actions are not the actions of the down-trodden workers sick of being exploited, but those of a teenager being told they can't have the latest X-box for Christmas.

ShirleyM's picture

Quite true, OGA!

ShirleyM | | Permalink

There is always more than one viewpoint, and I do TRY to view the problem from all angles.

Personally, I think capitalism has gone too far and is at a destructive level. I dislike the greed, the rudeness, and the me, me, me attitude which is shown everywhere I look. Maybe I feel this way (disillusioned) because I am (getting) old. I will do a bit of research and look harder at other countries to see if they have the same selfish attitude prevalent in their societies.

@OGA

chatman | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

You're telling me I don't care now, great!

I'll let you decide what I feel about which as you seem so good at it.

I'm sorry; I thought you were saying you didn't care, and that people on benefits weren't capable of feeling humiliation. I was obviously wrong.

I will now retire from this thread.

johnjenkins's picture

Before I go off for the weekend

johnjenkins | | Permalink

cycling around Norwich I must agree with you Shirley and If I am honest I probably am a bit selfish, especially when it comes to my weekends away. It's not an age thing. It's a lot to do with sales hype. You must have this. In order to maximise income you must do that etc. etc.

ShirleyM's picture

@john

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Have fun :)

Fingers crossed that you get good weather for the weekend. It is p*ssing it down here! It's good for the garden, though ;)

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Chatman ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... sorry, have just been largely stirring, very childish I know but it's Friday!

Shirley, I agree pretty much, I think most people spend so long running around looking they fail to realise they had what they need all along, if you see what I mean. Send some rain down though please, new lawn has been down 2 weeks now and it irks me having to water it in November!

ShirleyM's picture

I wish I could OGA :)

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Our grass is too long now. I am sure our grass wouldn't mind sharing the rain with your grass. :)

I was wrong

chatman | | Permalink

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was withdrawing from this thread, but I have just realised that I made a mistake when Steve and I were discussing discussing social mobility and the question “can children of poor parents become rich?”.

In fact, this question is correctly stated as a direct reflection of the level of social mobility in a society. In a society with perfect social mobility, a child born poor would have the same chance as anybody else of ending up rich, however the big the existing gap between rich and poor, as that is exactly what social mobility means; it is only if we accept social immobility in a society that we accept that it might take several generations to move from poverty to wealth.

It  was suggested that it would obviously take longer to get rich in a society with great disparities of wealth but this is probably only because great disparities of wealth can only be built up where there is little (or less) social mobility.

Suggesting that it might take several generations to get rich accepts that one has to start off with some wealth at birth in order to get to the top of the wealth ladder. Of course zero inherited wealth would be implicit in such a society.

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