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Monday, 04 October 2021

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40 years of disrupting the Common Market from the inside and all we managed to achieve was to turn it into the EU and do whatever Germany, sorry, I mean the EU told us to do. Do you really think we should have stayed in and continued with that strategy?

I admit, it does say something about the quality of the Brit political class that after 40 years we only got one hand-bagging and the SMFFASAR of our making. And both achieved by the same brit pol, someone now demonised by the Brit pols and peeps through the rigorous propaganda and indoctrination of state education and state media ever since her demise.

Why then would you want to lock yourself in with such an incompetent at best, and criminally negligent at worst, political class?

And we want the pols of Brit or Euro origins doing as little as humanly possible anyway. That's the point Sir Humphrey is trying to make!: neutralise the whole damn power and control authoritarianism pol-gene thing by turning the pols on each other with hot air: the EU vs the nation states. Either nothing gets done, or what gets done has a full airing as the 28 (as was) clash with the 1 and vice versa. What little governance that comes through is of better quality.

That's a great protection for the citizen, like free speech, a free press, rights, trial by jury, separation of powers, etc. etc., another tool in the enlightenment tool-bag for the ordinaries against the abusive power and control of the pol-gened folks.

And just as we chose to leave, some real low hanging fruit appeared that even our brain-dead pols might have managed to pick: The Nordics, Baltics, Ost Bloccers, and Balkans finally stood up after having recovered from 50 years of statist socialist abuse, and started sucking it to the Franco-German hegemony. We were their natural rallying point and leader of the counter-charge.

But no. You knocked that one on the head 23/6/16.

SoD

The main cause of Brexit is something you studiously avoid:

"Politicians supporting the U.K.’s Leave camp pointed to the EU’s immigration rules, particularly the influx of refugees, diminished job prospects and stagnant salaries—factors widely considered the result of porous borders—as reasons to leave the economic bloc. Thursday’s vote was a clear reminder that the bulk of the U.K. public wasn’t happy with these policies, which experts at WEF said effectively translated to dissatisfaction with globalization."

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/28/how-brexit-impacts-globalization.html

The exact thing led to the election of The Don over here.

You really should stop channeling your inner Anna Soubry.

Bob,

influx of refugees - They're still coming, in ever greater numbers now that Afghanistan has imploded, and the French don't care if they get across the English Channel.
diminished job prospects - That's patently untrue, unemployment was trace in Blighty in 2016, there were thousands of job vacancies.
stagnant salaries - Living standards were rising in 2016 and had been since 2012, after the long recovery from the financial crisis.

You're right though, the perceptions of those 3 things, portrayed by inveterate liars like Farage and Cummings, meant 51.9% believed them.

SoD

@SoD

And politics is war by other means. Just look at what the politics of the EU - the imposition of the Euro - has done and is doing (and will do) to the countries within the straightjacket.

As Bernard Connolly pointed out, the eurozone has been built over the fault lies of an earthquake zone, these fault lines being the national borders and the separate currencies that previously existed. These currencies existed for a reason and it was an act of truly mind numbing hubris to imagine that one currency could be imposed without the necessary workable internal economic mechanisms.

But they did it anyway.

And why are we "the natural rallying point and leader of the counter-charge" for eastern Europe? A region which historically has been in either the German or Russian orbit. How exactly would one "constituency" have done this? How can we lead those who are all that prevents this metaphorical Biden of country shitting the bed!

Talk alone means nothing. "Speak softly but carry a big stick" What stick is there to wield when the Boche have essentially the whole EU by the economic short hairs? (whatever the Euro is going to do, it's not going to unwind by voluntarily agreement and an equitable sharing out of the debt)

If all we have to do is exploit the chaos, why not just wait for it to fall apart and do it then. What, five, ten years from now?

Why would we want to anyway?


Keynes v Hayek in song form:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

Hehehe, nice one Whiters!

SoD

SoD,

Some quick research confirms the UK has done well in the 21st century. The median income has increased over 40% and with the exceptions caused by the 2007 crash and recent pandemic, unemployment has remained low relative to most of Europe. The US has also done well overall.

Political unrest in the UK and US is, as you say, largely due to demagoguery. However, there have been significant numbers left behind by globalization and neoliberalism. Look at the section headed "3. Long-run trends since 1961":

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN07096/SN07096.pdf

You can see that, starting in the Reagan/Thatcher years, the percentage living in poverty made a major climb and stayed relatively high. Low skilled workers and, to a lesser extent, pensioners (wrinklies) have had it worst. Along with xenophobes, they've become just high enough a percentage to have political and policy impact.

The numbers of jobs in the UK and US have been good, but the quality of many have diminished. You're just going to have to admit that a rising tide does not lift all boats. For a significant number globalization and libertarianism have landed with a resounding splat; something like the one the giant foot makes at the end of the Flying Circus intro.

without the necessary workable internal economic mechanisms

Without what necessary internal economic mechanisms? The only one missing was the lender of last resort, and the "Draghi put" sorted that. And if the market gets leery again then the Jerries and Central Bank will do what it takes again.

Fiscal redistribution wasn't necessary. Ireland devalued internally and started growing. The rest of the PIIGS got it in the end.

And why are we "the natural rallying point and leader of the counter-charge" for eastern Europe? A region which historically has been in either the German or Russian orbit.

Well the Rooskies and Krauts blew their chances in the 20th century, to put it mildly. The region, perhaps Hungary aside with its courting of Vlad, despises both the Rooskies and Krauts. If that doesn't make us natural allies of them in our struggle against hegemony in Europe I don't know what does.

How exactly would one "constituency" have done this? How can we lead those who are all that prevents this metaphorical Biden of country shitting the bed!

Granted with our pol class of recent years it's difficult to see the person or people to do it. It's not difficult to see what could be done though ...

1. Support Poland, Hungary and others in their desire to oppose woke values.
2. Support states who oppose immigrant quotas - currently just about everyone. The "We can manage" Merkel days are well and truly over now anyway.
3. Play our City of London finance card in favour of the Nordics, Baltics, Ost Bloccers, Balkans and PIIGS.
4. Play our defence card in support of our allies and against Vlad - the Nordics, Baltics, Ost Bloccers (minus Hungary), and Balkans love that one.
5. Play Uncle Sam into the above four.

As Sir Humphrey said, make a dog's breakfast of it for the French and Germans. So many options that weren't there a decade or two ago.

Skill and will was all it needed. But we had none, in pols and peeps.

SoD

Bob,

the percentage living in poverty

Bet that's relative poverty, not even having read the article. Relative poverty is BS. If everyone doubles their income the poor are deemed to be poorer under the definition of relative poverty, which is nonsense - they're twice as well off as they were!

... but the quality of many [jobs] have diminished

Pure wool. What does that even mean?

SoD

SoD,

You can't dismiss inequality by betting it's relative. What does that even mean? If people can't afford food, rent or other basics they're impoverished. Have you changed your mind about a UBI?

According to UNICEF, the UK is the 8th worst performing of 41 more economically developed nations for food insecurity:

https://foodfoundation.org.uk/new-evidence-of-child-food-insecurity-in-the-uk/

By quality I meant the number of hours worked and working conditions as well as wages. You might not be worried, but Boris is:

"(Reuters) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a rise in the minimum wage within weeks, as he pledges to end the "broken" model of a low-wage, low growth economy, The Times newspaper reported.

Johnson will accept recommendations of independent advisers that are likely to boost the pay of the lowest earners to about 9.42 pounds ($12.84) an hour, the newspaper said."

https://news.yahoo.com/uk-pm-johnson-announce-rise-215009933.html?fr=yhssrp_catchall

Over here there's a "fight for 15", meaning a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour. The minimum wage hasn't been raised from $7.25 since 2010, and there has been inflation in food, rent, and housing.

UBI and the minimum wage are absolute poverty knockers, not relative poverty knockers, of which I, as a Funded Libertarian, approve, as you know. But only up to the point of need, not luxury. And need is absolute, not relative.

Although UBI and minimum wage have an effect on relative poverty too, they shouldn't be used beyond getting the low income earners up to the point where they have "the things without which harm will come to them". That's the "Big 8" ...

Food, clothing, shelter, health, education, energy, information, and transport".

Above those, it's up to you to get the latest iPhone, 10 pints of lager on a Saturday night, foreign holidays, etc. No matter how much Bill Gates, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and Warren buffet earn you have no right to take it off them for lux, only for the Big 8.

That's the difference between redistribution as a remedy for absolute poverty vs relative poverty.

SoD

That would make sense if Bill Gates, Baron Sugar, Richard Branson, Warren buffet and their ilk weren't recipients of huge tax advantages, government grants and subsidies and so on, and then on top hid their money in offshore accounts and chains of shell corporations. To be fair, Americans are worse about coddling the super rich. After Brits went through WWII, you generally decided it would be advantageous to take care of your people. Thus the NHS that you're so fond of bitching and moaning about, but which is the most popular institution in Britain.

There has never been any such social cohesion in the US. You won't ever see a leading Republican backing anything like a minimum wage hike or UBI. Our brand of libertarianism is hard edged and uncompromising. A case can easily be made it's less competent. I would add it's also delusional and malignant.

There's an element of truth in what you say Bob.

The US has run, and largely still runs, what you call "Naive Libertarianism". The social cohesion is actually very strong under that system because people value their family and friends and rate highly the attainment of social skills that will bring them social networks of their own making to support them in the bad times. Fear and greed is actually very social.

Ironically, real hard-nut socialism does the same. The sheer adversity of state failure, abuse and brutality means people get forced to look out for each other. That's why Fluffbun's crew went to work for the state at a sparrow's fart time in the morning and finished early in the afternoon, so they could spend the afternoons tending to their own black market incomes and sustenance, sharing their skills with their neighbours - electricians, plumbers, builders, they all worked collaboratively outside of the state to get the real work done, helping their families, friends. Fear and survival is very social too.

The one criticism of Funded Libertarianism I have no answer to is that with everyone well-off enough to afford the "Big 8" from the market it will make anti-social islands of us all. The coercion to social behaviour, support networks, collaboration, etc. through mutual self-interest, necessary to survive and thrive under Naive Libertarianism and socialism (probably more just survive in socialism's case) once removed might make insular rather nasty pieces out of us.

I think it's only Whiters who has ever hauled me across the coals on that one, way back when many years ago. I think my only answer was "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it" or similar.

SoD

Not the "greed is good" argument! It's soooo 1980's.

There are currently over 40 experiments with UBI or guaranteed income being conducted in the US. So far the results look good:

"Preliminary research shows the program has helped 40% of participants to avoid borrowing money. Meanwhile, 27% were more likely to go a doctor when necessary and 20% were more likely to have children performing above their grade levels in school." ...

"The results showed that program participants were twice as likely to find full-time work compared to people who were not part of it. Furthermore, participants also said they were better able to handle emergency expenses and saw improvements in their physical and mental health.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/07/will-us-experiments-with-guaranteed-income-work.html

The differences between UBI and guaranteed income are largely political. We currently have a child tax credit that accomplishes some of the same goals. Most Americans don't seem to think it's socialism if it's in the form of a tax break or even a negative tax rate.

The old Protestant belief in hard work and "knowing one's place" in the "great chain of being" is just one more example of delusion and psychological harm done by religion.

@SoD

“Without what necessary internal economic mechanisms?”

You know exactly, as you’ve been told enough times. That you choose to willfully ignore is of no particular consequence, but maybe your lender of last resort stretch to £3? The Rotten Heart of Europe: Amazon.co.uk: Connolly, Bernard: 9780571301744: Books

Just the last chapter, which, don’t forget, was written in 1995 will do. And bear in mind that he assumed they would never be so stupid as to allow the likes of Greece in (but they did anyway)

Germany, the lender of last resort? Their constitutional court says otherwise (but they’ll just carry on as if the constitutional court doesn’t exist)

And what exactly was this Irish “internal devaluation”? The currency is locked, as is the interest rate.

“Well the Rooskies and Krauts”

How about geography? It is a rather important factor, and in case you haven’t noticed Russia is on one side, Germany the other. We are a long way away and separated by water (blessing be upon it!). Eastern Europe is tied politically and economically to one or the other whether they like it or not.

They can despise Russia and Germany all they want, but in this world they are tied by treaty and obligation to the EU (and as you keep telling us – correctly – there is no majority in any of these countries to leave, wonder how bad things will need to get before there is). If they are not in the Euro, they are obliged at some point to join once they meet the convergence criteria (cough, laugh!). Games can be played of course but this is a massive pull on all their real world economic and political policies.

“Granted our pol class…”

1 All we could do is spout meaningless platitudes
2 Ditto, and see treaties etc above
3 What does this actually mean?
4 Ditto (is this the army that hasn’t won a war since 1982 you were so assiduously sneering at?)
5 How?

I know I really shouldn’t respond to your clickbait. Outright denial (Euro etc) is to be expected, but it’s these weird tangents you keep going off on, of which the last above is particularly splendid example, that make your strange world of rejoiniac butthurt so morbidly fascinating.

“Global Britain” is an absolute joke, but we missed the chance to carve a new empire in the Russian/German back yard by remaining a German satrapy! I doubt if Churchill, Lloyd-George, Gladstone, Palmerston and Pitt together could have done that, even if they had Bismark and Talleyrand to help them.

SoD, do you know if British unions are heavy backers of minimum wage increases like BJ is asking for. Over here, unions are heavy backers of minimum wage laws going up because of the provisions within labor contracts over the percent difference between the minimum and the lowest union negotiated wage. Unions don't concern themselves with the damage done to businesses in the short run, as they want their increased dues on the higher amounts any new contract wage will yield them.

"UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a rise in the minimum wage within weeks, as he pledges to end the "broken" model of a low-wage, low growth economy..." It will do no such thing. Politically it sounds good but economically, only briefly and then added expenses on employers will be passed right on to consumers, meaning the bottom earners who just got the "pay increase".

Seems if we'd stayed in the EU we'd have had tougher "take back control" of the borders than we have now with our helpless sea patrols in the channel and the French haemorrhaging immigrants over to us because they don't care any more! ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/10/07/eu-funding-brigades-masked-police-filmed-carrying-brutal-beatings/

The EU is indirectly financing brigades of masked police who are brutally beating back migrants on the outer frontiers of Europe, an investigation has claimed.

Pushbacks that allegedly contravene the international right to claim asylum have taken place on the borders of Croatia, Greece and Romania, according to a months-long investigation by the German newspaper Der Spiegel and other European publications.

Not that I approve of such treatment of course, but if you are a Billy Britain country-bumpkin sort who wants to get tough with migrants then the Kaiserin's "We can manage" attitude is long gone and replaced with something right up your strasse.

SoD

Whiters,

The unions in Blighty are pro minimum wage, UBI, furlough and just about everything along those lines ...

https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/economy-jobs-and-pay/minimum-and-real-living-wages

So I'm aligned with them on that one.

However, distorting the pay market above minimum wage and/or UBI through monopoly behaviour, either way: up by unions and down by big business, is not acceptable.

Usual Libertarian stuff.

SoD

Mark,

Connolly and all the Euro currency whingers and cry-wolfers, like Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Daily Telegraph, have been proven wrong, on every count.

The currency has survived its birthing pains which they falsely surmised were its death pains, and it's now thriving - insofar as any Western currency is thriving.

The PIIGS all did austerity, Ireland ahead of the rest, and that fiscal prudence, asserted by the Euro system with Germany behind it, gave the fiscally incontinent periphery the spending and taxing bladder and bowel control they couldn't muster with their own domestic pols alone. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - one of yours, as said, a Euro sceptic - coined the phrase "internal devaluation" to describe this process of austerity to match German prudence and fiscal tightness. He said it would be a failure and unequal to the task of normal devaluation, such as when the Lira and Drachma etc. existed. He was proven plain wrong!

Austerity / fiscal prudence / internal devaluation, along with the Target2 system and the "Draghi put", has made the Euro the second reserve currency of the world.

Get over it.

And looking at Uncle Sam's latest crisis, the Euro might be about to take gold place on the podium of world reserve currencies.

Ref my items 1-5: During the Euro crisis Dave Cameron and Barrack Obama leveraged Blighty's EU membership and asserted themselves viciously to the point where they actually made Angela Merkel cry! ...

https://www.ft.com/content/f6f4d6b4-ca2e-11e3-ac05-00144feabdc0

To the astonishment of almost everyone in the room, Angela Merkel began to cry.

Wow. I'd pay good money to have witnessed that. "The Germans, either at your feet or your throat" said Winnie - that was definitely a footsie moment!

That's probably the last time the Jerries will ever be at our feet in a Jaw-Jaw confrontation, because Blighty can't bring Uncle Sam into the fray of the EU framework and do that nasty shit to them anymore.

Next time it will have to be on Sword and Omaha beaches, coz you cut the Jerries loose.

SoD

Bob,

Most Americans don't seem to think it's socialism [UBI, minimum wage, etc.] if it's in the form of a tax break or even a negative tax rate.

... Because they're smart enough to know it isn't socialism.

UBI and minimum wage aren't in the swamp, any more than a tax break is in the swamp. UBI and minimum wage are just a tweak to the payroll system in the market. There's no jobsworth bureaucrats or other swamp dwellers involved.

The Don and GOP would do well to leverage them, maybe re-brand them as "negative income tax", the phrase as coined by Milton Friedman.

"I'm gonna drain the swamp so dry y'all will have 10% negative income tax, think of it like a 10% bonus for just showing up to work - and finishing the job of Making America Great Again with me".

That'd bring a baseline 10% swing to the Don before he even gets started with anything else.

SoD

SoD,

Maybe it was badly written, but I meant only that the child tax credit isn't generally seen as socialism. Some people would like to believe that any tax break or credit is taking money from the big, bad government and returning it to "the people". This is delusional. Since we operate on fiat money it takes nothing from the government and is just as much a redistribution of wealth as any other method.

In general I agree with you. However, you still haven't quite caught on to how much more extreme our Republicans and libertarians are than you, or how cowardly our Democrats are. It's actually their job to make the arguments you make.

One important part I omitted above is that most Americans see any sort of direct payment like UBI as the government taking their hard-earned dollars and giving them to the undeserving.

If the direct payment is for anything other than need - the "Big-8", "the things without which harm will come to you" - then they'd be right.

What do you reckon is the amount in the US to cover-off all of the Big-8? So each person gets only wnough that they won't be harmed by not having enough? Here's my rough for Blighty ...

Food - £2,000 (a fiver a day rounded up to the nearest grand)
Clothing - £200 (I tend to wear stuff until it's hanging off me in rags, much less than £200! Is £200 what normal people would spend in a year?)
Shelter - £7,000 (£577 per month to rent a room, rounded up to the thousand - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/average-cost-rent-room-increased-16562407)
Health - £2,500 (cost of NHS per person per annum)
Education - £1,625 (£10,000 per annum for 13 years aged 5-18, amortized over 80 year life)
Energy - £400 (£30 per month per person in a shared house, rounded up to the hundred)
Information - £400 (£30 per month broadband and a subscription to something, rounded up to the hundred)
Transport - £4,000 (£10 a day, bus, train, fuel and car amortisation, rounded up to a thousand)

£16,5000 - grand total.

SoD

If you take £16,500 per annum, divi it by 52 weeks, then divi it by 40 hours, you get £7.93 per hour.

The UK minimum wage is £8.91 per hour.

So today, the peeps are under-written by the minimum wage at £0.98 more per hour than is strictly needed. So two pints of lager per day lux on top of the necessities.

But, but, but ... they get their education (£1,625 per annum) and health (£2,500 per annum) ON TOP of that!

No wonder unemployment is trace in the UK. It really is worth working. Minimum wage, UBI, negative income tax, type constructs paid out through the payrolls of the workplace really works for prosperity and social justice.

And no wonder so many migrants come here for the same reason. They can bunk up and share rooms in a youthful fun shared house, do the shitty jobs Brits won't do, do a second job for a couple of hours a night, and stash the saving. Then 20 years later buy a flat in Czech Republic for £30k with no mortgage and watch it rise to £100k in 6 years.

Everyone was winning pre-Brexit.

Look at us now, eh?

SoD

Ooops, a calculator boo-boo!

The Big-8 adds up to £18,125.

So divi by 52 weeks and 40 hours: £8.71 per hour.

Still a bit less than the minimum wage, but the the current setup includes health and education, as said.

Spoilt brats I'd say!

SoD

@SoD

The Euro is thriving? Well, if believing that eases your butthurt a bit that’s no skin off my nose. If believing that I (or any other leaver) am seething in envy at the Euro – and the EUs – “success” well even better. I suspect it’s a bit like a plaster on a chainsaw wound though. But every little helps as the monkey said when he pissed in the sea.

The issues with the Euro are the internal strains created within the artificial construct, which is what Bernard Connolly described in exquisite detail 25 years ago.

“Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - one of yours, as said, a Euro sceptic - coined the phrase "internal devaluation" to describe this process of austerity to match German prudence and fiscal tightness”

This is not equivalent to, say, a devaluation of the pound (or a change of interest rates) that Britain could do if it wished, which you were clearly implying (this was desperate, even for you!)

If there was no Euro, there simply wouldn’t be PIIGS or target 2. If Ireland, or Greece, or whoever is fiscally incontinent or whatever, that would be their problem. The Euro makes sure it is not just their problem. If there was still a Punt, a Lira or a Drachma, would Ireland, Greece or Italy be in the state they are in today?

Oh, sorry, silly of me all their problems have been solved haven’t they? Wonderful thing that “internal devaluation”, wish we could have it.

“During the Euro crisis Dave Cameron and Barrack Obama leveraged Blighty's EU membership and asserted themselves viciously to the point where they actually made Angela Merkel cry!”

So what? Merkel is just one of 28 (in 2014) democratically elected heads of state with no more say over the EU than Xavier Bettel (Luxembourg PM, and of course I had to look him up). They’re equivalent to British MPs don’t forget.

“Next time it will have to be on Sword and Omaha beaches, coz you cut the Jerries loose.”

Oh, going to be a war is there? So when will the EU fall apart then?

If there was still a Punt, a Lira or a Drachma, would Ireland, Greece or Italy be in the state they are in today?

Yes, much worse off than they are now, because the fiscal prudence that their home grown pols were incapable of but was obligatory as members of the Euro would've been absent. The PIIGS were shit-poor before joining the EU, and Blighty is already re-discovering inflation, higher cost of living / lower living standards, stagflation from 1970's Blighty that was the same interminable problem in the PIIGS pre-EU / Euro.

The best thing Blighty could have done is join the Euro. That would have put a fiscal rocket up the arse of every chancellor thereafter. With Blighty's City of London being better developed than anywhere else in Europe we'd be running the Brussels show by now, because finance always trumps manufacturing (Germany) and agriculture (France), which was my point 3 above ...

- 3. Play our City of London finance card in favour of the Nordics, Baltics, Ost Bloccers, Balkans and PIIGS.

SoD


@SoD

“Obligatory fiscal prudence”

Demonstrably untrue as witnessed by the ridiculous amounts they were able to borrow – which they could only have done inside the Eurozone. As sovereign states with questionable records of fiscal prudence, the high rates they would have had to pay would have reigned them in long ago. As stated previously, there are reasons why there are different currencies which can float freely against each other.

So had we been suckered into the Euro, the city would be running the EU? In what way exactly? You are just making meaningless assertions

SoD,

Does your figure apply to people living in London or only country bumpkins?

The federal poverty level for a 1 person household is $12880 yearly:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fpl.asp

However, there are places like New York City or the San Francisco Bay area where that might not cover any basics:

"A family of four with an income of $105,350 per year is considered “low income.” A $65,800 annual income is considered “very low” for a family the same size, and $39,500 is “extremely low.”"

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/22/in-costly-bay-area-even-six-figure-salaries-are-considered-low-income/

So should we run all the poors off to the sticks where costs are low because there are no jobs? They might be able to survive on $12880, but not necessarily. We don't have "free" health or education, depending on the state. Chances are their "education" would consist largely of learning to drink heavily, cook meth, or shoot up oxycontin or heroin or big box stores. None of those things would improve their health. This is what is already happening, though moving to less expensive areas is voluntary to some extent. Some of those there to greet the new arrivals were there since the factory they worked in was shipped off to China or Mexico. The problem can't be solved with a back-of-an-envelope calculation or single program. Our society is thoroughly broken.

Bob,

My figures are averages across the UK, such as they've been researched in any nitty-gritty detail at all.

Setting one rate shouldn't be a problem. If low income earners start moving to the sticks then capital will either follow them out of the cities to gain the labour it needs to make up for the shortfall in the cities, or increase the wages above low income in the cities if it wants the labour to stay in the cities. The "levelling middle" aka equilibrium process done automatically by the market.

The US problem is health. $10,999 per person in 2019, sweet Mother of God! ...

https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/health-spending-u-s-compare-countries/#item-spendingcomparison_health-consumption-expenditures-per-capita-2019

And I assume that's coming out of the wages and those income stats you gave, not given on top of wages as in Blighty?

So that means if the federal level of poverty for a 1 person household is $12,880 per person, and they spend the average of $10,999 on health, they're left with $1,881 per annum?!

The stitch-up in the US healthcare industry is shocking. You need to turn it into a vertical Freeport tomorrow morning and break the monopoly and cartel behaviour like tomorrow morning latest.

How the hell does the US health industry's stitch-up lobby so well to have sustained this broken non-market?

SoD

Mark,

Free floating currencies let fiscally imprudent states collapse in their own mess without effecting others, granted. Free floating currencies is an automatic self-sustaining system for the system as a whole. But it allows each component that is dysfunctional to fail on its own without taking the nexus down with it.

A single currency obliges member states to learn fiscal prudence as the only remedy for over-borrowing, because there is no auto-devaluation as with floating currencies.

Once bitten, twice shy, now the PIIGS domestic pols have learned how to balance the books Maggie-style: not to over-borrow in the good times, and even more so in the bad times. "Learned" is an exaggeration of course, more like the PIIGS pols are in a straitjacket their own constitutions didn't provide for them but their own people wished for, which is why their own people joined the EU and then Euro in the first place.

SoD

"The unions in Blighty are pro minimum wage, UBI, furlough and just about everything along those lines"

I should have guessed. Seems the idea of a mandated minimum wage guarantee may have caused too much damage over time, but after so many generations, it is a fixture. I have always believed the ideal legal minimum wage should be 'zero'. I spent too many decades having to hire around artificial numbers, trying to match skill with the work needing done. Sheer frustration.

Mmm Whiters, but imagine corporation tax at 0% as well because there's no need to raise any Welfare tax to pay for the low income folks through the state. You are their state.

This was the conservative argument in 1948: That the state should not be taking on Welfare directly, rather it should oblige the independent sector employers to build it into their remuneration packages in exchange for a "low tax / no tax" corporate tax regime.

Sadly, at that time the socialists held sway, and we've been suffering ever since.

I'm sure you and a million employers would have made a much better fist of it than the rotten jobsworth state people did over the last nearly 75 years.

SoD

SoD,

Capital has not followed into the sticks. Hundreds or possibly thousands of small towns have been left to turn into rural ghettos or ghost towns. People simply go without health care and live lives of not so quiet desperation.

The US is nearly a corporate totalitarian state, and democracy itself is under heavy attack. There are cartels running major aspects of our lives besides health; finance and oil probably being the worst.

There have been similar periods in our history, most notably the Gilded Age ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilded_Age ). What's different this time around is that the corporate state controls not only the vast majority of resources, but has also perfected the use of culture to control the masses and set us all against each other or just make us tune out of reality. This is what has happened under unrestrained capitalism, which is synonymous with our version of libertarianism.

I used to think Brexit was a dumber protest move than the election of Trump. At this point It looks like your society probably took the less damaging route. I envy your turning into Switzerland.

SoD, zero being only for the hiring of individuals, not a corporate tax rate.

@SoD

You clearly know perfectly well what is wrong with the euro and what its doing.

With a bit of creative thought (and you’re not short of that I will concede) it can all be rationalised away. Not in the real world unfortunately.

The US is nearly a corporate totalitarian state, and democracy itself is under heavy attack. There are cartels running major aspects of our lives besides health; finance and oil probably being the worst.

That's the nub of it, Bob, that's exactly what socialist democracy is. It's indistinguishable from fascism. It's the bottom pointy corner of Nolan's chart, where left and right economics become squeezed together.

And here's the rub, the point where you and I have agreed on the facts of the situation - your paragraph above (approaching the bottom pointy corner of Nolan's chart from the right, aka the economics of fascism), and my descriptions of Blighty, NHS etc. (approaching the bottom pointy corner of Nolan's chart from the left, aka the economics of socialist democracy): your solution is to go the whole hog and have the state swamp swallow the whole lot, effectively institutionalising the very monopolies and cartels that upset you!

Whereas I say break up those monopolies and cartels, tip of a bayonet if necessary, that's the only mandate for power: to destroy power. To return the operation of the means of production and distribution to a choice-rich competitive market.

In essence you move to the actual bottom point of Nolan's chart, unifying left and right authoritarianism, monopoly, and cartels into one mono-authoritarian. This has been achieved on Blighty, with the total sham democracy we have of blue, yellow, green and red socialists / fascists, a pure fake choice.

Whereas I shoot straight past the bottom pointy corner of Nolan to where it joins the top! Yes, the old adage of left and right meeting up at the extremes is better explained by the two dimensional Nolan chart, where it is the vertical axis that joins up at the extremes.

The terrible Nietzschean will of a Hitler or Stalin is only one short step away from the wonderful will of all individuals in a Libertarian society when you pass through the wormhole behind the chart.

SoD

SoD,

I don't think 12 dimensional mathematics are needed to describe the situation. However, your idea of a utopian society is interesting, and would best be accompanied by some Wagner. Ride of the Valkyries would be fitting.

Inside every individual there is a Valkyrie bursting to get out.

Just have to wait a thousand years for it to happen.

SoD

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