Archive for the Political ranting by your's truly Category

Cleaning away the muck

Posted in Political ranting by your's truly, Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 by thefyrdman

I don’t believe in listening to your feelings before your thoughts.  I don’t think you should consider instinct over your mind.  Which is why I’m torn right now. 

My head know’s that the odds are slim that the Dave and Nick Show have the cajones to enact the desperately needed cuts.  Are they likely to slash welfare?  Are they likely to start the bonfire of the quangos?  Are they, at the end of the day, likely to cut the circa£170billion per annum structural deficit that Gordon has left for them?

I don’t think so.  The Tories will be terrified of the media portraying them as the nasty party, so won’t shrink our welfare bill nor will they start scrapping all of the working jobless that comprise much of the the public (and public funded) sector. 

And if they are not going to do it via savings, are they going to do it via growth?  I think not.  Raising National Insurance is a tax on jobs.  The cost will, where possible, be passed to the consumer.  Great, we’re all hurt by it.  If the cost can’t be passed, for instance if the same good can be imported cheaper, the cost will hit employment.  This is especially true of small businesses that are already going into debt to get them through the recession, and manafacturing even more so.  And then there is the Capital Gains Tax rise.  Who is going to invest in new businesss, which involves taking a large risk, if the rewards are so meagre?  As new and small businesses provide the bulk of new employment (large companies tend to be fairly static overall) this is tragic.  But it’s also true for large companies that new investment will be more difficult to find.  Why would you invest any spare money you have in shares if your going to find 40-50% of it robbed by the taxman?  And then there’s the housing market to think of too.

What other options are left to them?  Taxing?  Although they will no doubt do it anyway, it won’t help.  If the economy doesn’t grow quickly, the wealth that can be taxed won’t grow quickly.  With their anti-business measures listed above, it will grow even slower.  And when you increase taxes, you increase tax avoidance as no one likes to see their wealth pillaged by some greedy looter.  If the amount of taxable wealth doesn’t grow, taxes  won’t bring in enough to fill the hole.

So I know that the odds of this change in management of fixing the problems are slim to none.  However, I can’t help but feel like a massive weight has lifted off my shoulders, like I’m being washed of 11 years of completely useless governance.  I can’t stop myself from feeling like the UK has become a better place.  The ID cards will be scrapped.  The National Identity register is to be scrapped.  Councils and other worthless public servants will be stopped from using anti-terror legislation to enforce their worthless rules.  HIPs will go too.  And we will see the raising of the tax threshold, even if it is only introduced gradually, to £10k.  That’ll help everyone who works for their living rather than mooches for it.  And, I’m letting my hope runaway here, they’ll have the good sense just raise the tax threshold for their special interest groups rather than give handouts.  I’d much rather they scrap all such benefits, but if at least they did it this way we’d reward work and we wouldn’t lose a fortune in government paper shufflers.  And then there’s the schools policy.  I know it’s not enough, they have been cowards in terms of allowing profit to be made but it’s a step in the right direction and once it starts who knows, maybe they’ll see that Sweden succeeded because it allowed profit making.

I know I shouldn’t let myself get too excited.  It won’t be long before we’re covered in a shower of shit from this new lot.  But I can’t help it.

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What is wrong with inequality?

Posted in Political ranting by your's truly on January 29, 2010 by thefyrdman

Seriously, what is wrong with it?

Let me give an example.  Say an island exists that has 10 millionaires living there.  They have exactly one million in total worth.  There is no inequality.  One day, Bill Gates moves in, with his $60 billion + fortune.  Inequality has just skyrocketed, Gate’s has 67 000x the wealth of the anyone else.  And this has hurt everyone how?

Inequality isn’t a problem unless you have an issue with envy, and then the problem isn’t inequality, it’s because you’re petty and spiteful.  What is actually the problem when most people think of inequality is in fact poverty.  Inequality doesn’t equal poverty, as I’ve explained above.  In a more real world example, Britain has become a home to numerous ex-pat billionaire Russians, but that doesn’t make us poorer, it benefits us all as they spend their rubles in Britain rather than abroad.

And when I say poverty, I mean absolute poverty.  That is to say, you struggle or are unable to afford the basic necessities to survive.  What you will tend to here so many whining Guardianistas complain about is in fact relative poverty, which is actually just inequality. 

Inequality isn’t a problem in itself.  It is actually natural, because people are, despite the protestations of some, naturally unequal.  I will never be a professional footballer in spite of any effort I make (I don’t) because I’m asthmatic and have the co-ordination of Steven Hawkings on a heavy LSD trip.  Thus, from this unequal start, unequal ends come about.  But that’s fine, I accept that.  I am good enough at other things that I can get by, providing no one prevents me directly.

And it’s not just in skills either.  Genuine effort come into play.  I simply don’t want to work an 80 hour week, I’m happy at 35 hours.  But if I want to get to the top of an organisation that pays fortunes, I would have to make the effort and give up me free time to make it.  I would have to trade the time I have with my family and friends for study, work, schmoozing people I loathe etc. and I’m just not prepared to do it.  Some people are, and they are rewarded financially for it.  Me, I’m happy with the rewards of being happy, sane and hopefully un-divorced.

You can’t eliminate this inequality of skills or ambition.  You can’t forcibly give everyone the same abilities.  Accept it, move on, realise that what you want to give everyone is not equality but aspiration, eduction and a path cleared of interfering assholes whose aim in life is keep you from trying to better yourself.  That way there is nothing but your own choices and dumb luck between you and success.